Friday, October 13, 2017

The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman
Title: The Last Policeman
Author: Ben H. Winters
Publication Date: 7/10/2012
Pages: 288
Genre: Dystopian / Thriller / Fiction
How I Found It: I heard about it on On the Media
Date Completed: 10/1/17

Summary: An asteroid is speeding toward Earth and will decimate the human race in a matter of months. So, how does law enforcement function in the increasing chaos? 

What I Thought: This is such a fascinating concept. Often, we talk about immediate disasters. The world as we know it destroyed in moments or days. We rarely think about a slow-motion disaster, as least not in this sense. 

Winters has created a unique story. Here, people know their lives will end on a specific day, at a specific time - or, at least, within months of that time if the asteroid hits on the other side of the globe. Society unravels. Not all at once, but with exponential speed. With an increase in suicide, does murder still matter? Should it still be investigated and punished?

That's the premise of this book. A detective in New England finds himself one of a shrinking group of law enforcement officers who care about enforcing the law. Or at least about investigating crimes.  So, when his gut tells him an apparent suicide isn't what it seems, he faces a lot of resistance as he looks into it further.

Seeing as we were just in Boston, it was fun for me that some of the scenes took place there. Winters mentioned specific places and streets that Kevin and I had just walked by days before. I loved that. It always makes a book more real when you can place yourself in the same setting.

Overall, I found this a really interesting concept. At its core, it's a standard mystery novel. However, the apocalyptic bent kept it interesting. I don't know that I'll read the rest of the series since, as you know, mystery novels aren't my favorite, but I still enjoyed this one. If you're interested, I definitely recommend listening to the On the Media interview with Winters (link above). After all, that's what sold me on the book in the first place. 

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: No.

A Reduced Review: A unique framing gives this mystery novel the twist it needs to stand out in the genre. 

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