Countdown City by Ben H Winters
Book of the Month
Countdown City is the second book in Ben H Winter's Last Policeman trilogy, and it follows on from the events that unfolded in the 2013 Edgar Award winning The Last Policeman.
Meeting up once again with Hank Palace felt just like welcoming back an old friend. His first person narrative is nicely understated and he makes for an engaging but unobtrusive lead. This second instalment in Winters trilogy is set three months before the deadly asteroid 2011GV1 is due to hit Earth. The Concord Police Department is now operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, and Hank is out of a job. When his former babysitter beseeches him to find her missing husband Hank's search leads him to a visibly collapsing East Coast landscape where anti-immigrant militia patrol the shores, fending off droves of people fleeing the impact zone of the asteroid. And it isn't long before Hank's missing-person case turns into a murder investigation…
Winters has produced another compelling dystopian thriller that benefits greatly from its inherent charm. He is an author that is equally comfortable with both male and female characterisation and this leads to a nicely balanced story populated by realistic people. What I like about Countdown City is that while it shows a world that is without doubt going to pot, it is currently still a way from falling apart completely - and the bizarre combination of mass suicides, those fulfilling their bucket-list objectives and those simply trying to carry on as normal (like Hank) make for a peculiarly believable vision of what would actually occur under these circumstances.
Hank Palace is a rather ordinary man with a touch of the obsessive compulsive about him. He is another contrast that works well and the ordinariness of Palace, when set against the less than ordinary asteroid that is soon to wipe humankind off the planet, works really, really well. There are similarities with the first book with Palace trying to carry out an investigation to the incredulity of those around him. And as well as the missing person/murder investigation there is also an interesting sub-plot involving his sister Nico, who has become embroiled with a group of conspiracy theorists who believe the asteroid is a cover-up and that they can truly save the world.
Countdown City explores themes and asks the questions that every good work of dystopia should: How would people behave? What would happen to society? Would shops stay open? Would food be easily available? Simply put, how long would it be before civilization completely broke down? But the question that I think is most pertinent for each individual reader is: What would you do under these circumstances?
The first two books in this trilogy have been excellent and I'm looking forward to book three.
This Countdown City book review was written by Floresiensis
All reviews for: The Last Policeman Trilogy
The Last Policeman
The Last Policeman Trilogy #1
What's the point in solving murders if we're all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into v...
The Last Policeman Trilogy #2
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 ausp...
World of Trouble
The Last Policeman Trilogy #2
Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with ...
Have you read Countdown City?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Countdown City reader reviews
8.9/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
A father and his young son walk alone through burned America, heading slowly for the coast. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. They have nothi...
Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skilfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels ag...
The year is 2033. The world has been reduced to rubble. Humanity is nearly extinct. The half-destroyed cities have become uninhabitable through radiation. Beyond their boun...
Facing down an unprecedented malevolent enemy, the government responds with a nuclear attack. America as it was is gone forever, and now every citizen – from the Pres...
Oryx and Crake
Snowman may be the last man on earth, the only survivor of an unnamed apocalypse. Once he was Jimmy, a member of a scientific elite; now he lives in bitter isolation and lo...
The Last Man Standing
Italy is on the brink of collapse. Borders are closed, banks withhold money, the postal service stalls. Armed gangs of drug-fuelled youths roam the countryside. Leonardo wa...
The Drowned World
Fluctuations in solar radiation have melted the ice caps, sending the planet into a new Triassic Age of unendurable heat. London is a swamp; lush tropical vegetation grows ...
Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
John Joseph Adams
Famine, death, war, pestilence. These are said to be the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse-Armageddon. The End of the World. Whether by nuclear warfare, a biological di...
The Crystal World
Through a ‘leaking’ of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering ski...
Emily St John Mandel
What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. One snowy night in Toronto famous actor Arthur Leander dies on stage whil...
An illness spreads through an unnamed city. It has only one symptom: blindness. It comes without fanfare, pain, or warning. One moment a man waits in his car at the traffic...
The Reapers are the Angels
God is a slick god. Temple knows. She knows because of all the crackerjack miracles still to be seen on this ruined globe... Older than her years and completely alone, Temp...
Legends of the Red Sun
Mark Charan Newton
An ice age strikes a chain of islands, and thousands come to seek sanctuary at the gates of Villjamur. It’s a city of ancient spires and bridges, a place where banshe...
The Return Man
The outbreak tore the USA in two. The east remains a safe haven. The west has become a ravaged wilderness. They call it the Evacuated States. It is here that Henry Marco ma...
A modern Britain. An age-old cruelty. Britain's magically skilled aristocracy compels all commoners to serve them for ten years - and now it's the Hadleys' turn...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: