World of Trouble

worldWorld of Trouble
by Ben Winters
2014 / 320 pages
read by Peter Berkrot  8h 10m
rating:  A /  crime – dystopian future
(Book 3 in The Last Policeman trilogy)

It’s only a few weeks until Astroid Maia hits the earth dead on and our hero Hank Palace is still out solving crimes of misisng persons and murders.  This time he’s decided to hunt for his own sister who has taken off with a group determined to beat the astroid somehow.

Hank comes across a lot of strange and scary things in his search across New  Hampshire,  and as a former cop and detective in Concord he knows how to conduct an investigation and apparently he has some fair interviewing techniques.  But with only 9 months (in the first book of the series) and 77 days (in the second book) and now a couple or three weeks  in book three,  why does Palace bother?

Because he is a cop – that’s what he does – it’s what he’s always wanted to do and he’s good.  He goes “by the book”  in life and on the job.  In Book 1 he was still a working detective with the Concord police department and his case was the murder of a kind of non-descript insurance man.  The department was abandoned in Book 2 but on his own Hank sought the husband of a good friend more or less as a favor – and instinct.  Now in Book 3 he’s looking for his sister,  to spend final days with her – or at least help keep her safe.  Well she has got herself tangled up with a very strange people.

Parts of the book are heavily descriptive of life in a place where civilization as we know it has completely broken down.  People are doing whatever it is they want to do – from praying and singing to using drugs and having sex in New Orleans.  The stock market crumbled shortly after the news broke and many commercial establishments just closed up.  Then folks walked off their jobs and the jobs went undone – no electricity or telephone service because no one fixed any breakdowns.  Not all of the hospital staff shows up for their shifts.  These folks have “gone bucket” because they’re all gonna die come October.  Other people committed suicide.

There’s a fair amount of philosophy and theme-type stuff in here for a crime novel but I wouldn’t call this literary fiction – the suspense is really built around “when will the world end?” and most every word is geared toward making that completely believable.

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