The Summary: 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.
The Review: The cover initially drew me in, but it wasn’t until my mom tossed this book at me and told me to read the back, in her words “It’s a Shelly book”. From the first sentence of the premise I was hooked. I’ve been on such a big post-apocalyptic/pre-apocalyptic kick right now that I read this in a matter of hours. It’s a great mystery story, walking the line between obsession and the pull of duty, Palace is determined to find the person who got away with murder. Palace is a wonderful character, one who sticks to his guns and doesn’t waiver despite the world literally crawling closer to destruction. His narrative drives the book, and it’s a voice I really like. A bit dry, very sarcastic and just something that one day I hope to write.
It’s an interesting read. I love how characters respond to the news of the asteroid coming closer, and the frenzy fueled paranoia to complete a bucket list, or to just up and leave all responsibility. Societies paranoia and reaction to the asteroid become characters as much as Palace and the other members of the police force. This book is gritty and raw, and stark. It feels so incredibly real and it’s something that is still bouncing around in my head. I’m searching for the second book. I really should have picked them up together, because it really is a “Shelly Book”.
This is a book that left me stunned, even at the end when a few new plot points were introduced. Winters has created a story and a world that I’m jealous of, and it makes me wish I had thought of it first. This is a book that motivates me to write, and I’m really glad I picked it up.