Countdown City

Countdown City

Book - 2013
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"[The] weird, beautiful, unapologetically apocalyptic Last Policeman trilogy is one of my favorite mystery series."--John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns

Winner of the 2014 Philip K. Dick Award

The Last Policeman received the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original--along with plenty of glowing reviews.

Now 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?
Publisher: Philadelphia, PA : Quirk Books, c2013.
ISBN: 9781594746260
Branch Call Number: WINTE
Characteristics: 316 p. ; 21 cm.


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SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

It’s 77 days until an asteroid hits earth, and Henry Palace’s long-ago babysitter’s husband has gone missing. Henry Palace isn’t a police officer any more, but he agrees to help. This is the story of Countdown City, sequel to Ben H. Winters’ The Last Policeman.

It’s a good little mystery novel. Even though the asteroid is more imminent than in the previous book, it feels like it means less. You can tell the world has changed. Fewer people are trying to hold things together so though Palace’s investigation has smaller stakes there’s more danger to it.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the very end of the book, but that’s probably because I am very far from being true police. It’s a good story but not as Wow-inducing as the previous one. C’est la vie.

Apr 26, 2016

This is the second novel in "The Last Policeman" trilogy. Detective Henry Palace is no longer working for the Concord Police Department. Civilization continues to break down under the shadow of an approaching asteroid that is poised to destroy Earth in just 77 days. Hank does not sit around waiting to die; he sets off to help his old babysitter find her missing husband.

I found the first novel (The Last Policeman) and this second in the series to be very refreshing because of the unusual circumstances and the "integrity" of the main character. I think the first book was better than the second, but this is still worth reading. I am now going to start on the final book (World of Trouble). I am very interested to see how Ben Winters finishes the series.

KateHillier Nov 22, 2015

The second book in the Last Policeman trilogy continues to highlight the fact that Hank Place really is the last policeman in Concord if not the world. As the asteroid heading for a fatal collision with Earth gets closer and closer Hank continues to his job as best as he is able in no matter what small way.

Hank's case this time is the disappearance of his old babysitter's husband. Everyone is disappearing, and the police department no longer exists, but Hank mounts his bicycle and gets to work. You don't know whether to feel sorry for him or to admire him. The man has his dedication and little else, aside from his sister who is involved in one of many radical groups that have popped up.

I'm invested enough to go into the next book but I liked book one the best so far. There are a few interesting developments with what sort of group mentality happens when people are put in extremis and I have to find out what that all means as the series, and the world, comes to an end.

Dec 21, 2014

A good story in and of itself, and it does a fine job of setting up plot to be settled in the final book.

Sep 27, 2014

The second book in the Last Policeman series, about a nice-guy, ex-cop continuing to take on investigative duty for his close friends, for no compensation, even when the world has only months to live. I find the first half of the book a tad slow, but things do pick up in the second half and make the story interesting. And yes, I am awaiting to read book three.

Aug 20, 2013

Reading this 2nd installment of the Last Policeman is greatly enhanced by reading the original "Last Policeman" first, as it fills in much needed backstory on three underlying plot lines.

As well written as the first, but time is running out to fit a third story into the narrative. Less than six weeks remain at the end of this novel.

Interesting, in a blog posting Aug 16/13, the author says he hasn't even come up with a title for the last book (

Ironically, fans of this series may have a much more time waiting for the next installment than the characters have remaining in the story.

Aug 04, 2013

Just as good as the first one (The Last Policeman). We're way further into the countdown to civilization's end. Great characters and a nice large arc as well as the individual story.

Read this second but do read it.

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