Countdown City : The Last Policeman

  • by Ben H. Winters
  • Narrated by Peter Berkrot
  • Series: The Last Policeman
  • 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

There are just 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid collides with Earth, and Detective Hank 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.
The second novel in the Last Policeman trilogy, Countdown City presents a fascinating mystery set on the 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?

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What the Critics Say

"Extraordinary - as well as brilliant, surprising, and, considering the circumstances, oddly uplifting." (Mystery Scene Magazine)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Don't bother buying a new watch battery

Would you listen to Countdown City again? Why?

I dont' generally listen to books more than once.


Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes, very much so. This series is highly compelling, and this addition is certainly no exception. Our proantagonist is a wonderfully complex character, living in wildly stressful times and situations.

This is a very unique storyline, namely pursuing pretty standard day to day policing situations under the loom of the end of days. It would be easy to write yet another doomsday scenario story, but Winters choses to bring us along with the mundane daily aspects of life, and that further escalates the sense of foreboding.

Well done in all regards.


What does Peter Berkrot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Wow, where do I start. Berkrot owns this book. RIght up there with Hiil, Guidall and Brick. This book is listenable simply due to him , let alone the story. Colour, nuance and tone are all there in spades, and he leaves enough space for us to add our own piece to this story.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The scenes in the police station, and in the diner with detectives, are very genuine, honest and believable. Enjoyable to say the very least.


Any additional comments?

This series has me locked in. Definitely not your typical "end times" concept, ( although falls into that genre without a doubt ). Worth spending credits for , and recommend you do it in the correct order.
Highly recommended, and I can't wait for the next episode!

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- Matthew

Sets Up Well for the Series Finale

After reading The Last Policeman earlier this year I'd been interested in continuing the series but not rushing to it. I love the concept. A young policeman at the end of the world. An asteroid is only months away from making impact and destroying the world, and yet Hank Palace still wants to bring justice to a crumbling society. My biggest problem with the first book and continued in Countdown City is that Hank Palace doesn't feel real. He's like an ideal that everyone should strive to be like but you know that no one in that situation would.

In Countdown City he takes on the case of his child-hood babysitter who can't find her husband. Like any good detective novel Hank goes after this seemingly straightforward case that turns out to be anything but. As the book describes they're only months away from the extinction of humans, a lot of people are going missing, so finding one man is no easy feat. The best parts of Countdown City are describing the ways in which people are coping. Some hang on religion, others form militias, and others retreat to even more primitive means.

Its an interesting concept and a decent detective novel. It's a shame that both areas can't shine throughout the entire novel. There are just far to many head-scratching decisions that keep this series from being great. Countdown City is a short solid read but not all that memorable.
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- Joel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-16-2013
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio