The Last Policeman

The Last Policeman, by Ben Winters, is a mystery set six months before a six-mile-wide astroid strikes Earth, an extinction-level event. With the apocalypse looming, why would a detective bother solving murders?

Featuring snappy dialogue, a distinctive narrative voice, and excellent building of suspense, the whole book is written in first person present, which works really well. The core murder mystery, using a Two Body Plot, is enhanced by a bigger background mystery that presumably serves as the plot arc for a trilogy, of which this is the first.

What I admire most is the way Winters doles out just enough information to allow the reader to make the necessary deductions at the right moments — I know, standard mystery technique, but surprisingly hard to master.