Author: Stephen King
Title: Mr Mercedes
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publishing Date: June 3, 2014
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Retired homicide detective Bill Hodges is haunted by the few cases he left open, and by one in particular: in the pre-dawn hours, hundreds of desperate unemployed people were lined up for a spot at a job fair in a distressed Midwestern city. Without warning, a lone driver ploughed through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes. Eight people were killed, fifteen wounded. The killer escaped.
Months later, on the other side of the city, Bill Hodges gets a taunting letter in the mail, from a man claiming to be the perpetrator. Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on hunting him down.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. And he is preparing to kill again.
Hodges, with a couple of misfit friends, must apprehend the killer in this high-stakes race against time. Because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim hundreds, even thousands.
Oh my. What a thrilling read this was. I didn’t expect less from Stephen King, but seeing that I’m not that into thrillers, I was still pleasantly surprised by this novel. Oh, and did you know this is only the first book of a trilogy? The King has announced that the second book in the Bill Hodges trilogy will be released somewhere in 2015. Couldn’t be more happy after reading this one!
So, what’s it about? As usual, King makes a simple plot into a marvellous read. Mr Mercedes is about a man who drives into a crowd of people and never gets caught. Bill Hogdes, ex-cop, is still haunted by this case, until he receives a letter from said killer and the hunt begins again. What’s so great about this story is that it doesn’t feature real heroes. The killer is a sensitive young man and the cop is a depressed senior. They’re ordinary people doing extraordinary things: exactly the type of characters King often writes about, and it’s genius. As a reader you can really get inside the head of either the killer or the cop and the story never becomes unbelievable.
What’s also a lot like King is the longwinded plot. Though the plot is very simple, the manifestation isn’t. In the middle the book got a bit slow, but I still read through the pages at a high pace, because King is a master writer and I wanted to know how the story ended. The ending did disappoint me a bit though, because I thought it was predictable. I was actually hoping for a more gruesome and awful ending, but hey, you can’t get everything you want. ;) So, to conclude: I LOVED the characters and King’s writing was marvellous, as always, but the plot could have been more original at some points. Still, four stars out of five isn’t bad, mister King, and I can’t wait to read the next Bill Hodges novel.