[Download] The Last Policeman By Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman

By: Ben H. Winters
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
Length: 8 hours
Release date: Jul 10, 2012
Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (575 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

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What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die soon, anyway?

Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There's no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact.

The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job - but not Hank Palace. He's investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week - except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares. What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die soon, anyway?

The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace's investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we're confronted by hard questions way beyond "whodunit." What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?
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69 Responses to “[Download] The Last Policeman By Ben H. Winters”

  1. Laurence Hertler

    Excellent detective story with a unique setting.
    An excellent detective tale, but with an interesting twist to the setting to give it a bit of new life. The narration and voice acting is excellent and very much adds to the overall experience. Highly recommended.

  2. Marhta Seliski

    No concept of real cops
    What disappointed you about The Last Policeman?

  3. Elvis Piccillo

    This is an interesting book with two key flaws. First, our main character is remarkably annoying. In order not to deal with the meteor coming to Earth—he focuses obsessively on his investigation. Its’ fascinating because his investigation leads to the death and personal destruction of so many people. Clearly, Concord, New Hampshire would be better off if Detective Palace would just accept that his victim committed suicide. Also the voice of the narrator makes you feel that Detective Palace is a 50 year old man instead of in his late 20s.

    Second, why is nobody preparing for the arrival of the meteor? Seriously, why aren’t people gathering food and moving supplies and resources to underground shelters. It would seem that the best course of action –would be to prepare for the ice age that would result from the meteor collision. Especially, given what we learn about where Maia will hit, it’s bizarre that everyone has essentially given up. To me the arrival of Maia would be more of an incentive to maintain basic services and ensure food supplies.

  4. Doug Guiel

    I did manage to get through the whole book, but my interest waned as the story creeped on. I got interested in Winters, after listening to Bedbugs. He also has written several great short stories. He comes up with some great and unique concepts, but I seem to have a problem feeling empathy or any interest in any of his characters. While the worlds he puts his characters in are very different, he has not mastered making us care about the people.

    Narrator is great.

  5. Marg Sollman

    Wasn’t terrible wait for sale
    Would you try another book from Ben H. Winters and/or Peter Berkrot?

  6. Garry Fassio

    A different kind of story
    I liked the story. I liked the characters. A little bit pulp fiction (not the movie), a little bit philosophical, a little bit Independence Day.

    Detective Palace is just an ordinary guy in extraordinary times, determined to do his job when the whole world is coming apart.

    I’m waiting for the next book. Be a shame if it doesn’t materialize.

  7. Bryce Sampley

    Meh – writing and narration only fair
    I had hopes for this interesting premise — why do your job if the world will end soon — but the reality was sadly short of the mark. I’m not sure whether this would be better in print, so as to avoid the juvenile-sounding characterization with a bad New England accent, or whether the writing itself is weak and uninspiring, so the book would still be 2 stars even without the narration.

    The title character is trying to do his job as a new Detective in the Concord Police Department and refuses to write off an apparent suicide, believing it was murder. He enlists the begrudged help of the medical examiner and other police detectives in a ’round about route of following false leads and stumbling upon the likely answer, finally getting his man only to discover the CPD was dissolved while he was running about the city, and now he’s out of a job. That, as well as the “B-side” story of about his sister’s belief in a safe-house being kept secret by the US government, is all really set up for the future books in the trilogy…..which is a manipulative tactic that I hate. I’d be willing to live with that manipulation if the product (book or movie) is really top quality, but this really isn’t.

    The narrator uses a weak and inconsistent New England accent, has poor differentiation between characters (including the gender of characters), and makes Henry Palace sound like an idiotic kid. Maybe the writer meant to make him sound like an idiotic kid, but the narration certainly only detracted from the story, rather than adding to the experience.

  8. another know it all

    didn’t like writing style
    could have been the narrator but I think it was the writing style. kept getting lulled and would miss important events. interesting premise though.

  9. J. Morse

    Good and Quirky
    If you could sum up The Last Policeman in three words, what would they be?

  10. Analisa Cendejas

    Great Concept
    The idea of the social environment when the end of the world is nigh is nothing new to fiction, but this was a fresh perspective. It reads like a noir detective mystery rather than any other genre.

  11. Patrick S.

    Doing your job when it almost doesn’t matter
    What did you love best about The Last Policeman?

