Stuff in the ‘Police Procedural’ Category

6 August, 2013

Read of the Week: COUNTDOWN CITY, Ben H. Winters

The Last Policeman received the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original–along with plenty of glowing reviews.  9781594746260_p0_v2_s260x420Now Detective Hank Palace returns in Countdown City, the second volume of the Last Policeman trilogy. There are just 77 days before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective 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.

Countdown City presents another fascinating mystery set on 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?

“Winters is a deft storyteller who moves his novel effortlessly from its intriguing setup to a thrilling, shattering conclusion.”—Los Angeles Review of Books

“…gripping…”—The Free Lance-Star“… Winters’s work shines.”—Locus“Don’t miss this series!”—Sci Fi magazine

“As with the first Hank Palace novel (this is volume 2 of a projected trilogy), the mystery element is strong, and the strange, preapocalyptic world is highly imaginative and also very plausible—it’s easy to think that the impending end of the world might feel very much like this. Genre mash-up master Winters is at it again.”—Booklist


25 May, 2012

THE LAST POLICEMAN Starred Review in Kirkus!

We’re so excited to see that Kirkus has given a much-coveted starred review to THE LAST POLICEMAN, the first in a planned fiction trilogy by Ben H. Winters from the brilliant and innovative publisher, Quirk Books (distributed by Random House).  We know this is just the first of many good reviews for this incredibly talented writer.  Congratulations, Ben!  The book pubs June 1.

In a pre-apocalyptic world, one detective still keeps watch—but to what end?

The impending impact of asteroid 2011GV1, unaffectionately known as Maia, has given life on Earth only six more months. It’s turned Concord, N.H., into a “hanger town,” a reference to the suicide preference of locals. Rookie Detective Hank Palace is determined to stay on top of his caseload even though many of his old colleagues seem to have cashed in and are bucket-listing it from now on. Enter Peter Zell, or rather exit Peter, whose death is Palace’s latest case. Any other cop would have let this apparent suicide go, but Palace is determined to do his duty when he senses something suspicious about the circumstances. Added to this is Palace’s mess of a little sister, Nico, who knows that Palace may be the only one with the cop chops to track down her missing husband. What’s more interesting than the mystery surrounding Zell’s death is Winters’ vision of a pre-apocalyptic world, one where laws are both absolute and irrelevant and even minor players have major control over what could be a new future. The imminent end of the world doesn’t mean that everyone has shown their hands—just that there’s a lot more at stake if they lose.

A promising kickoff to a planned trilogy. For Winters (Bedbugs, 2011, etc.), the beauty is in the details rather than the plot’s grim main thrust.