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Review: The Last Policeman

September 28, 2012

Scientists have determined that the world will end in six months when a giant asteroid collides with the Earth.  Many people have stopped going to work and paying their bills, choosing to spend their last days only doing things they enjoy.  Others have decided to end their lives before the asteroid does.  Most police officers only pursue the worst criminals since others probably wouldn’t even be tried before the world ends.  When a man is found hanged at McDonald’s most of the police assume it’s a suicide, but something doesn’t sit right with Detective Hank Palace and he decides to pursue the case.

I enjoyed Bedbugs by Ben H. Winters, so I was anxious to read his latest book, The Last Policeman.  I thought a dystopian mystery sounded quite interesting – I did enjoy it, but have to say that at it’s core, it’s really just a mystery.  I thought the dystopia aspect would add an interesting twist, but I never felt the urgency or panic I expected to.  In fact, I found it hard to believe that people really accepted the scientists’ predictions completely.  (I will admit that I did think about what I would do if I knew without a doubt that the world would end in six months.)

The mystery aspect of the book is solid and fast paced.  It kept me turning the pages and I wasn’t able to solve the mystery before the detective did.  I was fully engaged in the mystery the whole time.   Since the focus is on the mystery there wasn’t a lot of character development, but there was enough to understand the motivations of the killer and the detective.

The Last Policeman wasn’t the best mystery I’ve ever read, but it’s definitely a good one.  I’d recommend it to mystery lovers, especially those who don’t like them to be too graphic.

Review copy provided by Quirk Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
22 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2012 6:53 am

    Interesting premise — now you have me wondering what I’d do if I knew for sure the world would end.

  2. September 28, 2012 7:10 am

    I read quite a few reviews on this one and i almost bought it, but then thought, I have way too much to read, so it went on the back burner. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kathy.

  3. September 28, 2012 8:14 am

    The dystopia aspect of the summary is what caught my attention, so you saying that it’s not so much of a dystopian mystery makes me less interested. Oh well!

  4. September 28, 2012 9:43 am

    I enjoyed Bedbugs, but I’m not sure this one sounds that interesting – so I’m going to pass on reading it. I liked the dystopian aspect of it, but from what you wrote that part was pretty lacking. Oh well. Thanks for the honest review 😉

  5. September 28, 2012 9:51 am

    That’s funny – I didn’t like the mystery part much, but I liked the dystopia part!

  6. September 28, 2012 10:08 am

    I probably liked it more than you did. Although definitely not science fiction or dystopian, I thought the setting gave us a nice twist on the standard detective novel… solving a crime when no one seems to care. And since there’s a sequel in the works, we may see a little more world building and maybe some of that urgency that was missing from this book.

  7. Elizabeth A. White permalink
    September 28, 2012 10:19 am

    Nice review. I love the premise, and will definitely be checking this one out.

  8. September 28, 2012 11:02 am

    Good premise, and I would pick it up because of the dystopian elements. Intriguing idea for a trilogy.

  9. September 28, 2012 12:48 pm

    They “end of the world” aspect of the story would appeal to me more than the mystery. It’s too bad it wasn’t more focused on that, because I love the kind of “what if” situations and thinking that arise in those sorts of stories.

  10. September 28, 2012 1:18 pm

    Sounds like a good mystery! Thanks for another terrific review (how do you read so many books?!).

  11. September 28, 2012 3:47 pm

    The “end of the world” aspect would draw me to this book even if it wasn’t a mystery, which is my favorite genre. Sounds like a winner to me!!

  12. bookingmama permalink
    September 28, 2012 3:47 pm

    It does sound like a unique premise despite being a little unbelievable.

  13. September 28, 2012 4:27 pm

    Sound fascinating! I totally want to get it — annoyingly, I can’t find it or the author in GoodReads.

  14. Patty permalink
    September 28, 2012 4:28 pm

    i love your review…and I think I want to read this…soon…lol…

  15. September 29, 2012 7:53 am

    I have Bedbugs on Mt TBR. This one sounds good 🙂

  16. September 29, 2012 6:48 pm

    I’m the opposite of the other commenters – I’m intrigued by the mystery, but not crazy about the dystopian theme. Too scary!

  17. September 30, 2012 9:35 am

    I have this one on my stack of summer books that I still want to finish this year. I didn’t read Bedbugs so this will be my first time reading this author. Thinking of the world ending is scary to me!

  18. September 30, 2012 7:08 pm

    You’d think there would be more of a urgency if there were only six months left. Too bad the dystopian aspect of the story wasn’t better executed.

  19. October 1, 2012 12:18 am

    I was on the fence on this one for awhile but then decided I needed to add it to my wish list. Not a dystopia fan but the whole concept with the mystery concept sounds unique.

  20. October 1, 2012 8:28 pm

    I have no idea what I would do if I knew for sure the world would end in 6 months. That sounds like the focus of the story … not the mystery! : )

  21. October 1, 2012 10:59 pm

    Sorry you didn’t llike this one as much as i did. For me, I was happy to see the dystopian aspect used as more of a backdrop for the mystery.

  22. October 7, 2012 7:24 am

    Too bad you didn’t find this one fantastic, but it still sounds like a book I would enjoy.

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