‘Finders Keepers’ is the 2nd book in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy. The first in the series was ‘Mr Mercedes’ and the 3rd, still to come is ‘End of Watch’. While this book is part of a series, the role of Bill Hodges and his two fellow detectives Holly Gibney and Jerome Robinson is fairly small.
In the 1970s, Marris Bellamy becomes obsessed with the author John Rothstein and his character Jimmy Gold. But the third Jimmy Gold novel was an anticlimax and then Rothstein retired. There are rumours that Rothstein continued to write (but not publish) and produced at least one more Jimmy Gold novel. Bellamy breaks into Rothstein’s home, kills him and empties his safe of more than $20,000 and 160 handwritten notebooks. But before Bellamy gets a chance to read the notebooks, he is jailed for another crime.
In 2009, young Peter Saubers finds Bellamy’s buried treasure. His family is in trouble financially (his father was run over while waiting in a queue at a job fair) and he finds a way to send them the money anonymously over a period of years. Now the money has run out. Peter realises what he has in the notebooks and decides to sell some to raise more money.
But, just as Peter is trying to sell some of the notebooks, Bellamy is released after 35 years in prison. Bellamy is furious that someone has stolen his treasure and is now after Peter so that he can get the notebooks back.
Bill Hodges hears about Peter after he is already in serious trouble. Together with Holly and Jerome, he does what he can to try to save Peter and his family from a madman.
Meanwhile, the madman from ‘Mr Mercedes’ – Brady Hartfield has regained consciousness. Hodges has taken to visiting him but it seems that Hartfield is not quite as unaware of his surroundings as he pretends to be.
I found this novel less suspenseful than ‘Mr Mercedes’ and the characters of Hodges, Holly and Jerome were almost superfluous to the story. But, it is a trilogy and I expect that Hodges is being set up for something dramatic in the final book.
Morris Bellamy was an excellently portrayed madman and his friend Andrew Bellamy was also pretty well done. Peter Saubers was a bit unbelievable but played his role excellently.
While this book is not at the top of my crime thriller list, I can’t wait for the third book to see the trilogy as a whole. Let’s hope that Hodges doesn’t do a Jimmy Gold.
Book Published 2015