  12. Connie Desanty

    Compelling, Heartbreaking Listen
    I have done the pre- and post-apocalyptic story before, and have never found that type of story to be to my liking. However, I am glad I decided to give this book a try. I was hooked from the very beginning of the story. I will definitely read the next two books as soon as they become available.

    Detective Hank Palace sees a murder where everyone else sees a suicide. What was most interesting to me was how Detective Palace finds the motivation, and the clues to continue the investigation under such distressing circumstances. The cast of characters and society felt real to me regarding the reactions to the news of the asteroid. Some people keep moving forward, some try to complete their bucket list and others just become useless, and at worse, dangerous to the community.

    I found that when I was listening to this book my entire mood would change to mild distress and sadness. I was reading a second book at home that had me laughing and in an entirely different mood, but as soon as I turned on this audio book, I would go immediately to a darker place. The author was very good at getting me emotionally involved in the story.

    The narrator, Peter Berkrot, was good, not excellent. Some of the voices he used sounded strange and had a sarcastic sound when I thought the dialog should have been interpreted differently. But that is a small complaint and did not bother me overall.

    I notice that “The Last Policeman” just won a 2013 Edgar Award. I congratulate Ben H. Winters and look forward to how this trilogy plays out.

  13. Lynn B.

    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

  14. Loren Schute

    Fun book, didn’t blow my mind.
    Any additional comments?

  15. patricia

    twists and turns
    the book was like sitting in front of an old time radio mystery. loved it!

  16. Rashad Balius

    Possibly the best audiobook performance I have ever heard.
    Berkrot is just spectacular. The story is excellent, but his performance and so much more to it.

  17. Alexander Z.

    A classic who-done-it with a novel twist!
    Loved this well crafted, well written, thought provoking, and engaging take on a classic who-done-it. Well worth the listen. Wish there were more like it.

  18. Sergio Keedah

    What’s the audiobook equivalent of a page-turner?
    Where does The Last Policeman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  19. Yong Kleinmann

    Pretty good mash up of whodunit & apocalyptic
    This is an entertaining story of a young detective trying to solve a murder in a time when no one cares because the world is about to end. It’s well-written, but not very deep. It’s a good read but more of a time-filler than an occasion for reflection.

  20. Andre Morosco

    Excellent Pre-apocalyptic mystery
    Well narrated novel about the last man on earth who seems to care about ethics and morality while an asteroid is screaming toward earth. Highly recommended.

  21. Sharron D.

    Great Mystery with a Moral Twist
    This is a cracker-jack story that Aesop would have loved.
    I can’t tell you more without spoiling it for you, but if you want an enjoyable read, you can’t do much better.

  22. Phillip Prier

    Good read but not a must for me
    Briefly this book is about a detective investigating a suspicious murder during pre-apocalyptic times. The world as we know it is predicted to end within 6 months.

    I liked this book though wouldn’t necessarily tell anyone they just had to read it. The writing was good and story evenly paced.

    When he finally gets to the truth it just wasn’t that interesting to me. The most interesting part of the book was the time period they were living in and the extent to which people were going to deal with the imminent future events.

    The epilogue was intriguing.

  23. Nolan Danielsen

    The narrator didn’t work for me.
    What disappointed you about The Last Policeman?

  24. Imelda M.

    Would you try another book from Ben H. Winters and/or Peter Berkrot?

  25. Stewart Rotermund

    Good story, really depressing though
    I wouldn’t mind listening to the sequels, but after the first book, I’d need to be careful about when I listen to them. Not before work, not before meeting friends, and not before bed.

  26. Antione Hammersley

    I. Don’t. Care.
    The world is coming to an end. One cop decides to do his job and investigate a death that no one else cares about (including me).

    The movie Fight Club has a line that goes something like: “You’re polishing the brass on the Titanic”. That’s what I felt the protagonist was doing in this book. It’s impossible to care about his case because everyone in the world is hurtling to their doom.

    Even a life-or-death situation doesn’t matter when death is a certainty in just a matter of months. The book was doomed to fail because of this.

    Maybe I would have cared if it was a cop searching for a kidnapped child… that would have been sufficient motivation. But murdered adult with no one mourning him? Meh.

  27. Mimi C.

    Interesting but…
    The premise is fascinating and the main character interesting and solidly constructed, but the story began to drag. The narration is generally good but I am left wondering why a character so profoundly a product of his New England origins speaks with a southern accent. I think I will read rather than listen to the next two books planned for this trilogy.

