The Last Policeman by Ben H. Winters
The world will end in six months. That’s when the asteroid is going to crash into the earth. Know to be statistically improbable the impact is now a harsh reality. Everyone knows exactly how much time they have until the world ends.
Hank Palace is a policeman, a detective really; he is what he always wanted to be. His job is extremely difficult with people walking off their jobs to work on their bucket lists and people in his jurisdiction (Concord, New Hampshire) working on their bucket lists and breaking the law. Being arrested, even for petty crimes, is a big deal. Do you want to spend the last six months of your life in jail? But Hank enjoys his job and goes to work every morning. “Hangers” (that is how the people of Concord choosing to commit suicide prior to the big event tend to do it) are commonplace. But something about the “hanger” at the local McDonald’s doesn’t sit right with Hank. He feels it was murder. He chooses to investigate.
There are a lot of books out there about the end of the world and what life is like after the big event. There are a few that tell the story of the world ending/getting very messed up and what life is like (for example The Age of Miracles below). There are very few that address a countdown to the inevitable end of life as we know it. It’s interesting to see how people and the government deal with impending doom. And it’s especially interesting that Winters chose to tell this story as a gritty mystery novel.