The Last Policeman, a novel of a possible pre-apocalyptic America, was written by Ben H. Winters. This book is the first one of a planned trilogy. He has also written Bedbugs, Android Karenina, and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.
The book opens at the scene of a supposed suicide by hanging. Hank Palace feels that something is wrong. For some reason, he doesn't believe this insurance salesman committed suicide. No one else really cares. But if this was murder, then he wants to solve it.
Suicides are pretty common at the moment. An asteroid is coming towards Earth and will hit in six months. No one knows exactly where it is going to hit, but it is going to hit somewhere on Earth.
What would you do if you though you had only six months to live? Would you take the easy way out and commit suicide? Would you ignore the risk and continue to live your life as if nothing out of the ordinary was going to happen? Or would you totally lose your mind? If you were a detective or a policeman, would the solving of crimes matter to you at all anymore? Everyone is going to die anyway, so what does it matter who robbed the market at the corner of the street? Is it really a problem if a murderer gets away with it? Maybe the guy who was murdered was only saved a lot of pain, and his killer is gonna die soon anyway.
During this time of great stress and trauma, a lot of people turn to drugs to ease the stress. Pot is legalized, but a lot seek relief from substances that aren't legal. Crime becomes rampant. Many people quit work.
Each city seems to have one form of suicide that is prevalent. In Concord, that appears to be hanging. That is not a way that I would choose to go. I would insist on something much less painful, much less traumatic.
With only 6 months left before impact, gas prices have skyrocketed, and people are now using vegetable oil to run their cars. Franchises are closing down and the stores are then being taken over by whoever gets to them first. Phone service, both landline and cell, is going downhill fast. Churches and synagogues are full of those searching for some kind of assurance. So what does one suspicious death matter in the middle of all of this turmoil?
I found this book to be thought provoking. It makes you think about how humanity would respond to such a crisis. It makes you wonder what your own response to such a crisis would be. Don't expect this book to have a happy ending. After all, there is an asteroid headed straight for Earth, and I found the ending to be very satisfactory.
You can watch the book trailer for this novel on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=CaB3Si97v4w.
This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. If you would like your own copy of this book to read and review, I have provided an Amazon link below.