Ben H. Winters combines mystery with science fiction, an intriguing combination. "The Last Policeman came out in 2012. Previously I had read 'Underground Airlines"(2016) as I misunderstood and was actually searching for a more promoted book "The Underground Railroad." recommended. Both books were read, blogged and surprisingly there was more positive response to my mistake. Read about Ben H Winter's later book: http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2017/02/underground-airlines.html
The end of the world is coming and even has a date. How do people react? Some people commit suicide not seeing any point in continuing life. Others drop what they have been doing and start pursuing their bucket list, leaving a lot of abandoned jobs with no replacements. A third reaction is revealed not too far into the book, but first the title protagonist, the last policeman wonders what keeps him going. He wants to solve a case that seems pointless to everyone aware of it. A man was found hung dead at a local McDonald's washroom. he seemed obsessed with the impending doom, no signs of a violent struggle-- a perfect suicide case. Henry Palace investigates the dead man's room and comes across a piece of paper with a name on it. Easy to speculate the start of a suicide note, but Henry decides it might be worth following up. Most of his efforts confirm a likely suicide. Eventually he realizes that some people to cope by choosing drugs and in some cases even after having broken the habit. This is on the way to solving the death, but there are a few twists along the way.
Although various people encountered are asked if they would kill themselves and they all deny. Some actually enjoy what they are doing. In the case of Henry he feels a challenge and a purpose. Keeping busy works for many. Science Fiction creates situations that propose potential and often current situations. Ben H. Winters has published 10 books and won numerous awards including an Edgar for this one.
Although I read lots of science fiction up to my 20's, I dropped it until I met Barry Finn. Read about my conversion: http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2011/09/conversion-can-sneak-up-on-you-too.html