In a pre-apocalyptic world, one detective still keeps watch—but to what end?
The impending impact of asteroid 2011GV1, unaffectionately known as Maia, has given life on Earth only six more months. It’s turned Concord, N.H., into a “hanger town,” a reference to the suicide preference of locals. Rookie Detective Hank Palace is determined to stay on top of his caseload even though many of his old colleagues seem to have cashed in and are bucket-listing it from now on. Enter Peter Zell, or rather exit Peter, whose death is Palace’s latest case. Any other cop would have let this apparent suicide go, but Palace is determined to do his duty when he senses something suspicious about the circumstances. Added to this is Palace’s mess of a little sister, Nico, who knows that Palace may be the only one with the cop chops to track down her missing husband. What’s more interesting than the mystery surrounding Zell’s death is Winters’ vision of a pre-apocalyptic world, one where laws are both absolute and irrelevant and even minor players have major control over what could be a new future. The imminent end of the world doesn’t mean that everyone has shown their hands—just that there’s a lot more at stake if they lose.
A promising kickoff to a planned trilogy. For Winters (Bedbugs, 2011, etc.), the beauty is in the details rather than the plot’s grim main thrust.