Countdown City

Countdown City

The Last Policeman Book II

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Set three months before a deadly asteroid is due to hit Earth, this Last Policeman sequel chronicles the further adventures of Hank Palace. The Concord Police Department is now operating under the auspices of the U.S. Justice Department, and Hank is out of a job-until he's hired by a business tycoon to help find the man's estranged son. It isn't long before Hank's missing-person case turns into a murder investigation.
Publisher: Philadelphia : Quirk Books, [2013]
ISBN: 9781594746260
Branch Call Number: F WINTE-B
Characteristics: 316 pages ; 21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
IndyPL_SteveB May 05, 2019

Sequel to *The Last Policeman.* There are NO other mystery novels like this series, which is deeply imaginative and original, with terrific characters and suspense. The Earth is threatened by a large asteroid on a collision course, definitely aimed to mash into the Earth and devastate the planet. As the inevitability of disaster comes closer, most of the planet turns into a large scale version of *Lord of the Flies.*

In *Countdown City* the asteroid strike is less than three months away. The police department has been dissolved and the only law is provided by Federal troops mostly interested in protecting themselves and keeping away desperate immigrants. Former police detective Hank Palace gets a message from an old friend whose husband has mysteriously disappeared. While Hank is no longer a police officer, his police-ness is the only thing that gives him purpose in the chaos, so he sets out to find the missing husband. The contrast between Hank Palace’s honor and his attempts to maintain his humanity set against the collapse of morality in most of the people around him is striking. You want to root for him but know his quests are probably hopeless.

It’s a great book, realistic and disturbing, even terrifying. The final volume is *World of Trouble*.

Aug 01, 2018

very well done differentiation from typical mysterious]y/dystonia canon. Worth every page. How will the world end up when there is no hope? Who gives hope? Is this telegraphed...or inevitable?
Will the "bad Guys" control access. or black shirts/black boots run the show??
Who funds this and why?
Good read Looking forward to or #3...

SCL_Justin Aug 05, 2017

It’s 77 days until an asteroid hits earth, and Henry Palace’s long-ago babysitter’s husband has gone missing. Henry Palace isn’t a police officer any more, but he agrees to help. This is the story of Countdown City, sequel to Ben H. Winters’ The Last Policeman.

It’s a good little mystery novel. Even though the asteroid is more imminent than in the previous book, it feels like it means less. You can tell the world has changed. Fewer people are trying to hold things together so though Palace’s investigation has smaller stakes there’s more danger to it.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the very end of the book, but that’s probably because I am very far from being true police. It’s a good story but not as Wow-inducing as the previous one. C’est la vie.

Apr 26, 2016

This is the second novel in "The Last Policeman" trilogy. Detective Henry Palace is no longer working for the Concord Police Department. Civilization continues to break down under the shadow of an approaching asteroid that is poised to destroy Earth in just 77 days. Hank does not sit around waiting to die; he sets off to help his old babysitter find her missing husband.

I found the first novel (The Last Policeman) and this second in the series to be very refreshing because of the unusual circumstances and the "integrity" of the main character. I think the first book was better than the second, but this is still worth reading. I am now going to start on the final book (World of Trouble). I am very interested to see how Ben Winters finishes the series.

KateHillier Nov 22, 2015

The second book in the Last Policeman trilogy continues to highlight the fact that Hank Place really is the last policeman in Concord if not the world. As the asteroid heading for a fatal collision with Earth gets closer and closer Hank continues to his job as best as he is able in no matter what small way.

Hank's case this time is the disappearance of his old babysitter's husband. Everyone is disappearing, and the police department no longer exists, but Hank mounts his bicycle and gets to work. You don't know whether to feel sorry for him or to admire him. The man has his dedication and little else, aside from his sister who is involved in one of many radical groups that have popped up.

I'm invested enough to go into the next book but I liked book one the best so far. There are a few interesting developments with what sort of group mentality happens when people are put in extremis and I have to find out what that all means as the series, and the world, comes to an end.

Dec 21, 2014

A good story in and of itself, and it does a fine job of setting up plot to be settled in the final book.

Sep 27, 2014

The second book in the Last Policeman series, about a nice-guy, ex-cop continuing to take on investigative duty for his close friends, for no compensation, even when the world has only months to live. I find the first half of the book a tad slow, but things do pick up in the second half and make the story interesting. And yes, I am awaiting to read book three.

Aug 20, 2013

Reading this 2nd installment of the Last Policeman is greatly enhanced by reading the original "Last Policeman" first, as it fills in much needed backstory on three underlying plot lines.

As well written as the first, but time is running out to fit a third story into the narrative. Less than six weeks remain at the end of this novel.

Interesting, in a blog posting Aug 16/13, the author says he hasn't even come up with a title for the last book (

Ironically, fans of this series may have a much more time waiting for the next installment than the characters have remaining in the story.

Aug 04, 2013

Just as good as the first one (The Last Policeman). We're way further into the countdown to civilization's end. Great characters and a nice large arc as well as the individual story.

Read this second but do read it.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TPL

To Top