  28. Oleta R.

    Intriguing circumstances, standard performance
    The plot and circumstances of this book (namely, how society deals with the knowledge of its own eventual demise) are thought-provoking and well captured. I was chewing on some aspects of this story long after finishing the book.

    Berkrot’s narration is a little off, though; the story is told from a first-person perspective of a 27-year-old detective, but his voice suggests a much older, more experienced fellow. I often had to stop and remind myself that the character was my own age – not only for the main character, but some of the supporting characters as well.

  29. Hans G.

    Great concept, terrible novel, awful narrator
    What disappointed you about The Last Policeman?

  30. Jere Jeltema

    Brilliant start to a new series!
    I am unsure where my initial review went but in short. This is worth the listen!
    The narrator, the plot etc is really well executed and if this is a genre you like then you will probably love this book.


  31. Rheba T.

    Interesting but very dark
    Where does The Last Policeman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  32. Linette Hect

    Fascinating premise
    A very clever premise – dedicated detective pursuing a murder case during the last days of life on earth. The murder mystery could have been better constructed…for me it was the protagonist’s interaction with others as the society crumbles around him that elevated this book beyond average.

  33. Maya Hofstra

    funny and exciting
    i really enjoyed this listen. It had some twists I was not expecting. I laughed out loud a couple of times by myself in the car.

  34. Loni Ferge

    Impressive beginning to the end….
    Another novel that was recommended to me by other readers, and thankfully so. ( I have learned to trust the judgement of others here! ) . Wow….what a beginning to what promises to be quite the series. Apocalyptic at it’s core, but a classis case of police investigation, it hints at many things under the surface, and to come.

    I recommend this highly.

  35. Antoinette Pals

    More police procedural than scifi
    More of a police procedural than a scifi novel, this book didn’t quite grab me until the very end, when there was a twist that convinced me I should continue on to read the next book in the series.

    [I listened to this as an audio book read by Peter Berkrot. I thought he sounded a bit older than the age of the main character, but other than that did a good job.]

  36. Lady Rider

    Fantabulous !!!
    Great read! Narrator is Peter Berkrot and he is amazing!! If it weren’t for Peter this book wouldn’t have been as amazing! What a great talent he has! You won’t be sorry folks!

  37. Edmund Mclucas

    Hoping for a bit more, but still a good time
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

  38. Silvano

    Great story with a new twist
    If you could sum up The Last Policeman in three words, what would they be?

  39. Jospeh Nazzaro

    Interesting, Addictive, Not Your Average Doomsayer
    Okay! Taking this audio book into the bathroom is not such a good idea. Your not going to finish the book and someone else is violently banging on the door, threatening you because, they are trying desperately to use the facilities too. Problem is, you’ve got 6 more hours on an 8 hour book and you don’t want to turn it off except for the insistent banging on door. But it’s worth it. I’m listening to it and all it’s all dark humor with a pretty good gumshoe story too. It’s definitely going to be one of those books among my revisits library.for later. Five Stars including the hokey narration.

  40. Adeline Poczobut

    Not what I was expecting
    You didn’t love this book… but did it have any redeeming qualities?

  41. Felton Reinhard

    Trilogy required?
    The Last Policeman has a really interesting premise, and I want to rate it higher, but I am sad to say that I was not particularly engaged in the mystery. It sounds like the whole trilogy needs to be read in order for the first book to truly be appreciated.

  42. Gia Brents

    Creative, Unique and Captivating
    What did you love best about The Last Policeman?

  43. Zenobia Hoisington

    The Title Says it All
    (sing with me …REM)
    “its the end of the world as we know it…”

    The comet is coming, the comet is coming!

    A newly-promoted Detective is not going to let a little thing like death and dying get in the way of his dreams, especially when he senses foul play.

  44. Erika Fisser

    I find this one hard to review
    I liked the idea of this book, there was nothing wrong with it, and I would read more books in this series. But I found it dull and slow in places. It worked with the impending doom and I liked the main character. I am unable to explain why I did not like it more.

  45. Alejandro Flatley

    Awesome premise
    An excellent story well performed. Part “end-of-the-world” novel, part noir mystery, this book delivers. The protagonist is an great character, consistently motivated and detailed. The supporting characters are equally interesting, and the mystery is a fun ride.

  46. Chester Dobrzykowski

    End of Days = career fast track
    The world as we know it is going to end in six months, thanks to a six kilometer-wide asteroid that’s on course to slam into the Earth. This sort of knowledge has a way of triggering civil unrest, economic collapse, suicides, religious cults, and people living out their fantasies while the getting’s still good, and these things are happening all over the world.

