Reviews for Last Policeman


Booklist Reviews 2012 July #1
Postapocalyptic novels are a dime a dozen, but how many good preapocalyptic novels can you name? Set six months before an asteroid will smash into Earth, this one definitely qualifies. Surprisingly, despite the premise, it is essentially a mystery. Hank Palace hasn't been a detective very long, but one thing he's learned is that when someone is murdered, the guilty party should be brought to justice. But first Hank has to convince his superiors that the man found hanging in a public washroom wasn't a suicide (which, of late, has become a pretty popular means of escaping the imminent destruction of the world). The story could easily have been played as a comedy--Winters, author of the mash-up Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, would have had no trouble there--but, instead, it's a solidly plotted whodunit with strong characters and excellent dialogue. But the impending apocalypse isn't merely window dressing, either: it's a key piece of the puzzle Hank is trying to solve. This memorable tale is the first of a planned trilogy. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 June #1
In a pre-apocalyptic world, one detective still keeps watch--but to what end? The impending impact of asteroid 2011GV1, unaffectionately known as Maia, has given life on Earth only six more months. It's turned Concord, N.H., into a "hanger town," a reference to the suicide preference of locals. Rookie Detective Hank Palace is determined to stay on top of his caseload even though many of his old colleagues seem to have cashed in and are bucket-listing it from now on. Enter Peter Zell, or rather exit Peter, whose death is Palace's latest case. Any other cop would have let this apparent suicide go, but Palace is determined to do his duty when he senses something suspicious about the circumstances. Added to this is Palace's mess of a little sister, Nico, who knows that Palace may be the only one with the cop chops to track down her missing husband. What's more interesting than the mystery surrounding Zell's death is Winters' vision of a pre-apocalyptic world, one where laws are both absolute and irrelevant and even minor players have major control over what could be a new future. The imminent end of the world doesn't mean that everyone has shown their hands--just that there's a lot more at stake if they lose. A promising kickoff to a planned trilogy. For Winters (Bedbugs, 2011, etc.), the beauty is in the details rather than the plot's grim main thrust. Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Library Journal Reviews 2012 July #1

Newly promoted Concord, NH, detective Hank Palace is investigating a suspicious death that may be a murder or might be part of an epidemic of suicides. Both the promotion and the suicides are rooted in the fact that an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and will destroy all life in a few months. Palace faces indifference from many of his colleagues who don't see the point of solving one death when everyone is under the same sentence. Winters (Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters) has crafted a compelling mystery with surprising twists and turns, but more impressively he has created a world slowly collapsing under the prospect of its imminent demise. The responses of individuals, institutions, and governments to the threat from the sky are all considered in the context of Palace's murder investigation. VERDICT This thought-provoking mystery should appeal to crime fiction aficionados who like an unusual setting and readers looking for a fresh take on apocalypse stories.--Dan Forrest, Western Kentucky Univ. Libs., Bowling Green

[Page 63]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #2

An apocalyptic premise and a knotty murder mystery collide in the first title of a planned trilogy from Edgar Award-nominee Winters (Bedbugs). Considering there's an enormous asteroid (nicknamed Maia) on course to destroy earth within six months, suicide by hanging has become the preferred way for many to bow out before the party's over. But when insurance man Peter Zell is found hung inside a McDonald's men's room stall in Concord, New Hampshire, his neck through an upmarket belt, something about the scene makes detective Hank Palace suspect murder. A young, idealistic, by-the-book cop and a no-nonsense narrator, Palace sets out to find Zell's killer and bring about justice one final time--even if it's literally the last thing he does. Winters' bleak vision of a pre-apocalyptic society is laced with malice, unrest, and indifference. The economy spirals out of control, workers ignore their jobs, and Palace's colleagues on Concord's gutted police force urge him to drop the case and stop caring so much. But Palace refuses to let the future control his present, emerging as a likeable hero of the end times. A divergent subplot involving Palace's ex-girlfriend, his sister, and her radical conspiracy-theorist husband slows down the story, though its inclusion may be featured more prominently in the sequels. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

An apocalyptic premise and a knotty murder mystery collide in the first title of a planned trilogy from Edgar Award-nominee Winters (Bedbugs). Considering there's an enormous asteroid (nicknamed Maia) on course to destroy earth within six months, suicide by hanging has become the preferred way for many to bow out before the party's over. But when insurance man Peter Zell is found hung inside a McDonald's men's room stall in Concord, New Hampshire, his neck through an upmarket belt, something about the scene makes detective Hank Palace suspect murder. A young, idealistic, by-the-book cop and a no-nonsense narrator, Palace sets out to find Zell's killer and bring about justice one final time--even if it's literally the last thing he does. Winters' bleak vision of a pre-apocalyptic society is laced with malice, unrest, and indifference. The economy spirals out of control, workers ignore their jobs, and Palace's colleagues on Concord's gutted police force urge him to drop the case and stop caring so much. But Palace refuses to let the future control his present, emerging as a likeable hero of the end times. A divergent subplot involving Palace's ex-girlfriend, his sister, and her radical conspiracy-theorist husband slows down the story, though its inclusion may be featured more prominently in the sequels. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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