The end of the world won’t stop the last policeman from solving one more case.
Would-be detective Hank Palace is driven by a sense of purpose long abandoned by a planet that’s gone crazy as the last days approach. Though he spent little time as an actual detective—after all, there’s no such thing as police, or even order, any more—Palace is the kind of guy who keeps at his job, even in the final days before asteroid Maia is predicted to collide with the Earth. Besides, the last case Palace has chosen is personal: He has to find out what happened to his younger sister, Nico, before everything comes to an end. During their last meeting, Nico claimed to be on the trail of a scientist who could save the planet. When Palace tried to call her bluff, she made a quick getaway, determined to find what she believed to be the truth. Now Palace attempts to retrace her steps, going through the remains of civilization from Massachusetts to Ohio armed only with Nico’s high school yearbook photo. Even Palace’s most loyal companion, his dog, Houdini, limps alongside him as if he knows that the end is near and that the two companions must find their own meaning in it.
This final installment in Winters’ trilogy (Countdown City, 2013, etc.) is the weakest, marked by a falling off of both the writing and the story that made the first entry worthwhile. Perhaps the world lasted 14 days too long.