The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
Quirk Books, 2012
Price I paid: none
What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway?
Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job—but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging in a city that sees a dozen suicides every week—except this one feels suspicious, and Palace is the only cop who cares.
The first in a trilogy, The Last Policeman offers a mystery set on the brink of an apocalypse. As Palace’s investigation plays out under the shadow of 2011GV1, we’re confronted by hard questions way beyond “whodunit.” What basis does civilization rest upon? What is life worth? What would any of us do, what would we really do, if our days were numbered?
Acts of God by James BeauSeigneur
SelectiveHouse Publishing, 2012
Originally published by Warner Books, 2004
Price I paid: Amazon gift card funny money
Two nuclear wars. Three asteroids. Demonic madness that kills one third of the world’s population. Into this, a savior will rise, cloned from Christ. It’s not fiction. It’s prophecy.
It is the dawn of the New Age. After six millennia of stagnation, humanity stands on the brink of its final great evolutionary step. But it is a step that has come at tremendous cost. Half the world’s population is dead. The Pacific Ocean is barren. The forests of North and South America are a charred wasteland. Central America has been reduced to rubble. The planet’s survivors face a fundamental choice: follow Christopher Goodman, the Messiah of the New Age and clone of Jesus Christ, or cling to the very worldview and the God who has wrought this destruction.
Under Christopher’s leadership the world begins to experience miraculous recovery, and soon the first signs of humankind’s evolution emerge, just as Christopher promised. His fanatical opponents, however, charge that he is the Antichrist, and that his name, when written in Hebrew has the numeric value of 666.
Reluctantly, Christopher determines to use their own superstitions against these fanatics. He reminds the world that the prophecies of Revelation were written by the Apostle John, and it was John, who after using his dark powers to survive for 2000 years, is responsible for the near annihilation of the planet. It was John, whose writings in the Bible radically distort what is to come and who will emerge the victor.
Each person must choose. All that’s certain is that the world is catapulting toward a final apocalyptic conflict, and humanity’s salvation or damnation depend on the true nature of the Christ Clone.