    However, in sleepy, unpretentious New Hampshire, people are mostly just trying to hang onto normalcy for as long as they can. For young detective, Hank Palace, promoted through the ranks after other officers “went bucket list”, the chaos of the last months offer an opportunity to live out his childhood dream of being a crime solver. When he discovers an apparent suicide, a dead accountant in a public restroom, his gut tells him that foul play is involved. Sure enough, his explorations into the man’s life begin to reveal some odd associations, as well as a mathematical obsession centered around the comet.

    Despite the book’s apocalyptic themes, there’s a lot of quirky humor, which reminded me of the movie Fargo. Hank’s obsession with getting to the bottom of the “murder” has a quality of nutty desperation to it at first, but as the book progresses, we begin to see that there may be existential purpose to his belief in law, order, and decency, even as the tides flow against him. Though anarchy and martial law are both on the rise, the last days of civilization might not be altogether without hope or meaning.

    When all is said and done, the crime mystery plot and its misdirections aren’t particularly mind-blowing or fresh, but were interesting enough to keep me listening. And a secondary mystery will no doubt figure into the two sequels. The characters, particularly Hank’s irresponsible younger sister, her Caucasian-dreadlocked dope of a husband, and a tough-as-nails medical examiner, are enjoyable, and I could easily see this novel becoming a TV show, as is rumored. Winters’s mix of mordant absurdity and sincerity is an appealing one. 3.5 stars.

  47. Whitney D.

    Engaging, and unique dystopian journey.
    I listened to this book for a book club and do not imagine that I would have found it otherwise. I enjoyed the story of a dystopian earth which had no science fiction elements. The story line was was very modern and realistic. What if a good man was a police officer during a global, societal melt down. How does he fare, does he fall apart or keep going. How will he cope while fabric of society unravels? I enjoyed observing his difficult journey. you retn

  48. Thi Carmona

    Strangely captivatingly bleak pre-apocalyptic tale
    Enjoyed this pretty bleak, but somewhat upbeat, detective story set to the back drop of the end of the world.

    Interesting allegory for the meaninglessness and/or intrinsic meaning of our every day actions/motivations. Kept me thinking about why we live our lives as I compared my motivations to that of he knowingly doomed.

    Enjoyable story, with interesting characters, and smooth writing.

  49. Sammie Micalizzi

    Fun hybrid story, very well told
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Policeman to be better than the print version?

  50. Gilberte Caronna

    Above or at Average
    Some great premises set in a pre-apocalyptic setting. However, the characters are generic. I wanted to like this because I loved the premise of a murder mystery set in a time when a meteor is destined to destroy earth. I just did not feel a connection with the characters.

    The narrator was good and did what he could with the material.

    I will read the next in the series in hopes that the trilogy will get better.

  51. Brady Turrey

    Staggeringly GREAT Concept!
    And so well executed.
    I love how well the mystery unwinds while Ben Winters fills in the blanks on how the End Times is affecting everyday life.
    The spoken word narrator nails the voices.
    This and Osama are probably the best books I’ve read this year.

  52. Lue Goodner

    Mike Hammer in Springfield
    What a fantastic concept. A ‘by the book’ cop in a town that runs like the Simpsons’ Springfield Police Dept. Add to that, a meteor, and you have “The Last Policeman”. I cannot explain what it is about this book. The brilliant narration by Peter Berkot, the clever humour,the gumshoe like feel. The apocalyptic circumstances. Whatever it is, I cannot seem to get enough. In fact, prior to completing this one, I bought the other two. Not looking forward to the ‘end’ of Det. Hank Palace. But it sure will be fun getting there.

  53. Buck Amero

    good idea, somewhat lifeless implementation
    Apocalyptic novels usually follow similar schemes, this one is no true exception, but it is not the everyday story too. I liked the beginning most which basically focus on the pre-apocalyptic situation. Then it puts the focus on the detective story bit which is good, but not exciting, from here on the plot significantly – and astonishingly – lost much pace for me. The ending / solution was an ending but nothing else. All in all: I will not continue with this series.
    Narration was OK.

  54. Rosie Vandevelde

    Good story
    very good story. I like the looming meteorite tearing apart Civil Society while the investigator looks into a common murder investigation.

  55. Clemmie Olivos

    Dumbest Policeman
    Narration was great, but the main character is incredibly dense. The apocalyptic background, while interesting and great for tone setting, by the end feels like a distraction from a weak detective story.

