Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Last Policeman (by Ben H. Winters)

The Last Policeman trilogy is a series I've seen recommended in many an Ask Metafilter thread. With the current state of politics, I decided to take a bit of a break from obsessively reading Facebook and Daily Kos and Hillary HQ and 538, and dive into some apocalyptic detective fiction.

The premise of the series is that humanity has just found out an asteroid is going to collide with earth in six months, wiping out most life on earth and ushering in a period of ash in the air and food chain extinction for the survivors. In terms of the apocalypse, it's basically a prequel to The Road.  

In the meantime, we have conscientious cop Henry Palace, who believes there is still value in methodically investigating a murder even when he's not certain it actually is a murder, and everyone on earth is doomed anyway.

The two most enjoyable elements of this very enjoyable book are the character of Henry Palace and the slow worldbuilding of this pre-apocalyptic New England (the novel is set in Massachusetts).  I love how society slowly disintegrates in the background as the investigation continues, and I love Henry's narration and his slightly naive, forthright way of dealing with the world.

Luckily, there are two more books in the trilogy for me to get through. Maybe by that time, the real-life apocalypse will have been averted.

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