The Last PolicemanThe Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

now this, boys and girls, is how it’s done.

what do you live for? you know, if there was an asteroid headed this way, unavoidable, no sf special forces coming in to save the earth, what would you live for?

this book hits so many notes just right: the apocalyptica is backgrounded and is woven into everyday life; the Big Philosophical Questions play out in the context of a three-dimensional character; the Main Event is not the coming end of the world as we know it, but in the investigation into a quotidian little murder of a very unexciting insurance actuary; nobody is a Superhero, but nobody is a Superklutz, either–just folks here; and there’s funny stuff, too.

bravo bravo bravo!

sf fans might have a hissy because there’s precious little science in all this, just an asteroid. mystery fans might have a hissy because there’s no police procedural here, although i do think the mystery elements are handled well. literary fans might have a hissy because there’s no–well, whatever that weird stuff that literary fans look for.

but for me, a fan of literature and sf and mystery, i think it is a dazzling blend of the three, wrapped in a really good story.

and unless you have settled the question in your own heart, you will be haunted by the question: what do you live for?