Book Review: Mr. Mercedes
Author: Stephen King
Release Date: June 3rd 2014
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy
Buy it : Amazon
First Line: Augie Odenkirk had a 1997 Datsun that still ran well in spite of high milage, but gas was expensive, especially for a man with no job, and City Center was on the far side of town, so he decided to take the last bus of the night.
Blurb from Goodreads: 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 “perk” 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.
There is a lot going on in this book. Starting with amazingly goretastic cover. The cover is so simple and spine tingling all at the same time.
There are several characters, two main and several side characters, and yet, Stephen King somehow makes it work and keeps it from being too confusing. I listened to this book on audible and it wasn’t even hard to figure out which POV I was listening to when it changed around. The writing was fantastic as always. I never expect less from King.
The beginning throws you right into the story. The very first chapter you get to know a character, a little of his back story, and you find out what kind of person he is. By the end of the first chapter, that one character is no longer alive. It’s not a spoiler because it’s the first chapter. It’s a rollercoaster after that point.
The main character, Bill Hodges is a retired detective with only one major regret and that regret calls him out one day with a letter. The Mercedes killer tries to mess with Hodges, trying to push him over the edge and ends up giving Bill one more mystery to solve.
What I loved about this book is how Brady is trying to get into Bills head, trying to cause him to kill himself, and in the end it only gives Bill something to live for. Brady gives Bill a new lease on life, a purpose to continue on.
Another thing that I loved so much about his story is that Brady is such a real character. I mean, all of them are very realistic, but Brady is the scariest of them all. He is the crazy person who has killed just to kill. He may have had a strange life growing up, but at some point, a switch was flipped and this guy lost his mind. And as the reader, you get to enter that mind and see how it works and how twisted it is. There is a reason that Stephen King is the master of horror. Somehow he knows how the mind of a psycho works.
This whole story has made me so cautious of things and people around me. Brady Hartfield is a computer repair tech and an ice cream truck man. These are the people that are in our lives every day. The next ice cream you buy could be from a mass murderer. Then again, we have had plenty of serial kills that were average Joes that no one would suspect.
This book made me uncomfortable, fearful, and in the end slightly satisfied with several things. I may have laughed at inappropriate times. I would suggest this to all my friends, but I haven’t come across a Stephen King book I didn’t like.