Book Reviews, Thriller

Thriller Thursday! Book Review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

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Author: Stephen King

Series: The Bill Hodges Trilogy

Paperback: 448 pages

Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (January 6, 2015)

ISBN-10: 1476754470

ISBN-13: 978-1476754475

Amazon // Goodreads

Excerpt from Mr. Mercedes

Watch the Mr. Mercedes Book Trailer

Book Synopsis

#1 New York Times bestseller! In a high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. “Mr. Mercedes is a rich, resonant, exceptionally readable accomplishment by a man who can write in whatever genre he chooses” (The Washington Post).

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, 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 Hartsfield 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 two new, unusual 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.

 

 My Thoughts…

When I found out that Stephen King would be coming to my hometown in June as part of a 12 city book tour to promote the final installment in the Bill Hodges Trilogy, I knew I had to do everything in my power to go.  Ohio isn’t a hot spot for book tours, so I am not going to let this chance to see Stephen King slip away.  Unfortunately, tickets have yet to go on sale.  I have been religiously checking the website for any updates on when tickets will be available, but luck thus far.

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Visit the End of Watch Book Tour website for more information and to see if Stephen King is coming to a city near you this summer!

Anyways! In anticipation of Stephen King’s upcoming book tour, I decided that I had better read the first 2 installments in the Bill Hodges Trilogy.  The first being Mr. Mercedes.  I must admit, this was only the second book by Stephen King that I had read. The first Stephen King novel that I ever read was actually Under the Dome, one of his sci-fi works. Now THAT was a big book, coming in at just over 1,000 pages.  I really enjoyed it and Stephen King’s brilliant writing.  I just hadn’t gotten around to reading another one of his books.  Here was my chance!

I listened to Mr. Mercedes via audiobook.  It just so happens that Mr. Mercedes is narrated by Will Patton.  You may know Will Patton from movies like Remember the Titans, Armageddon, and Gone in 60 Seconds.   He has such an interesting voice.  PERFECT for this type of crime thriller.  Seriously though, listening to this via audiobook is the way to go!  You won’t be disappointed 🙂

What do you get when you bring together a 60+ retired detective, a 17-year-old Ivy League bound kid, and a 40-something mentally unstable woman?  A crime fighting trio probably didn’t come to mind, but this is the mystery solving dream team in Mr. Mercedes.  I enjoyed the diversity between the characters and how each brought something different to the plate. I’m a sucker for a book with unlikely heroes.  It was easy to like these characters and to root for them.  The playful banter between them was light hearted and was a necessary break from all the heavy parts in this book.

“Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.”

Mr. Mercedes

Speaking of heavy parts.  Wowza.  I didn’t expect any less from the mind of Stephen King. I can honestly say there were multiple occasions where I was genuinely disturbed.  There were two scenes in particular where I had to stop listening in order to compose myself before continuing on.  This book should come with a disclaimer: Stomch churning may occur, keep Pepto-Bismol handy… If you have read this book, you probably know which scenes I am referring to.

The antagonist in this book was perfection.  Freud would have had a field day with this guy.  A criminal justice background in college has really taught me that some of the most sinister people are the ones you least expect.  Your neighbors, coworkers, friends, and even family are the ones you should fear when you close your eyes at night.   Brady was very well developed, and more importantly believable.  Bravo Mr. King!  I salute you in your abilities to create such a fucked up mentally unstable character.

And yet… ((Mr. Mercedes reference))

And yet I cannot give this book 5 stars.  There were a few parts in the book that were a little slow moving, particularly in the beginning, however this is a minor complaint in the grand scheme of awesomeness that is this book! I really respect Stephen King for pushing the boundaries in this novel.  He doesn’t seem to shy away from unmentionable topics, but tackles them head on as only he can.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Are you a Stephen King fan?  What are some of your favorite SK books?

About the Author

stephen_kingStephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Website // Facebook // Twitter

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23 thoughts on “Thriller Thursday! Book Review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King”

  1. Wow, that would be an awesome event to attend – good luck getting tickets! I really enjoyed your review – this sounds like an intriguing one, with a very messed up antagonist (the best kind!) I haven’t read much Stephen King, but I recently read a collection of his short stories (Four Past Midnight) and really enjoyed them, so I’m attempting to make my way through his enormous back-list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Messed up antagonist indeed! Stephen King’s mind fascinates me… Who has the guts to write the stuff he does?! He is probably one of the few that can. I am definitely going to be reading more SK. I would like to read some of his Sci-Fi/Paranormal books! Probably around October/Fall time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too – I think he’s a very clever writer for pulling off some of the things he writes about and making it so authentic (even when he’s writing about stuff that couldn’t actually happen in real life). I also want to read more of his sci-fi/paranormal stuff – I’m not sure where to start though as he’s written so many books! If you like the sci-fi stuff, the first novella in the collection I read was really good – it’s called The Langoliers. I enjoyed the others, but that one was my favourite by far.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m intrigued! I will definitely look into the collection of short stories! I feel the same with not knowing where to start… I’m not convinced he is human… Who can write that many books? Maybe SK and Nora Roberts are really robots 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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