Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Countdown City (The Last Policeman, #2)” as Want to Read:
Countdown City (The Last Policeman, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview
Read Excerpt

Countdown City (The Last Policeman #2)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  5,544 ratings  ·  793 reviews
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 auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, Hank's days of solving crimes are over...until a woman from his past begs for help finding her missing husband.

Brett Cavatone disappeared without a trace – an easy
Paperback, 316 pages
Published July 16th 2013 by Quirk Books (first published July 13th 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Countdown City, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Countdown City

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dan Schwent
When retired policeman Henry Palace is approached by his childhood babysitter to track down her missing husband, he's on the case. But with only seventy-seven days until an asteroid crashes into Earth, will he be able to track the missing man down amidst rioting, looters, and the rapidly disintegrating infrastructure?

The second Henry Palace book is even better than the first. It sees Palace riding his ten-speed bicycle all over New Hampshire, looking for a former state trooper that doesn't want
I am a weak and cowardly person so if I knew that he world was about to end, I’d probably spend my final moments just crying, cursing the universe and generally acting like Bill Paxton in Aliens. "Game over, man! Game over!"

Hank Palace is better man than I am, or at least he’s able to divert himself from the upcoming apocalypse by playing detective. In The Last Policeman, Earth had learned that a giant asteroid was coming to send humanity out the same way the dinosaurs bought it. Hank was a youn
Jul 23, 2015 Carmen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
"You can't just abandon your promises because the world is over."

Excellent. Even better than the first book.

I don't answer. I'm off in the distance somewhere, I'm racing through the wilderness, I'm standing in a storm with my hands raised, reaching out for bits and flakes of ideas like falling snow.

This is the exciting sequel to The Last Policeman.

Henry Palace, no longer (view spoiler), is still running around solving mysteries even though 77 days from now an ast
Jan 15, 2015 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: for fans of mystery, philosophy, apocalypse


Had Earth not been scheduled meet an asteroid face-first in less than six months, Hank Palace would have made a fabulous beat cop. He might have even made a decent detective once he had a few years under his belt. However, his hasty promotion through the police force has been cut short and he finds himself hanging around the neighborhood and doing favors for friends. And by ‘favors,’ I don’t mean in a Matt Scudder-alcoholic-ex-detective-on-the-down
"I keep my head down and my mind focused on the case because I’m sick of wondering why I’m doing this, why I care. This is just what I have, this is what I do."

..and with that, Hank Palace gives us an answer to why he’s so goddamn determined to run around playing detective in the face of certain doom. With Countdown City, Ben H. Winters takes us back to Concord, New Hampshire, less than 3 months until impact. In just 77 days, Maia will collide with Earth and the impact along with the resulting c
James Thane
This is the second volume in Ben H. Winters' "Last Policeman" series, featuring Detective Hank Palace, lately of the Concord, New Hampshire PD. Lately, because in just seventy-seven days, a giant asteroid named Maia is going to slam into the earth, ending life as Hank and everyone else knows it. Naturally, things are now a bit discombobulated.

In the course of things, all the Concord police detectives have been fired since there's really no point in investigating anything when the world won't sur
Althea Ann
There is some serious middle-book-syndrome and sequel-itis going on with 'Countdown City.'
'The Last Policeman' was gripping from the first page straight through to the end. I read it in one sitting, and gave it 5 stars.

'Countdown City' was... ok. It took a while to get going, and even once things started rolling, I just didn't really care about the case. Former detective Hank Palace agrees to help his former babysitter find her missing husband before the end of the world (which is coming, in ju
Ben Winters continues to explore the breakdown of modern society in the face of impending apocalypse with his second Hank Palace novel. With this installment his detective is no longer a professional detective and instead follows the well gumshoed path, alone down those dark streets, he must go as if by some sort of genetic disposition, facing up to the end times by giving himself fully to a missing person investigation in a world where the majority of people have simply got up and left their li ...more
Julie Davis
I liked the audio for the first book in this trilogy so much (The Last Policeman) that upon finishing it I went and picked up this audio for rereading. Also, the last book in the trilogy comes out in July so I might as well have the previous two fresh in mind, right? Peter Berkrot does a stellar job.

My full review is below.


What does it say that my first act upon opening this book was to look for what month it is? How close is the asteroid? Obviously, I've opted into Ben H. Winters
Sequel to "The Last Policeman". Detective Henry "Hank" Palace has been released from his duties from the Concord Police Department. The powers that be have decided that with only 77 days to live, there is no need for an investigations unit and have kept only enough officers to keep the city from rioting. In the "current environment", Earth is just waiting for the final day, when a giant asteroid will hit the planet and wipe out the human race. Sitting around waiting to die isn't Hank's style, an ...more
I have come to realize that I have been putting off this review because I just did not like the book. I enjoyed the first book in this series, the Last Policeman, the pace of that book kept me tuned in to Henry Palace and the impending doom.

