Book Review + Giveaway: World of Trouble, by Ben Winters


Ben Winters is back with World of Trouble, the conclusion to the Last Policeman trilogy, which is just as heartfelt and thoughtful and occasionally hilarious as the previous two volumes in the collection. The novel again follows Detective Henry (Hank) Palace, who is still trying to solve crimes even with the meteor Maia only weeks from impact.

In World of Trouble, the crime is he trying to solve is more personal than ever before: Palace is looking for his sister Nico, last spotted flying in a helicopter out to an unspecified location, where she and a group of fellow conspiracy-theorists were going to alter Maia's path and prevent it from hitting Earth. Suffice it to say that Nico does not want to be found, while Hank very much wants to find her, which leaves him tracing sketchy clues to even sketchier locations: an abandoned clothing store that once had a rogue internet connection; an empty police station in the middle of Ohio; an Amish farm.

World of Trouble continue the excellent philosophical narrative that Winters established in The Last Policeman and Countdown City. It asks big questions--What would you do if you knew the world was going to end? How would you protect the ones you love?--and offers up scattered answers: You might pretend the world was not going to end, or set out to horde as many supplies as possible. You might go Bucket List or take your own life. You might cut your family off from all communications to let them live their last days in ignorance of the coming events.

And buried within this philosophy is a mystery novel like any other, as a committed detective follows obscure clues to get to what he wants: answers. Where? Why? How?

It's no small task, setting a mystery in a world that is about to end, but Winters has pulled it off with panache. Seriously, if you haven't read these books already, stop everything and go pick them up.

Or just enter to win all three (courtesy of the publisher, Quirk Books) using the form below:


Good luck, and happy reading! And check back Friday for a post from Winters on how reading mystery novels shaped his writing, and what books he recommends for aspiring mystery writers.

27 comments

  1. The Last Policeman was one of the most surprising books I've read in some time, I can't wait to see where Hank ends up.

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  2. If I knew that the world was going to end, I'd probably spend as much time as I could with my loved ones. Maybe run away with them somewhere, to enjoy their company in an exotic location.

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  3. I'd call all my exes and give them a second chance. Out of 20,my chances are decent.

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  4. Eat a lot of donuts!

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  5. Read as many books as I possible can while traveling.

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  6. Adam Fleming PettyJuly 15, 2014 at 4:03 PM

    One word: pancakes. One more word: banana. One word and one more word: banana pancakes.

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  7. I love, love, love this series. No, really...I honestly cannot wait to read #3!!! So glad someone else is a fan, too!

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  8. jacqueline poehlmanJuly 15, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    head to London to see some of the sites I'm dying to see in my life!

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  9. If I had time I'd want my husband and I to get our kids and go the favorite place in the summer

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  10. Eat whatever I wanted.

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  11. Jeremiah Jesse ManoppoJuly 16, 2014 at 9:03 PM

    just sleep.

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  12. Not a bad choice.

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  13. Yes! Cupcakes and potatoes gratin for me.

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  14. That'd be on my list for sure.

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  15. I love London! I hope you get to see the sites, end of world or no end of world.

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  16. Yes yes yes yes yes.

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  17. And read while doing both!

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  18. I would bring some, not all. Cross country trips are always busy and if the world was ending there would be a lot of people to catch up with!

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  19. Spend the time at a cabin by a quiet lake.

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  20. I would travel the world with my husband and see all the sights I've ever wanted to see.

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  21. Gather all of my family around and spend quality time together eating our favorite foods, traveling to places we've always wanted to see and just enjoying one another

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  22. I suspect I would drink a fair amount, read too much, and spend a lot of time at home with my family. Unoriginal, but I definitely would not be going into work.

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