World of Trouble by Ben H Winters


World of Trouble is the third and final book in Ben H. Winters Edgar Award winning Last Policeman series.

Read our reviews of The Last Policeman (book one) and Countdown City (book two).

I have enjoyed every single moment I have spent reading The Last Policeman series. Apocalyptic fiction has always fascinated me; I am intrigued by each author’s personal view of The End, by how they envisage humankind coping with and attempting to survive what is often the end of civilisation as it is known.

What I found made Ben H. Winters take on the apocalypse a little different from the norm was that the world-changing event (which is in this case is a large asteroid imminently hitting the Earth) never actually occurs within the book’s narrative. The Last Policeman series is all about viewing, through Hank Palace’s eyes, the disintegration of the world and civilisation we all take for granted. The question the books made me ponder was this: If I knew the world was soon to end - what would I do? Would I quickly draw up a bucket-list and set about completing all those must-do things I’d never had chance to do? Would I contemplate and actually commit suicide? Or would I continue as normal, pretending everything was okay while existing in a protective bubble of denial? The people in Winters’ book do all of the above and more and I found it fascinating to read about.

In World of Trouble 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 time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank’s safety is only relative, and his only relative - his sister Nico - isn’t safe. Soon, it’s clear that there’s more than one earth-shattering revelation on the horizon, and it’s up to Hank to solve the puzzle before time runs out... for everyone.

I thoroughly recommend this series to all readers who enjoy excellently written books exploring human behaviour within a pre-apocalyptic setting. There is a detective story in there, dystopian fiction too. Thankfully there is also wry humour to lessen the darkness and despair that understandably pervades the narrative.

As always, when I have come to the end of a series I have really enjoyed I like to share snippets from other positive reviews, to hopefully reinforce my own recommendation.

"The weird, beautiful, unapologetically apocalyptic Last Policeman trilogy is one of my favourite mystery series." John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns

"Stubborn, earnest, self-deprecating and decent, his protagonist, Hank Palace, is a brilliantly realized character you want to follow to the very end - and beyond." San Francisco Chronicle

"Winters, a major talent, gives us the best realized world on the verge of annihilation that this reviewer has seen since Cormac McCarthy."  Sci Fi magazine

"It is impossible not to love Hank and his need to try to do the right thing all the time. The bleak premise of this series could be too much, but, instead, it gives certain clarity to the action of people who become their most real selves when the end of the world arrives." Library Journal

"As fascinating as Winters' imagined societal breakdown can be, it's his attention to human connections - heartfelt, heroic and lethal - that really make this trilogy worth reading." Kirkus Reviews

Review by

All reviews for Ben H Winters's The Last Policeman Trilogy series

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 [...]

Countdown City
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 [...]


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