  56. Jonathon Masenten

    Exellent Pre-Apocalyptic Novel!
    What did you love best about The Last Policeman?

  57. Arron Minihan

    Such a fun listen!
    I usually shy away from reads that, as an idea, seem intriguing, but in the end (or before) it is poorly executed. Not the case with this book. Loved every minute of it and the narrator was awesome.

  58. James

    An overall good read.
    Would you try another book from Ben H. Winters and/or Peter Berkrot?

  59. Louisa K.

    Southern drawl narrating story about New England people
    Grating narration of a weird story. Glad when it ended. Made a long car ride seem even longer.

  60. Alona Oms

    Amazing Storytelling.
    Where does The Last Policeman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

  61. Kim

    Good book
    What made the experience of listening to The Last Policeman the most enjoyable?

  62. Damian Wallo

    Excellent book with an interesting premise
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

  63. Shira Casagranda

    Interesting and melancholy; narrator a bit too old
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Policeman to be better than the print version?

  64. Allan Surano

    the Narrator doesn’t do it for me
    overall i enjoyed the story. the Narrator has a breathy agressive way of delivering this story that i personally did not enjoy the WHOLE time. it has it’s place but the main character was like this the entire time. i just wish the Narrator changed it up a bit. just felt like EVERYTHING was the most important which made the important parts less.

    overall I enjoyed this listen

  65. Tim Ward

    very good crime post-apoc mashup
    The Last Policeman was a clever mashup of post-apocalyptic chaos in the calm but mysterious path of a detective who chooses doing what he does best while the rest of the world waits to die. From the first page to the end, Ben H. Winters proved to be an author I’ll keep on my short list for stories that are easy to enjoy, have more than meets the eye, and deliver on mystery, humor and emotion. I love post-apocalyptic stories, and this story hit that sweet spot, though in a bit different way than the zombie or alien invasions I normally read.

    I enjoyed it all the way to the end, and while I’ll keep going with the series, my only criticism is that I wasn’t blown away by the mystery revelation. I didn’t predict the ending, but when the big bad was revealed and the conclusion on display, I was a little disappointed.

    In this story, we have a detective who persists after a suicide he believes was a murder while suicides are rampant, this suicide appears cut and dry and everyone else is wondering why he cares. There is only a few months left before the asteroid hits, and yet he refuses to be like those who focus inwardly and pursue self gratification. I liked that about him. I would like to think I’d do the same thing, so I rooted for him, both in his pursuit of the possible murderer and motive as well as in the development of his last chance at love.

    I listened to the audiobook version and really enjoyed the narrator. The writing is tight and the characters engaging. The plot is strong enough to keep it tense and provide moments of humor and emotion for an enjoyable balance of entertainment. I’m curious about how this becomes a series after what seems like a straightforward stand-alone novel. I will continue in the series, but I didn’t have to move on to book two right away.

  66. Sherron B.

    End of The World stoy powered by quiet desperation
    The world is ending. Everyone will be dead soon. Everyone knows that. Everyone reacts to it differently.

    Hank Palace, recently promoted to his dream job of homicide detective, decides to carry on investigating murders. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that it never occurs to him to stop.

    His focus, his need to follow the rules, his quiet persistence in his task, affects the people around him, making them uncomfortable, or bemused, or sometimes even hopeful.

    This is not a Summer Blockbuster Movie “end of the world” novel. There are no aliens, or zombies. Our hero is not trying to save the world in the next 48 Hours. He’s not even trying to save himself. He just wants to do his job as well as he can.

    Actually, Palace doesn’t have much of a life to save. He’s a loner and a misfit. Not the charismatic kind that you find in buddy-cop movies, but the slightly embarrassing to notice kind of loner that people avoid either because that kind of isolation might be contagious, or because of an Uncanny Valley Effect that says that, although Hank looks normal, there’s something a little off about him that’s hard to take.

    On the surface, nothing much happens in this book. There is a murder and a mystery, actually more than one mystery, and love and betrayal and lots and lots of deaths but the book feels almost horrifyingly tranquil.

    Ben Winters’ writing is first-rate: economical, precise and quietly clever. Peter Berkrot’s narration in the audiobook amplifies this by being undramatic without being flat or dull.

    When I first finished the book a couple of months ago, I gave it a three star rating on goodreads.com but I couldn’t bring myself to write a review. I felt as if I’d finished the book but it hadn’t finished with me.

    I found my mind returning to it over the following weeks and slowly articulated to myself why the book wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s because, without the intervention of an asteroid, everyone’s world is ending. We will all be dead relatively soon (I’m fifty-seven, neither of my parents made it past sixty-nine, death’s wingéd chariot is starting to tailgate me). We all know it. We all react to it differently. All that Winters’ changed in his novel is that everyone is going to die at more or less the same time.

    The strongest message I got from his book is that most of us get through the day because we believe there will be an infinite number of tomorrows, or at least too many to have to worry yet, and if we do get that “any day now” warning, we know that the world, and the people we care about, will go on. Which makes what happens to us today, bearable. Which takes away the need to think about why I spent today on a train for four hours to spend tomorrow in meeting with people I don’t know so I can make the same journey back tomorrow night.

    I’m an Atheist by conviction. I believe that done is done. I know I’m going to die. I don’t believe there will be an accounting. No reward. No punishment. No anything. I thought I understood what that meant but I think I was still holding out on myself until I read Winters’ book.

    The people around Palace are making choices. Some of them are pursuing bucket-lists like the activities still matter to them, like goals have any meaning any more. Some are losing themselves in drink or drugs or sex or all three. Some of them are just lost, shocked, adrift, almost dead already. A few, a very few, carry on doing the things they love: making the perfect cup of coffee, or doing what it takes to solve a murder. I realize that I and the people around me, all of us, are acting out these reactions to our impending ending everyday, we just make ourselves forget about it.

    Ben Winters’ has taken all this “normal” getting-through-the-day behaviour and put it in a setting that makes it problematic, thereby making our seen-but-too-familiar to be noticed reactions visible.

    This is what was unsettling me about the book: it was giving me a lens to see that, in many ways, the end of the world really is nigh and I’m plodding on like I don’t have a choice.

    Anyway, I’ve upgraded my goodreads rating to four stars, bought “Countdown City”, book two of the trilogy and I’ve written this review to exorcise my discomfort.

    If you’re in the mood for some uncanny reality, give “The Last Policeman” a try.

  67. Myrle Malabanan

    a light and entertaining listen
    If you knew an asteroid was going to end life as we know it, what would you do during those last six months?

    For rookie detective Hank Palace, it really is no conundrum at all. You diligently keep working at your job. Hank is living his dream. He’s finally a detective. His lifelong ambition. When an insurance adjuster is found hanged at a local fast food restaurant, everybody is quick to put this down as just another suicide. With the end near, these have significantly increased after all. But Hank isn’t convinced and starts investigating.

    The mystery aspect of the story was pretty average. I admit I reacted like the majority of characters in this book and didn’t actually care very much about the victim’s fate. But I enjoyed Hank’s interactions with his colleagues, his family and the people he met during his investigation. It was really the pre-apocalyptic setting and its effect on people’s behavior that made this story interesting.

    This is the first book in a trilogy and I remained undecided whether or not to pick up the next book until pretty much close to the end where an interesting little twist intrigued me enough to add the second book to be listened to at some stage.

    On the whole, I enjoyed Peter Berkrot’s narration. Character voices were distinct, none of them sounded shrill, and the narration was delivered in a clear and pleasant manner that was easy to follow. The story is told from the first-person perspective of the main character, Detective Hank Palace, who unfortunately came across as rather juvenile. Not sure how much of that was down to the narrator’s choice of portraying him with this slightly sarcastic, self-deprecating tone and how much was down to the author creating this vaguely wacky character. I’m still on the fence whether I actually liked him or not. At times I thought he was funny and compassionate, at other times I found him annoyingly naive as well as rather ignorant towards other people’s priorities considering everybody has only six months left. It will be interesting to see how Ben H. Winters develops his protagonist in Countdown City, book two of the series.

    There were no problems with the quality of the production.

    Overall, a light and entertaining listen with a cast of quirky characters in an unusual and intriguing setting.

    Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR

    Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

    [If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

  68. Bobbie K.

    Interesting Mystery in a Uniqy Societal Context
    This is the first book in a trilogy, and it has an interesting premise; Detective Hank Palace is trying to solve a murder, that may not be a murder, in a society that has changed due to an upcoming asteroid collision with Earth. I thought I knew what would happen, but the ending had a twist that was a surprise to me. I enjoyed this murder mystery in this unique societal context and am planning to finish the trilogy.

  69. Lawrence Adames

    not bad listened to in one sitting
    Any additional comments?

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