I used to read a lot of Stephen King a long time ago. Then I read one of his books (I can’t remember which) that gave me nightmares for a while. I decided I would never read another Stephen King book again and I have also mostly avoided books involving the paranormal ever since. Then along came Mr Mercedes – no paranormal (yay), a good old detective story with Stephen King’s excellent skills as a writer. I loved this book even though many Stephen King devotees didn’t.
The story opens, like many detective stories, with a murder. Thousands of unemployed people are lined up waiting for a job fair to open when a stolen Mercedes is driven through the crowd. 8 people died and many more were injured. The driver got away and Detective William Hodges never succeeded in identifying the murderer.
Bill Hodges is now retired. He is bored with life and stacking on the weight and spends his time watching bad TV. With his gun on the table beside his chair, he has considered ending his pointless existence.
The Hodges receives a letter from the killer. Brady Hartfield has obviously been watching Hodges closely and would like to push him to suicide, just as he did with the owner of the Mercedes, Olivia Trelawney.
But Hodges is inspired out of his lethargy to finally solve the case. Careful to keep the police out of it, he starts to investigate with the help of his neighbour Jerome and two of Olivia’s relatives, Janelle (Janey) and Holly.
Brady lives at home with his mother with whom he has a very sick relationship. He has plans – to destroy Hodges and to commit an even greater atrocity than the Mercedes murder.
The race is on for Hodges to discover the murderer before it’s too late.
I enjoyed this book immensely. Stephen King has always had an incredible talent for building suspense in a story and this one is no exception. He is also able to create some of the most dark and damaged characters who you could ever meet.
This is the first book of a trilogy featuring Bill Hodges (and hopefully some of his companions). I’m looking forward to reading the other two books when they are released – ‘Finders Keepers’ later this year and ‘End of Watch’ next year.
Book Published 2014