This is a triple book review for the Last Policeman trilogy. Usually I will read a book, wait a day or three, and then write a review. That process did not work for this series though, since I read one of these books a day for three days straight and now they're all conjoined in my mind. :) Needless to say I enjoyed them. The setting and world building are great; the characters are enormously likable, the mysteries make sense, and the writing is unobtrusively beautiful. The books were also enormously addictive to read; there were several occasions where I was like "Oh, I will just read a few pages while I wait for this to download", and then ended up reading for the next 4 hours.
Why was it so addictive? Part of it is the likable main characters, and in particular the straight-laced, straight man of the narrator. He desires to solve mysteries in the same way that dwarves desire to carve stone. He is not particularly good at violence or survival, but he does have an unbreakable, almost Tallis like desire to put things right. So, that part definitely worked for me. I also enjoyed the mysteries, which is uncommon for me. Too often with mysteries I feel like the reader doesn't have enough information, and the conclusion is really forced and contrived, sort of like a long form version of these mysteries. In this case I felt like everything fit together. I was able to track and make sense of what was going on, and the investigation results tied nicely into the larger themes. In particular, I enjoyed the author's habit of fading back and forth between different theories and interpretations of what sort of crime/plot was afoot. The trilogy is not a blinding piece of genius, and it doesn't have the insane imaginative fecundity of an Iain Banks or a Philip Palmer, but it does do everything right in a quiet and competent and well thought out manner.