The Last Policeman - Ben H. Winters

 "I had to kill her.”


“No one has to kill anyone.”


“Well, soon...Soon, they will.”



This is a book that will make you think, but not so hard that your head hurts.  Cleverly plotted and meticulously written, I found myself oddly inspired and highly entertained.  And I ate this story up, forgoing several other reading projects.


Detective Palace is determined to solve a murder that is very apparently a suicide. In an atmosphere of near chaos as the clock ticks down on the inevitable end of the earth by asteroid, everyone is asking questions, and to Palace, they ask why this guy is worth his concern. Peter Zell is dead, it absolutely looks like suicide, we're all going to be dead soon anyway.


Sometimes, Detective Palace plays the hero role a little too often. His despair at not putting XYZ together sooner (and the consequences of that) irritated me because I was taken out of the more interesting story about the case and the chaos and forced to focus on Palace's pathos.


I really just wanted to know how people were feeding themselves.


But then, somewhere in there,  I forgot about all that anxiety and 'unbearable immanence', and wanted to know what actually DID happen to our murder victim, Peter Zell.


And that is the cool thing, Winters manages to make me forget about the elephant in the room for a while and care more about solving the whodunit.


I don't know. I liked it a lot.