Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Countdown City

When I came across Countdown City: The Last Policeman Book 2 on the shelf at my local bookseller I snatched it right up, having read and enjoyed book 1. This soon-to-be trilogy is written by Ben H. Winters. It takes place in an apocalyptic world but the storyline is a mystery, and the mystery section is where they are shelved. This one is every bit as enjoyable as the last, and I look forward to reading the 3rd one as soon as it comes out.

The policeman of the title has a bichon frise named Houdini that used to belong to a drug dealer. I love that as a plot element, and the dog shows up at several different points along the way.

At one point the policeman walks counterclockwise around a building, and I thought that he was lucky this wasn't a fantasy book, as no good can come of walking widdershins around a building in a fantasy story.

from the back of the book:
There are just 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank Palace is out of a job. With the Concord police force operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank's days of solving crimes are over -until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.

Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace -an easy feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone's gone "bucket list" or just gone. With society falling to shambles, Hank pieces together what few clues he can, on a search that leads him from a college-campus-turned-anarchist-encampment to a crumbling coastal landscape where anti-immigrant militia fend off "impact zone" refugees.

The second novel in the Last Policeman trilogy, Countdown City presents a fascinating mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse -and once again, Hank Palace confronts questions way beyond "whodunit." What do we as human beings owe to one another? And what does it mean to be civilized when civilization is collapsing all around you?
Amazing Stories Magazine closes with this:
These are philosophical novels, books that examine why we do the things we do, and how we derive meaning, even in the face of certain death (which, of course, awaits us all, just not usually from an asteroid). These are moral novels, books that ask what it is that we owe each other, how much our word is worth, and how long we are bound by the promises we make. And whether the world is ending in 77 days or 7,000,000 years, aren’t these some of the most important questions literature can ask of us?
Kirkus Reviews has a plot summary.


  1. Ok, that did it. I just bought the first novel in this series - it has been on my wish list, probably because you wrote about it before. I´m looking forward to it!

    1. i'm looking forward to the last one. i've enjoyed the whole idea of these.