Would I lose my humanity, decency and morals if the end of the world was near? Would I complete my bucket list, recklessly try anything and everything because science and all the world news have told me the end is coming? These questions and many more come to mind when I read this book and that if nothing else makes this a fantastic and thought provoking read. There are so many layers and levels in this book, an inexperienced detective trying to find a murderer, people just giving up, hence hanger town, and people doing stupid things just 'cos. Loved it.
I bought this after reading the reviews on Amazon and could hardly put it down once I did. The style of writing is easy to read, and the pace is just right. I loved the way the protagonists mind worked and felt like I was there in his thoughts, working the case, with him. I have been reading some heavier stuff of late and this was a welcomed lighter change. I would have given four stars, but I neither laughed, cried, not had my heart in my throat throughout the book. Still, I'd highly recommend this book.
This is a fast read, decently-written and with an interesting premise: an Extinction-Level-Event is going to occur in 6 months when an asteroid collides with Earth.
As would be expected, news of the impending end-of-the-world has resulted in a planetwide breakdown in social structures, including law enforcement. Many police have resigned or retired to pursue their Bucket Lists -- and as a consequence, Patrolman Hank Palace gets his dream promotion to Detective.
Unsurprisingly, suicides are on the rise -- so much so that they are no longer being investigated. But when Palace gets called to yet another self-hanging, something just doesn't seem right. Instinct and several small anomalies convince the detective that this was a murder -- and he doggedly pursues an investigation as the world continues to go to hell around him.
The writing and plotting are solid and the story kept me interested. I also give the author high marks for not "pulling an Agatha Christie" (finessing a solution out of thin air, which the reader could not possibly have reached by the clues given).
But... with such a tantalising setup and a flawed-but-really-likeable main character, I was really expecting -- hoping -- that the answer to the mystery would be interesting, rather than incredibly mundane, as it turned out to be. There was so much potential, but then the book just turned out to be an ordinary mystery placed in a science-fictional setting.
I enjoyed the book, and don't feel that the time I spent reading it was wasted. But what a disappointment, that the author didn't capitalise on the potential for a truly remarkable mystery.
Detective Hank Palace is stoic, admirably so. Given the world is to end in six months, his dedication to his job signals significant character. Hank is a newly minted detective but his radar is sound especially when he is called to the scene of a suicide. Given the impending apocalypse, suicides are extremely common but this one sets Hank on a quest for justice in a world giving up everything that has made it "civil". The premise that author Winters has devised is fascinating. This pre-apocalyptic world is such an amazing backdrop that it was difficult to concentrate on the case Hank chases.
It was clever to see how the author dealt with aspects of society. Leading brands like McDonald's, 7-Eleven, and Dunkin' have gone bankrupt due to market panic. Religion remains confused and ironies in governing abound. People either maintain their routines or have given into certain temptations or have pursued their own "bucket lists" before time runs out. Through it all Detective Palace pursues the truth with a humanity that communicates a sense of hope that is difficult to believe given the world's death sentence. Apparently there is a reprieve of sorts as Winters has plans to make this a trilogy...I will certainly be returning to see how Palace is getting on.