The New York Times best selling author, Ben H. Winters, delivers his third installment in the revered Last Policeman trilogy with World of Trouble. With conflict in the Middle East, and the dangerous ties between Russia and the rest of the globe providing impending pressure on the stability of the modern world, the quandary of the apocalypse has been on the agenda for hundreds of years; from religious cults to ancient tribes and civilizations predicting the fate of our temporary planet.
Ben H. Winters feeds our appetites for apocalypse, developing the plot through his protagonist Hank Palace. Palace is a dogged and determined individual who is no longer driven to solving the crimes and murders of the past, which are prevalent in Winter’s previous novels; The Last Policemanand Countdown City. The books plotline revolves around not only Palace but that of his sister Nico, who is thought to have joined a rogue ‘end of days’ activist group that has pinned its hopes on a deluded scientist, and the government preventing the end of civilisation as we know it.
Palace’s sole objective is that of finding his estranged sister Nico before the clock stops, with the impending impact of the asteroid Maia coming to the end of its 6 month trajectory towards earth. Palace’s desperation for discovering Nico becomes littered throughout the pages of World of Trouble, this is clearly expressed early on in the book, through this extract;
“ I need to see her so badly that it is like a low rolling heat in my stomach, like the fire in the belly of a furnace, and if I don’t find her- if I don’t manage to see her, hug her, apologize for letting her go- then it will leap up and consume me”.
Palace ventures through an American state that has become void of all sensibility, moral conduct and sanity. As with many apocalyptic novels such as I am Legend by Richard Matheson, Hank Palace has encompassed a trusty sidekick in the form of a loyal canine named Houdini. Houdini may provide comfort and companionship for Palace yet the name may be a paradoxical indication, of the earth being unable to escape from the shackles of its impending doom. Ben. H Winters has crafted a gripping trilogy that provides adventure, mystery and depicts the strength of the human spirit in times of desperation and conflict. Hank Palace is the protagonist that channels the determination and rationality that all humanity is capable of sustaining, amongst a World of Trouble.