The Last Policeman

There are many stories that feature a race against the clock. If the killer isn’t found by the stroke of midnight, he’ll never be caught, or he’ll strike again, or any other number of endings that result in the killer never being brought to justice.

In The Last Policeman, by Ben H. Winters, there’s a time limit. If the killer isn’t caught in six months, the world will end. Of course, the world will end anyway.

Scientists have discovered a gigantic meteor in space, several kilometers across that is on a collision course with Earth. There’s mass rioting, looting, panic, mayhem, and suicides, many suicides.

While some people quit work to go do the things they want to do with their last few months, others go on about their day-to-day existence.

One of the day-to-dayers is newly promoted detective Henry Palace. Palace is one of the last few cops who still shows up to work every day.

He’s tackling a case that everyone is telling him he’s crazy to even pursue. Everyone’s going to die in six months, so why take the time and effort to solve a murder? A murder that everyone else believes is just another suicide here in Hanger Town.

Winters expertly describes a world that just doesn’t care anymore. People kill themselves left and right, every crime is punishable by death, if only because the suspect will be locked up when the meteor crashes.

The first book in a trilogy, The Last Policeman drops hints about the future of this doomed world and its end. I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

Over the four days it took me to read this book, I never put it down. Whenever I had to go somewhere, TLP went with me. The last day I read it, I clocked over a hundred pages, most of it in a single hour.


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