Mr Mercedes

All posts tagged Mr Mercedes

Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy #2) – Stephen King

Published September 13, 2018 by bibliobeth

What’s it all about?:

Wake up, genius.

The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

What did I think?:

Those of you who might have been following my set of reviews on the Dark Tower series, never fear, the review of book three, The Wastelands is coming soon but I thought I’d slot in another King book I managed to read in between my Dark Tower re-read, the second book in the Bill Hodges trilogy, Finders Keepers. For the first book in the series, please check out my review HERE. This particular series featuring hard-boiled retired detective Hodges was a bit of a departure for King and his first non-supernatural foray into the crime genre. He’s had a bit of criticism (which I think is going to come with ANYTHING he writes, being such a prolific author!) and to be honest, even my other half sadly gave up on Mr Mercedes halfway through pronouncing it “not his cup of tea.” However, I have really enjoyed the series so far and am intrigued as to the direction King is taking his trio of lead characters – Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney and Jerome Robinson.

Stephen King, author of Finders Keepers, the second book in the Bill Hodges trilogy.

As with all trilogies, I would one hundred percent recommend reading Mr Mercedes before reading this book. Although we don’t hear much from the serial killer in the first book for reasons I simply cannot divulge for fear of spoilers, there are connections throughout the narrative to what has happened in the first novel, particularly as we come to an absolute blistering cliffhanger of an ending. In Finders Keepers, Hodges is following a new case of a celebrated author – John Rothstein who has recently been murdered by an obsessive fan, Morris Bellamy. Bellamy has become particularly crazed about one particular recurring character of Rothstein’s and is furious at the direction the author chose to steer his male lead in. However, when he gets out of prison, he learns that there is a final novel featuring this character in the possession of a young lad called Pete Saubers. He will stop at nothing to get his hands on this gold-mine putting Pete in a very precarious situation and in desperate need of Hodges’ help.

The actor Brendan Gleeson, who played Bill Hodges in the recent TV adaptation.

I was slightly surprised to realise that the focus of the second novel in the series wouldn’t be on the serial killer of the first novel but involve a completely new case. However, within a mere few chapters, I was completely compelled and devoured the novel in a couple of days, unable to put it down. In retrospect, I’m really pleased that King chose to do this, particularly when I consider the ending which leaves EVERYTHING open for the final book in the series. Some critics may also say that King is falling back on the same old formula of an obsessive fan and an author which he has already explored in novels such as Misery and Lisey’s Story. This is especially true of the former where the infamous Annie Wilkes is also none too impressed about how her beloved female lead character, Misery Chastain is treated by author, Paul Sheldon.

Personally, I really didn’t care. I love it when King re-hashes this trope and feel every time he does it, he manages to bring something fresh and new with despicable characters that it’s impossible to erase from your memory. I’m sure he’s had his fair share of crazed fans in his career (I promise I’m not one of them!!) and perhaps he draws on his considerable experience as a best-selling author to bring even more credibility to his stories. I believe so, anyway. Having read Finders Keepers a little while ago now, I still cannot believe I haven’t managed to get to the final book in the series, End Of Watch yet. As I read THAT ending, I did the audible gasp thing, the hugging the book in anticipation thing, the looking longingly at End Of Watch on my shelves thing…. and yet still, I keep making other books a priority. Well, no more. I am determined to complete the series, at least by the end of the year so watch this space for a review coming your way *hopefully* very soon!

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

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Mr Mercedes – Stephen King

Published August 26, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the perp; and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy. Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

What did I think?:

Mr Mercedes, the latest release from Stephen King at the time of writing, sees the author dabble in the world of crime fiction which he accomplishes very well but I may be ever so slightly biased being a huge fan. Does it stand out amongst other books in the genre? Well, yes I think it does, mainly due to the strength of characters that King creates. Our main character is a police detective called Bill Hodges who has recently retired but is not really enjoying or making the most of all the free time he now has on his hands. Bill is overweight, bored, depressed/positively suicidal and haunted by one of his old cases which remains unsolved. This is the case of the Mercedes killer who killed/seriously wounded a number of people waiting in line for employment as he drove a Mercedes car right through them and managed to escape the scene, leaving behind just a clown mask. Unfortunately, the killer doesn’t seem to be done yet and in a taunting letter to Hodges, threatens to carry out a deed with even more carnage and impact than you could ever imagine. The good thing about it this is that it gives Hodges a well needed kick up the backside to hunt down the killer and try to prevent another massacre from happening.

We, the Constant Reader are let in on the secret of who the Mercedes killer is, of course which proved maddening for me personally as I found myself willing Hodges to “Look over there! Don’t do that! Watch out! (he’s behind you….) Sounds a bit like a pantomime, sure but believe me, this is one “baddie” you’re certainly going to love to hate. His name is Brady Hartfield, and he has some serious issues going on. He lives with his alcoholic mother, has a tragic back story, is completely doo-lally and works two jobs, the first in IT where he is called out to repair home computers and the second driving an ice cream van. Both are very convenient for him so that he can interact with certain individuals while maintaining a relatively low profile. Hey, is anybody going to suspect the guy selling children some ice cream? But this guy is no Child-Catcher, he’s worse. After pushing all the right buttons and getting a response from Bill Hodges, they communicate on a regular basis through a chat site where he cannot be identified. He got a little taste for murder as the Mercedes killer, but it’s been a few years and he can feel the hunger coming back – a hunger that will only be sated by causing even more damage to as many people as possible. So can Bill Hodges unmask the villain this time? Can he foil the Mercedes killer’s dastardly deeds?

Of course I’m not going to answer that question, you’ll have to read it and find out! I highly recommend this novel, for fans of the big man’s work and also for newbies who haven’t discovered his magic way with words. King does a wonderful job of making his characters so memorable and there are some damned fine ones here – the evil Brady Hartfield aka Mr Mercedes, Bill Hodges and a vulnerable woman turned crime-fighter called Holly are favourites for me. Each one is written in such a way that you feel you really know them and could meet them on the street the next day. (Except for Brady Hartfield – if you met him you should just RUN, okay?) The tension builds up to almost unbearable levels as the plot reaches its climax, but this novel is definitely action-packed throughout. There is never a dull moment, and even some shocks and surprises just to keep us on our toes. Mr King, you’ve done it again. I bow down to you…

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

WWW Wednesday #47

Published July 2, 2014 by bibliobeth

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Click on the image to get to her blog!

Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, and thanks as ever to MizB for hosting.

To join in you need to answer 3 questions..

•What are you currently reading?

•What did you recently finish reading?

•What do you think you’ll read next?

Click on the book covers to take you to a link to find out more!

What are you currently reading?:

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I am one of Stephen King’s biggest fans (if I haven’t already told you!) and I’ve been looking forward to starting his new novel for a while now. Can’t wait to get stuck into this properly.

What did you recently finish reading?:

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Siege and Storm is the second book in the amazing Grisha series and was my last book of June 2014 Chrissi Cupboard Month. I’ll be doing a round-up post of everything I read as soon as all my reviews are out.

What do you think you’ll read next?:

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This book is on Richard and Judy’s Summer Book Club 2014 here in the UK and I’m looking forward to what I think will be an emotional World War I read. I’ll be reviewing it with my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads.

What are you reading this week? Please leave your link and I’ll pay you a visit! Happy Reading Everyone.