Sorry to say that midway through Countdown City, I found myself picking up other books and then going back to this one. Something was missing. The book was lagging and dragging and I was forcing myself to finish. It almost felt as if Ben Winters did not have
I read The Last Policeman last August and fell a little bit in love with the premise. That first book, quite justifiably in my opinion, was well received and even went on to win an Edgar award. I make no secret of my love for apocalyptic fiction. It turns out that pre-apocalyptic crime is a wonderful sub-set of this genre.

There is a short time jump between book one and two. The Last Policeman takes place six month before the asteroid is due to hit while book two has moved to three months before.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
A copy of Countdown City was provided to me by Quirk Books for review purposes.

How would you spend your remaining days if you knew an asteroid was on target to destroy the Earth in a few short months? Would you pack everything and travel the world? Would you finally do all those things you've been pushing off and just haven't ever gotten around to? Or would you continue living your life as if nothing has changed?

Henry Palace is no longer employed with the Concord Police
Bryan Alexander
With Countdown City I continue my belated education in the mystery genre. I also carry on reading Ben Winters' Last Policeman series, as I read its first book several months ago (review). Overall, this was a pleasure to read, combining a solid mystery plot with descriptions of the end of the world.

If you haven't read this book or its predecessor, that combination is what the story's about. An asteroid is going to strike the Earth and wipe out the human race, which has caused cultural panic. Amid
4.5 is rare that the second book in a trilogy is near as good as the one that kicked it all off, but Ben Winters has penned another good one that kept me engrossed from cover to cover. If you're not familiar, I will give you the Readers Digest version: the first book in the series, The Last Policeman (which won an Edgar Award, by the way) introduced us to brand-spanking-new-detective Hank Palace. Hank had finally made detective, a lifelong dream but unfortunately, no one cares anymore ...more
Nancy Oakes
Jul 25, 2013 Nancy Oakes rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nancy by: Ben H. Winters
Just 77 days away from its collision with our planet, people are trying to prepare for the inevitable. The government has put main character out of a job, and has federalized the Concord Police Force. Investigative units, including detectives, are out -- "relatively unnecessary, given the current environment." The patrol units are amped up, but now everyone reports to the Justice Department. Hank takes early retirement after being on the job only a short time, but his unemployed status doesn't c ...more
My love for The Last Policeman was based on the setting that Ben Winters created of his pre-apocalyptic society, but Countdown City took that scenery, developed it even further and added a heap of characterization onto it for Det. Hank Palace, his sister and several of the others waiting for the end.

Usually I am content with mysteries that toss an archetypal if underdeveloped sleuth character (often with some differentiations - the anthropologist, the veteran, the medieval monk) into interesting
Nancy McKibben
Sep 02, 2013 Nancy McKibben rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers who like noir mysteries and/or science fiction
Countdown City
The Last Policeman Book 2
Ben H. Winters

I thought that Philip Kerr’s Bernie Gunther series, about a detective in Nazi Germany, were about as noir as noir mystery could get, but now that I have read Countdown City by Ben H. Winters, I have to say that Kerr has been out-noired.

Protagonist Hank Palace is a police detective in Concord, Massachusetts, but his position has recently been abolished - and why? Because Concord’s citizens, like citizens around the world, are waiting for the e
At the start of this second book in Ben Winter's 'Last Policeman' series, the asteroid Maia is now 77 days away from colliding with Earth and destroying the world as we know it. Society is already breaking down and people are disappearing, either killed in disputes over diminishing supplies of food and water or 'going bucket list' - taking off to spend their last days in the sun, bungee jumping or partying to the end of the world.
Hank Palace, the last policeman, has been stood down by the Police
Clark Hallman
Countdown City by Ben H. Winters is the second installment in the very thought-provoking and riveting Last Policeman trilogy. Hank Palace continues to investigate even though he is no longer a police detective. He realizes that it makes little sense, but he just needs to try to serve and help people amid the chaos of a collapsing society. There are only 74 days until a giant asteroid will collide with Earth reducing all civilization to rubble and ending most life. Many people have already succum ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Last year, I read and quite enjoyed the first book in Ben H. Winter's pre-apocalyptic trilogy, so I was looking forward to Countdown City. I was, however, also quite concerned I wouldn't like it, because my memories of The Last Policeman were sketchy at best and I had no time for a reread. While most of the plot of The Last Policeman remains a mystery, Winters' Countdown City is still enjoyable on its own right and the great world building remains consistent with the firs
Jeff Miller
I greatly enjoyed "The Last Policeman" and was certainly wonder how he could follow it up.

Thankfully what I loved about the first novel is also fully contained within the second novel which further develops the themes.

