Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters

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

Hank Palace, a homicide detective in Concord, New Hampshire, asks this question every day.

Most people have stopped doing whatever it is they did before the asteroid 2011L47J hovered into view. Stopped selling real estate; stopped working at hospitals; stopped slinging hash or driving cabs or trading high-yield securities. A lot of folks spend their days on bended knee, praying to Jesus or Allah or whoever they think might save them. Others have gone the other way, roaming the streets, enjoying what pleasures they can before the grand finale. Government services are beginning to slip into disarray, crops are left to rot.

When it first appeared, 2011L47J was just a speck, somewhere beyond Jupiter's orbit. By mid-October it revealed itself to be seven kilometers in diameter, and on a crash course with the Earth. Now it's March, and sometime in September, 2011L47J will slam into our planet and kill half the population immediately, and most of the rest in the miserable decades that follow.

All of humanity now, every person in the world--we're like a bunch of little kids, in deep, deep trouble, just waiting till our dad gets home. So what do I do while I wait? I work.

Today, Hank Palace is working the case of Peter Zell, an insurance man who has committed suicide. To his fellow police officers, it's just one more death-by-hanging in a city that sees a dozen of suicides every week. But Palace senses something wrong. There's something odd about the crime scene. Something off. Palace becomes convinced that it's murder. And he's the only one who cares.

What's the difference, Palace? We're all gonna die soon, anyway.

As Palace digs deeper, we are drawn into his world. We meet his sister Nico and her screwup boyfriend, Derek, who are trying to beam S.O.S messages into outer space; we meet Erik Littlejohn, a "spiritual advisor" helping his clients through these difficult times. Palace's investigation plays out under the long shadow of 2011L47J, forcing everyone in the book -- and those reading it-- to confront hard questions way beyond "whodunnit." 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?

So, this is totally not a type of book that I usually read (future set, world ending etc..) but it was about a policeman, and well, I like a mystery and it sounded interesting.

Detective Palace has got to be the WEIRDEST policeman ever.  He is very into doing the right thing, very into procedure and doing his job until the very last minute.  He's not a really good detective either, but he's learning.  He just does his job because that is what you do.  You can tell he is a very loyal, honest and hardworking man.

I thought the book was interesting.  The case solving stuff, didn't fascinate me as much as the world ending stuff.  How oil stopped being pumped, people quitting their jobs to have fun, restaurant franchises disbanding, running cars on vegetable oil, that stuff intrigued me.  And, I am not a omggg the world is ending type of girl. ;)  Now, my co-workers husband, he'd probably be all up on this conspiracy, since he is convinced the world is ending in December.  Weirdo.

It was kind of slow moving for me and I will admit that a few times, I skipped over Palace's thoughts on his crime solving, but like I said, the world ending stuff was good.  It was interesting to learn about the reasons some people stayed on the normal path of their life, while others ditched responsibility and went for fun.

It's also the first in a trilogy, which kind of surprises me giving how this one ended.  However, the world is supposed to end in October and this book ends in April, so plenty of months to still talk about! ;)

You can catch a trailer for the book here:

Sorry, I had to link because apparently, I have technical difficulties!

If you knew the world was ending in 6 months, would you continue on your day to day routine or would you live it up?

I received this book from Quirk Books, all thoughts and opinions are my own!

No comments: