Another thought-provoking, genre-bending SF thriller ... Winters seems to have a real affection for unusually compelling premises—the events of the Last Policeman trilogy take place as an asteroid is bearing down on the earth, and the annihilation of humanity is a certainty—and he certainly knows how to bring those premises to life in a way that keeps readers flipping pages. Another fine novel from a writer whose imagination knows no bounds.
In many ways, Golden State is a reflection on contemporary preoccupations about fake news and alternative facts. ... recalls 1984 in its emphasis on surveillance, obsessive record-keeping and bureaucracy, although the sunshine and acres of marijuana fields make Winters's vision considerably more attractive ... Winters is an expert at combining social commentary with gripping mystery plots, and the novel never slows down enough to be accused of didacticism. With rich characters, frequent twists and tense set pieces, Winters always nails the hardboiled basics. And even as Ratesic's unquestioning faith in his society erodes, it remains a provocative and compelling alternative to the uncertainty that can seem to undergird modern life.
In some details, Winters’ story might have fallen out of a forgotten file drawer at Philip K. Dick’s pad, though Winters takes a less bleak view of humankind than the master of bad-vibes future California; though somewhat less surprisingly inventive than the author’s Underground Airlines, it’s still a skillful and swift-moving concoction ... For those who like their dystopias with a dash of humor.