Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

"I'm like the curious cat. You know what they say --- satisfaction brought him back."

Every cop has that one case that stays with them throughout their career. For retired detective Bill Hodges, his case remains unsolved. A lunatic in a Mercedes drove through a crowd of people who were lined up outside an auditorium for a job fair. Eight people, including a mother and her infant, were killed, and many others were injured. Despite his best efforts, Hodges was never able to make any headway on the case.

Now that he's retired, Hodges life is on an increasingly downward spiral. His wife divorced him years ago, his daughter refuses to speak to him, and he struggles to find anything useful to occupy his time. Hodges normally spends his days sitting at home watching T.V. and playing with his gun. The more he wallows in the boredom and sadness of retirement, the more enticed he is to turn that gun on himself. But then he gets a letter in the mail from a person claiming to be behind the Mercedes attack. Reignited by the possibility of finally catching the murderer, Hodges begins an incognito investigation.

Brady Hartsfield has many issues of his own. He is a technology wizard, but his job doing house call tech support for a local electronics store does little to engage his true abilities. Instead, Hartsfield uses his heightened intellect to psychologically manipulate his customers and co-workers. He lives at home with his mother, an alcoholic who emotionally abused him as a child. The single event in his life that has given him the most joy and satisfaction is the day he stole a Mercedes and drove it into a crowd of innocent people. The high from that event is beginning to wane. Now Hartsfield is determined to do something even more violent and malicious to satiate his new found hunger.

Mr. Mercedes is a cat and mouse thriller by one of the most skillful and prolific authors working today.   King devotes equal attention to Bill Hodges as to the man he is hunting. The end result is two characters who are both flawed and well developed. These kinds of mysteries can be made or broken by the quality of the bad guy. By making Hartsfield as well-rounded as his protagonist, King crafts one of the most intriguing and evil villains that I've ever read. Besides a graphically grotesque and emotionally horrifying death scene, King leaves most of his horror roots out of this story. Instead, Mr. Mercedes is a perfectly paced crime novel inhabited by engaging characters that serves as the start to what is sure to be a fantastic trilogy.

For more information, visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads.

(2017, 9)

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8 Responses to “Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King”

  1. I listened to this trilogy on audio Ethan, and loved it from the thriller aspect to the characters. :)

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    1. I actually mixed it up on this one. I had the audiobook going during my commutes and read through the physical copy at home!

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  2. I haven't read anything by Stephen King since 11/22/63. I need to add this to my audiobook wish list!

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  3. It really seems like King can do no wrong, especially when it comes to character development. Those characters sound wonderful - flawed and just like what you need when it comes to reading a thriller. Great review!

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    1. I think you've emphasized the secret to his success. The man knows how to write characters that we can't help but read about.

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  4. I am a HUGE King fan (I run the fan group on goodreads) and I have to confess that I've read this series yet. Now that I've finished it though I need to get started on reading it. I made a vow last year that I wasn't going to read series that weren't finished. I never can remember what happened when there is a whole year in between books. I'm interested to read this book though because I'd like to read a mystery book by King rather then his normal types of books. I have so much reading to do!

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    1. You definitely won't be disappointed!

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