First off we have such an interesting concept in what is a pre-apocolypse novel which is like a dystopian novel in reverse. One aspect of most dystopian novels that I often find weak is that the transition to however society is displayed in the story makes it hard to connect the do
Mogsy (MMOGC)
What would you do if the world was going to end in a little less than three months?

Being a wimp, I’d probably hide in the basement closet with a comforter over my head, praying that it’s all a bad dream. Most likely I’d be depressed and wouldn’t be able to go about my everyday life like everything was normal. I definitely wouldn’t be like Hank Palace, the main character of this novel, because even with an asteroid hurtling through space towards earth threatening to wipe out all life on the plane
The second book in The Last Policeman series. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite book series of all time. Once again, this is a detective noir story with approximately 77 days before an asteroid hits Earth, presumably killing everyone in the process. The central mystery is so interesting because this particular story literally couldn't be told without the unique situation that society finds itself. The story uses the inherent limitations of this scenario to its advantage: cell phones ar ...more
Lilla Smee
Neatly continues from book one. The asteroid's closer now, and things are disintegrating in Concord, New Hampshire - "the streets are on fire and ours is a savage land." Henry Palace is not even on the police force anymore, but detective work defines him, is him; he can't help himself: he's always on job, even if it's just looking for a kid's stolen "plastic samurai sword that once upon a time came with a ninja costume." What's left of the police force in Concord is also remaking itself, "not st ...more
Matt Beall
This series is a good illustration of the low rating of much genera fiction. Just a couple of notes: Guns do not have "handles." Plot has implausible developments that are REALLY obvious. Characters tend to Central Casting predictable types with little depth. The protagonist does silly things, like kicking down the door to break into a house without first checking that the back entrance is not locked, or if any windows are open or unlocked. I had high hopes but I'm giving up on the series.

I find Palace's dogged determination to continue doing his job perfectly believable, though who knows what I would do if the world were going to end in 77 days. (Do you still garden??) Winters has ratcheted up the decline of civilization in a very believable way, from the college campus enclave of rigid free spirits to the police house in the country where Palace ends up at the end of the book. As one character says ominously, "Wait until there's no water." I cannot imagine how this will end but ...more
It's only seventy-seven days left before asteroid 2011GV1 will plow into planet Earth and destroy everything. And Detective Henry "Hank" Palace is no longer a policeman. No, he didn't quit his job. The federal Department of Justice has simply dissolved the Adult Crimes Unit and the rest of the detective divisions but there are still cops around the neighbourhoods to ensure that there is no public disturbance.

That said, Detective Palace isn't entirely a free man. He's still worried over his sist
Pat K
I loved the first book in this series, but Countdown City is so bogged down with unnecessary detail, there is very little real plot and no character development at all. Won't be reading the third book.
Nancy Brisson
In Countdown City, Book II of The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters Henry Palace is no longer a police detective or even, in fact, a policeman at all. For a while the police who were not detectives kept order in Concord, New Hampshire. As it gets closer and closer to the date of the impact of Maia, the asteroid, 6.5 kilometers in diameter, with the earth the police disappear from the street corners and civilization moves down another notch towards anarchy.

People have already been informed that Ma
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Norwescon: Countdown City 6 20 Sep 10, 2014 09:05AM  
Third book? 3 66 Mar 14, 2014 12:27PM  
  • The Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle, #1)
  • Nebula Awards Showcase 2013
  • I Hear the Sirens in the Street (Detective Sean Duffy, #2)
  • The Caretaker (Ranjit Singh, #1)
  • The Lives of Tao (Tao, #1)
  • The Man from Primrose Lane
  • Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines, #1)
  • Odds Against Tomorrow
  • Directive 51
  • KOP (Juno Mozambe Mystery #1)
  • Sleepless
  • Transcendental
  • The Best of Connie Willis: Award-Winning Stories
  • Everyone Says That at the End of the World
  • Sherwood Nation: a novel
  • The Beggar's Opera (Inspector Ramírez, #1)
  • The Human Division (Old Man's War, #5)
  • The Homecoming

Other Books in the Series

The Last Policeman (3 books)
  • The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman, #1)
  • World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3)
The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman, #1) Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3) Android Karenina Bedbugs

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Respectfully, sir, the asteroid did not make you leave her. The asteroid is not making anyone do anything. It's just a big piece of rock floating through space. Anything anyone does remains their own decision.” 9 likes
“Because a promise is a promise, Officer Cavatone, and civilization is just a bunch of promises, that’s all it is. A mortgage, a wedding vow, a promise to obey the law, a pledge to enforce it. And now the world is falling apart, the whole rickety world, and every broken promise is a small rock tossed at the wooden side of its tumbling form.” 3 likes
More quotes…