Countdown City

Countdown City  - Ben H. Winters

Solving crimes while the whole world has an existential crisis. Who knew these two things would go so well together?


Former Detective Henry Palace is still an interesting character. Though he’s officially retired from the force, being an officer of the law is pretty much all he knows how to do. It’s what gives him purpose. So while other people are off going “Bucket List” or choosing to exit the world on their own terms, Henry is searching for a missing man at the behest of the man’s wife. Because no impending cosmic cataclysm can keep Henry from being who he is and doing what he does.


Once again, Winters delivers an engrossing story. So engrossing that you almost forget to ask yourself things like: why civilization hasn’t gone full-on Lord of the Flies yet; where these mysterious government supply shipments are coming from; why no one has electricity unless it’s convenient to the plot; why everyone and their dogs aren’t stockpiling water while their kitchen taps still work; etc. They are persistent, nagging questions, but not too distracting.


I still don’t like first person present tense narratives, and I noticed a handful of typos, but the story is so good that if Winters can keep it up for another book, I just might forgive him for that whole Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters thing.