Book Review: World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters (The Last Policeman #3)

World of Trouble by Ben H. WintersWorld Of Trouble is the third and last installment in The Last Policeman trilogy. I was sorry to see the series end, but I was happy that it ended on a note which was quite fitting, staying true to what happened so far.

The story in all three books takes place in a pre-apocalyptic time, meaning that bad, irrevocably bad things are just about to happen (as opposed to post-apocalyptic, where things happened and the few humans left are trying to somehow survive in the harsh new world).

Hank Palace is a detective, probably the only policeman left in the whole world. The world is ending in just a few days when Maia, a huge asteroid will hit the Earth, so nobody cares about good citizens anymore, and why should they?

Everyone will die soon, humanity will be literally wiped out, so the whole country is ridden with chaos and mayhem. But Hank Palace is still doing his job as if nothing will happen, solving puzzle after puzzle and crime after crime, he just can’t let things be.

The third book is only 6 days away from Maia hitting Earth. Now the last puzzle Hank wants to solve is his sister, Nico. She disappeared not long ago, going off with some guys who promised that they have a way to stop the asteroid from crashing on the planet. A way to save the world.

Hank, the realist that he is, knows that the world is doomed, and all he wants is one more chance to meet his sister, to tell her that he loves and to be with her in the last few minutes before the world ends. They were estranged in the past, and he wants to make amends, to get to her closer once again.

So off he goes following her steps from place to place, destroyed town after town until he finally picks up her trail far away at a deserted police station in Ohio, where he is sure that she was not that long ago.

He is accompanied by his beloved dog and by a guy whom he not quite trusts, but as he needs all the help he can get, so accepts his temporary partner.

Apparently, Nico and her team of anarchists was supposed to meet the scientists that would save the world, right here at this police station. Now his sister is missing and there are no trails of her anywhere beyond this place.

If there is one thing he must do before he dies is finding his sister, or at least knowing exactly what happened to her and why she is missing. And time is running out, so the drive to find her is stronger and stronger by the minute.

Without giving away too many spoilers, let’s just say he finds her, and the revelations surrounding her fat make one think, long after one finished reading the book. I can’t say I saw this coming, but considering what we all knew about Nico and her gang, it is not that shocking either.

Throughout the three books, we’ve seen various people handling the stress of the world ending in different ways. Some go out looting and plundering, others are stocking things and bunkering themselves in their hidey hole, while some, like Hank, choose to ignore the end and just go on about their business as usual.

In the last book, however, we see Hank change, he is no longer the typical policeman solving crimes for the society. Now it’s his personal time. He becomes so focused in finding his sister that I think giving himself this last task is his way of dealing with what is going to happen soon. He has a singular focus that doesn’t give much leeway for thinking anything else but finding his sister and solving the puzzle surrounding her disappearance.

The end of the book is quite interesting. We know what will happen, but still, we don’t get to actually read about what will happen, so our knowledge comes from within, from our imagination rather than being spelled out for us on paper. It’s a fitting ending to a dark, weird, yet very engaging story.

I’m sorry to part with Hank as I really grew fond of him throughout the last 6 months when the first book started.

He is a very real character with his own cross to bear and the fact that he is acting almost the opposite of how everyone acts in lieu of the impending end of the world, makes him special, yet very much human.

The writing is well executed throughout all three books, and the suspense was kept up right to the end.

Overall, I loved the whole Last Policeman trilogy and while I know why there won’t be a 4th book, I still wish the author wrote another one, just to read a bit more about Henry Palace.

World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters
Series: The Last Policeman trilogy #3
Published by Quirk Books
Published 2014
Genre: Dystopian thriller
Source: Purchases

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