This title was one of our finalists for this fall’s Hopkinton READS! book. It didn’t win the top spot, but we have decided to read it in our afternoon group for September. This "pre-apocalyptic police procedural" follows a Concord, NH police detective as he investigates a suicide he believes was really a murder. His efforts are complicated by the social, political and economic effects of preparations for, and anticipation of, an asteroid impact six months in the future! The book asks the question why people do things in spite of their long-term unimportance. He consulted with experts not only in astronomy and police techniques but psychology and economics.
Copies of the book are available to check out at the library. Discussion will be on Wednesday September 17th at 1pm.
What's the point of solving murders if we're all going to die soon, anyway?
Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. When it first appeared, 2011GV1 was just a speck, somewhere beyond Jupiter's orbit. By mid-October it revealed itself to be seven kilometers in diameter, and on a crash course with the Earth. By sometime next September, 2011GV1 will slam into our planet and kill half the population immediately, and most of the rest in the miserable decades that follow.
Most people have stopped doing whatever it is they did before the chances of impact rose to 100%. Stopped selling real estate; stopped working at hospitals; stopped slinging hash or driving cabs or trading high-yield securities. A lot of folks spend their days on bended knee, praying to Jesus or Allah or whoever they think might save them. Others have gone the other way, roaming the streets, enjoying what pleasures they can before the grand finale. Government services are beginning to slip into disarray, crops are left to rot. Even Hank Palace's police department in Concord, NH is crumbling at the foundation.
But problems don't stop just because the world does.
All of humanity now, every person in the world--we're like a bunch of little kids, in deep, deep trouble, just waiting till our dad gets home. So what do I do while I wait? I work.
The Edgar-award-winning Last Policeman trilogy presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. A suicide, a missing person, a doomsday cult that's pulled Hank's sister away from him: these days, no case is open-and-shut. As the world grinds to a halt around him, Hank Palace must face questions that go 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? --Quirk Books (publisher)
Ps. Just read an interesting (and very funny) post by Ethan Gilsdorf on Ben H. Winters' website:
“Git off my beach or I’ll shoot you.” — Ethan Gilsdorf on why you should set your novel in New Hampshire.