Published on July 7th, 2012 | by Greg0
The Last Policeman: A Pre-Apocalyptic Novel
Imagine that the world was going to end. And everyone knew it. What would happen? Plenty of books discuss what comes afterwards- zombies or peak oil or even the world spinning more slowly- but not many talk about what might happen to society if we see the end in sight. The world is six months from the impact of an asteroid, and the unraveling has begun. Take a fairly classic noir police / detective story, and set it against the backdrop, and you’ve got a good sense of today’s title.
The Last Policeman comes out in a few days (Quirk Books, 288 pages, paperback), and it’s worth a read. Author Ben Winters paints a decent picture, and moves things along, all the while keeping you guessing. Is it a vast conspiracy, tipped off by what looks like “just another suicide”? What pieces don’t fit? Does it even matter?
Without giving anything away, we can safely say that the ending will disappoint some people, and maybe that’s the way it has to be. You should know, going in, that this book is the first in a planned trilogy. The characters aren’t particularly interesting- well-drawn, they are nonetheless pretty archetypical. But there is plenty of comedy to be found, in every shade from light to very, grimly dark. And it’s all well thought-through, with a clever eye for details, even if the machinations and scope don’t quite match the vision.
A light beach read? Perhaps not. But solid, involving, and even moving nonetheless. Available shortly, for around $10!