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Countdown City

(The Last Policeman #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  10,735 ratings  ·  1,263 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)
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3.88  · 
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 ·  10,735 ratings  ·  1,263 reviews

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Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ah, yes, this is a really good apocalyptic trilogy series. 77 days to go before a deadly asteroid will hit earth and the world is in turmoil and growing chaos. Detective Hank Palace is out of a job but still accepts a request from a lady (former babysitter in his younger days) to find her husband Brett Cavatone, who disappeared without a trace. People are disappearing all over the world, going after their 'bucket list', suicide or trying to find a part of the world with possible chances of survi ...more
Dan Schwent
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
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
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
"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 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: for fans of mystery, philosophy, apocalypse

★ ★ ★ ★ 1/2

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-
Richard Derus
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: 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 feat in a world with no phones, no cars, and no way to tell whether someone’s gone “bucke
Aug 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Hank is no longer a policeman, but he's all boy-scout, which happens to make him an ANTI-HERO in this world.

That's pretty funny, isn't it? I mean, sure, we like to make fun of those types of people, right? But in a world full of crumbling order, near anarchy, and bucket lists and *mostly* good people doing whatever they really wanted to do before the last 77 days come around and wipe them all out, that one person who lives by heroic high-ideals, the man who tries to find a missing person in a w
James Thane
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
There is an aspect of my character that tends to latch on to one difficult but potentially solvable problem, rather than grapple with the vast and unsolvable problem that would be all I could see, if I were to look up.

The asteroid is hitting the earth in 77 days and everyone has their own way of coping. Henry/Hank Palace is determined to still act the policeman in spite of the fact that the world is complete chaos at this point. People are acting slightly crazy when facing imminent death. Soci
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is an example of second-book-syndrome or middle-book-syndrome for me. The and pre-apocalyptic plot and setting are getting more serious, but you can imagine worse conditions (for book three).

But with the promising of other reviews about the third book, I believe to read the book sooner or later.

One thing that stole my attention on the novel: the dog is cute.
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, reviewed
Review of "The Last Policeman"

So the world is still ending and the countdown to its demise continues its inexorable march to zero. Society is on the verge of collapse with the bonds that maintain it dissolve a bit more everyday. Sometimes that takes the form of a person abandoning everything to go "bucket listing", other times it involves turning to doomsday cults, and for others it is simply suicide. The only thing that is certain is that things are not getting better and they will almost cer
Sep 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
"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
Jul 18, 2016 added it
Shelves: fiction, trilogy
The Hook The last line of my review of The Last Policeman stated ”There is a sequel which I may not read as I thought the uncertainty of what might come was a fitting end.” Guess curiosity killed this gal. After reading a review of World of Trouble I decided to see Henry Palace to the end, whatever that may be.

The Line ”Last month there was a free class at the public library called “Eat Less and Live.”

The Sinker – Detective Henry Palace is now just citizen Henry Palace, a man trying to live his
Althea Ann
Oct 30, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Judith E
This second book in The Last Policeman Trilogy finds Detective Henry Palace searching for Henry’s old babysitter’s husband and stumbling upon his sister’s cult-like friends who are preparing for the asteroid’s impact with Earth.

Henry’s inner conversations can be quite funny but mostly they are dialogues justifying his actions in the face of imminent death. He finds comfort in continuing his strict and rigid investigative procedures instead of “grappl(ing) the vast and unsolvable problem, that w
Manuel Antão
Jun 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013


It's not easy to blend in a dystopic look at the future with a solid police story, but Winters has a lot of talent as the previous book fully demonstrated (See my review of The Last Policeman).

The plot this time round is darker, and though we still think of Hank Palace as a heroic and solid character who seems to be a lone voice of a serene rationality in a world rapidly going to smithreens, in truth he's anything but.

Ben H. Winters can mix-up several genres in a wonderful way in a way I've neve
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Second book syndrome. I do like Winter's writing and this is a good detective story. There is much introspection material in this book. What would you do if you knew the world ended in 70 days, I like how Winters represents the whole spectrum of choices. Good enough to keep going until the conclusion.
Wendi Lee
I really enjoyed The Last Policeman, and while the second book in this trilogy has a lot of strong points going for it (notably ex-Detective Hank Palace and his determination to follow through with his investigation, whether or not he works for the police anymore or not), I didn't feel the same connection.

