“Extraordinary—as well as brilliant, surprising, and, considering the circumstances, oddly uplifting.” —Mystery Scene Magazine on The Last Policeman
There are just 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank’s days of solving crimes are over—until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.
Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace—an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone “bucket list” or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off “impact zone” refugees.
The second novel in the Last Policeman trilogy, Countdown City presents a fascinating mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse—and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond “whodunit.” What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?
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Ben H. Winters won an Edgar Award for his previous novel, The Last Policeman. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.Review:
“I always appreciate novels that have new and interesting approaches to traditional genres, and Ben H. Winters’ two novels featuring Hank Palace fill the bill.”—Nancy Pearl, NPR
“Winters is brilliant in conveying the ways in which people look for their best impulses but often end up as the victims of other people’s most base instincts.”—Toronto Star
“Don’t miss this series!”—Sci Fi Magazine
“Winters is a deft storyteller who moves his novel effortlessly from its intriguing setup to a thrilling, shattering conclusion.”—Los Angeles Review of Books
“One of the best mysteries I’ve read in such a long time.”—Nancy Pearl, KUOW
“Winters’s work shines.”—Locus
“The ‘don’t lose hope’ ending is slam bang, setting us up for the ‘final-final’ installment.”—Florida Times-Union
“A precise, calendar-driven doom casts a shadow over the series, a planet-killer asteroid that the Earth can’t duck, making this an existential policier.”—The Sunbreak
“A thrilling and contagious read.”—Fayetteville Flyer
“Gripping.”—The Free Lance-Star
“As with the first Hank Palace novel (this is volume 2 of a projected trilogy), the mystery element is strong, and the strange, preapocalyptic world is highly imaginative and also very plausible—it’s easy to think that the impending end of the world might feel very much like this. Genre mash-up master Winters is at it again.”—Booklist
“Through it all Palace remains a likeable hero for end times.”—PublishersWeekly.com
Praise for The Last Policeman
“A genre-defying blend of crime writing and science fiction.” –Alexandra Alter, The New York Times
“The Last Policeman books offer an appealing hybrid of the best of science fiction and crime fiction.”—The Washington Post
“In his acclaimed Last Policeman trilogy, Masters showed off his mastery of edgy, sardonic wit — there’s nothing like an asteroid speeding toward Earth to bring out the black humor in people.”—Newsday
“Sharp, funny, and deeply wise.”—Slate.com
“I’m in the middle of it and can’t put the dang thing down.”—USA Today’s Pop Candy
“Ben Winters makes noir mystery even darker: his latest novel sets a despondent detective on a suspicious suicide case—while an asteroid hurtles toward earth.”—Wired.com
“In his Last Policeman trilogy, for which he won both the Edgar Award and the Philip K. Dick Award, Winters took a standard science fiction trope — the final months before an asteroid slams into Earth — and mixed it with some of the conventions of the detective novel, imbuing his apocalyptic scenario with an extra measure of urgency and poignancy.”—The San Francisco Chronicle
“Winters’s writing is funny, surprisingly tender, and thoroughly human.”—Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
“Winters constructs a sturdy, functional, entertaining page-turner.”—Greg Cook, WBUR.org
“I’m eager to read the other books, and expect that they’ll keep me as enthralled as the first one did.”—Mark Frauenfedler, Boing Boing
“Normally, only Stephen King and Dean Koontz can suck me into a book and not release their stranglehold until I, exhausted from lack of sleep, have turned the last page. Now [Ben Winters] has joined their ranks...The Last Policeman is extraordinary—as well as brilliant, surprising, and, considering the circumstances, oddly uplifting.”—Mystery Scene
“The Last Policeman succeeds both as a mystery, with a quirky detective and an intriguing whodunit, and as a piece of apocalyptic speculative fiction. That’s good news. The even better news is that this novel is supposed to be the first of a planned trilogy, with each case occurring closer to the moment when, as Henry repeatedly notes, ‘Bam!’ And that is something we can anticipate with a good feeling.”—Sacramento News & Review
“Full of compelling twists, likable characters, and a sad beauty, The Last Policeman is a gem.”—San Francisco Book Review
“The best genre fiction holds a mirror up to society while also providing edge-of-the-seat excitement, and The Last Policeman did that and more.”—Las Vegas City Life
“This is a book that asks big questions about civilization, community, desperation and hope.”—io9.com
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