The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters

You know, I'm usually a little ambivalent every time I see the words 'a novel' on the cover of a book - it's one of those little things where I wonder if publishers and authors realise quite how pretentious it comes across. Dude, I know it's a novel, it has pages and a cover so I didn't think it was an aubergine.

 

Anyway, enough about that and on to The Last Policeman, which has been on my TBR list for a while (though, once again, I don't know who to thank/blame for it) and my local library system obligingly coughed up a copy for me. It's apparently the first book of a trilogy and while my library does not also have copies of books 2 and 3, I find myself not particularly bothered by this lack.

 

The Last Policeman has an interesting enough premise to get you going with it: when we first meet our protagonist, Henry Palace, the world is about 6 months away from an extinction-level event which is going to be caused by a meteorite slamming into the planet at an as-yet-undetermined location. Regardless of where it strikes, the world is in for a bad time with dust clouds and tsunamis and so on, and this has understandably affected how people behave. Palace has just been made a detective even though he's relatively new to the police, since a bunch of folks have gone off to 'Bucket List' before the end comes, but to be honest nobody is particularly investigating anything because what's the point?

 

Palace gets called to what at first appears to be a random suicide (one of many) but gets an inkling that it's not quite what it appears and refuses to stop considering it a murder until proved otherwise. Naturally, since he's a detective, Palace has the requisite Troubled Past and there's also a woman he gets involved with and, to be perfectly honest I'm not completely sure why I didn't stop part-way through. The whole murder investigation is significantly less interesting than looking at how things might pan out and also how people behave knowing that the end of the world is coming.

 

So, not awful but not something I'm going to want to read again, and no interest in books 2 and 3.