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Countdown City (The Last Policeman #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  8,597 Ratings  ·  1,066 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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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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Countdown City' is book 2 in the Last Policeman The Last Policeman series. Henry Palace, ex-detective, is a man without a job and without a future, but then everybody in the world is facing the same existential limbo. In 77 days asteroid Maia is going to crash into earth somewhere near Indonesia, cause monumental earthquakes, tsunamis, and finally a crop-destroying ash cloud.

Hank still has a house, a dog and a sister. Maybe a sister. Nico has joined one of the conspiracy groups which are sprin
Nancy McKibben
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Bryan Alexander
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-read
4.5 STARS.

I really liked COUNTDOWN CITY, although not as much as the first book THE LAST POLICEMAN. I like that civilization is getting more and more messed up as the asteroid's impact date gets closer and closer. However, this makes Hank Palace's actions of continuing to try to solve mysteries (like where did his childhood friend Martha's husband disappear to?) seem even more and more unbelievable, and possibly, demented. The action is fast and furious and I found it very difficult to put down.
Jul 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Three months left until the asteroid hits Earth. Electricity is shut down. Water is no longer running. Buildings are being burned to the ground. The city is in chaos. Not much left for former detective Palace to do but take on a missing persons case. Yup, he's still working but now he's doing it for free. You just gotta love this guy. I liked him well enough in the first instalment but he really grows on you. If ever there is an apocalyptic event to occur, this is the guy you want as a friend. T ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
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 69 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)
  • World of Trouble (The Last Policeman, #3)

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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.” 11 likes
“every choice forecloses on other choices; each step forward leaves a thousand dead possible universes behind you.” 6 likes
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