The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben Winters- Series review

It has been a while since I posted a series review. The Last Policeman Trilogy by Ben Winters is one that I still think about even though I read these books  ages ago.

Books in series (completed)

The Last Policeman

Countdown City

World of trouble


Detective Hank Palace just wants to do his job- solve crime but he is hampered by the impeding destruction of earth by an asteroid hurtling to earth.

The books focus on Hank’s obsession to getting the job done particularly in the first book. The Last Policeman features a suicide that Hank is convinced is murder and the book follows a typical murder mystery until we find out why. The other two books focus on Hank trying to find his missing sister- his last case and an asteroid will not get in his way.

The book has an apocalyptic event in the background, rumbling ever closer to the destruction of earth. There are no last-ditch attempts to save earth or escape earth just the total acceptance that this is the end. While the books focus is on Hank’s investigation, there are vivid descriptions of a world on the brink of destruction and how society adapts to this. Hank meets various people – some trying to take advantage of the situation, others bunking down with their families and friends, those who keep going as normal and those who have turned feral.

While the books have dark themes there is sense of optimism particularly in how most people will try to help each other. I have thought back to these books as the pandemic unfolded and it does feel the author has captured how humanity reacts to terrible situations.

Hank is the person holding the stories and books together- a decent cop, a decent brother and friend but most of a decent human being.

There is no magical solution at the end but despite this the end of the series made sense and celebrates all that is good about humanity- I confess to shedding a few tears at the end.

Content warning

Violence,descriptions of suicide


This trilogy would appeal to anyone who loves a good murder mystery and to those who like a bit apocalyptic doom.

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