The catastrophic asteroid is drawing closer to Earth, and resources are dwindling. Hank decides to help his old babysitter find her husband, and his sleuthing draws him away from his town, tow
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: apocalyptastic
"'As circulation improves over the next couple weeks, you'll start to get a persistent tingling, and then you'll need physical therapy to work toward regular functioning. Then, around early October, a massive object will strike Earth and you will die.'"

I enjoyed this a lot more than the first one, particularly since I feel like The Last Detective was written in third person even though I'm almost certain I'm incorrect about that, which contributed to my feeling put off by Hank Palace. I liked hi
Mar 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Ok book, I mostly read it because I'm interested in finishing this trilogy, imagine what would happen to the world if everyone knew an asteroid would hit the earth and kill everyone on it a 100 days from now, this is the premise of this trilogy. In this book we follow the life of the main character (a forcefully retired police officer ) who tries to keep order among chaos in society , this second book deals more with the fact that as the asteroid gets closer more and more of society cohesiveness ...more
Megan Baxter
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm now two books into this trilogy about a policeman/private detective (sort of) in the months leading up to the end of the world by asteroid collision. I quite enjoyed the first one, but I think I like Countdown City even more. The world is now well established, and Winters is going some interesting places with a fairly traditional mystery as the vehicle.

Note: The rest of this review has been withheld due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decis
Julie Davis
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Things are heating up, the asteroid is nearing Earth and chaos reigns. And yet former detective Palace is still trying his best to help others, in this case his former babysitter, whose husband disappeared. I think I raved plenty about book one and I'd hate to repeat myself, suffice it to say that this is the sort of sequel that's in every respect as good as its predecessor, intelligent, strikingly vivid, exceptionally well written. Winters creates a terrifying and utterly compelling world, thes ...more
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
OMG. I loved this story. Wait, is it appropriate to start a review with OMG??

OMG I fucking love this story. I think that's better. Just like the first book, I was sucked in. Could not, would not put it down. Believable. I love the "film noir" feel to these books. (yes books, there is a first one) And the second book carries on with the same feel. Its not "oh here we go again" kinda thing, but a complete story unto itself, wrapped in a larger unfolding story. I care deeply for Hank and his dog.
Kaethe Douglas
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Countdown City - Ben H. Winters  He's not going to stop talking about his mustache. I admit it, the cover model WITHOUT a mustache had given me hope. It's intrusive because pretty much no one ever notices their own little mannerisms, only other peoples. I don't say anything about it when I touch my face, or put my hair over my shoulder or whatever because I don't even register that I'm doing it, unless there's something weird with my hand. Someone else might think about it, might criticize it, o ...more
Time is running out for life on Earth. Henry finds himself unemployed and his social life revolves around a decreasing choice of options at his local coffee shop having lunch with his old police colleagues. His old babysitter asks him to find her missing husband so off he goes looking for one man in a world where everyone is living out their final days with no water, power or much hope.
This is a darker book that it's predecessor. There are Government sanctioned actions to protect its border, mur
With just 77 days left until an asteroid collides with Earth, former detective Henry Palace is asked by his former babysitter to find her husband, Brett Cavatone, who disappeared without a trace from his job, a common event with the pending apocalypse. Despite the long odds of success, Henry doggedly pursues Brett, a former State trooper, who is off on a mission of his own. His search leads him to reunite with his sister, who provides valuable assistance. Well done, but not as good as the first ...more
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Sci-Fi Indonesia: Buddy read - Jan 2018 - Countdown City (The Last Policeman #2) 22 17 Feb 22, 2018 07:00AM  
Dystopian Society: Contining The Last Policeman #2 1 8 Jun 01, 2016 09:52AM  
Norwescon: Countdown City 6 22 Sep 10, 2014 09:05AM  
Third book? 3 71 Mar 14, 2014 12:27PM  

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Other books in the series

The Last Policeman (3 books)
  • The Last Policeman (The Last Policeman, #1)
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“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.” 12 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.” 6 likes
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