In this final volume of Ben H. Winters mystery/science fiction mash-up, the author takes leave of the detective story genre and enters fully into the world of apocalyptic science fiction.
When the book opens, former police officer Henry Palace is still living safely with the community of former police officers he found in the second book, Countdown City. However, he still cannot shake the desire to solve cases nor can he go on without one last attempt to save his sister who was last seen living with a survivalist cult bent on proving government involvement in the end of the world.
With just a few weeks remaining before asteroid 2001GV1 strikes Indonesia creating an extinction event surpassing the one that killed the dinosaurs, Henry Palace sets of with his dog in tow to find his sister. When he finds that she has been murdered, he begins to search for her killer determined to know how he is and why he did it.
While there is a detective story in World of Trouble, it’s secondary to the science fiction right from the start, and abandoned just about altogether half way through the novel. The world is going to end. Henry Palace could continue to play policeman while society crumbled around him in books one and two, but this time, societal chaos is too much. He does solve the mystery, but this book should be considered science fiction.
Whatever genre it is, it’s a satisfying end to Henry Palace’s career. Both the man and the dog find a kind of peace that makes it possible to face the earth’s final moments.
Meanwhile, I hear the books have been optioned for television. I think they’d make for an excellent series.
2 thoughts on “World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters. – The Last Last Policeman”
I’ve got the first of these on my tablet – for two years now. I really must get around to reading it. Sometimes I feel writers are writing more quickly than I am reading…
This final one left me sadder than the first two did, but not for the obvious reason that the big boom really does occur. It was more because of the Policeman’s personal disappointment. Oh, well. Great series. You;re right; I would love to see it filmed. Shouldn’t require a lot of special effects, so TV should be able to do it justice.
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