“World of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III” by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books, 316 pages, in stores)
What would you do if you knew the world end in less than a year? In Ben H. Winters’ “The Last Policeman” trilogy, extinction is imminent as an asteroid approaches.
Society breaks down bit by bit. Suicides are frequent. People disappear as they quit their jobs and leave their families in pursuit of experiencing items on their bucket lists.
And Henry “Hank” Palace, newly made detective of a small-town police department, just wants to do his job, solving crimes during the time he has left.
That’s easier said than done when even his fellow detectives tease him and question his dedication in the first book as he investigates what, on the surface, appears to be yet another suicide, but he suspects is murder. After he solves the case of Peter Zell in “The Last Policeman” and loses his job, through no fault of his own, in the second book, “Countdown City,” Palace does a favor for a former babysitter and agrees to try to track down her missing husband, former highway patrolman and pizza joint employee Brent Cavatone.
Through the first two novels, Palace is increasingly concerned that his younger sister, Nico, has bought into a government conspiracy theory about a scientist who might have a solution to the problem of the approaching killer asteroid.
And after she shows up in a helicopter in the second book, he has to wonder just how full of hogwash this conspiracy theory might be, after all — what if she isn’t really deluded after all, and a solution has been found?