Author: Stephen King
Series: The Bill Hodges Trilogy
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Scribner; First Edition (June 2, 2015)
“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.
Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.
Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.
“Shit don’t mean shit”
This is the second installment in King’s Bill Hodges trilogy. You can read my review of the first installment, Mr. Mercedes, by clicking the link → Book Review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. I started this series in anticipation of Stephen King’s book tour this summer, the End of Watch Book Tour, which I am happy to announce that I SCORED TICKETS TO!!!!! Check out my post about scoring the tickets → Bookish Dreams Do Come True! Stephen King Book Tour
Like Mr. Mercedes, I chose to listen to Finders Keepers via audiobook. Will Patton narrates the first two books in this trilogy, and I assume will continue on with the third installment. He has such an interesting voice that is so versatile and perfect for reading crime fiction. I can’t stress enough that listening to this via audiobook is the way to go!
Finders Keepers could very easily be a stand alone book. Bill Hodges, Holly, and Jerome, the unlikely crime fighting trio from Mr. Mercedes, are not main characters in this installment. There is almost no plot advancement from the first book. This book can be best described as a side story to fill the time lapse between the first and the third book.
This installment was a lot more mild on the screwed up scale. It was almost a nice break in the series since the first installment was so intense… Seriously though, it was
fucked messed up. I am anticipating the third installment to turn it up a notch. Now that I think about it, I may need to start mentally preparing myself now.
Making Peter, the protagonist, a teenaged boy was an excellent decision on King’s part. There is something so vulnerable about kids and teenagers that makes it so easy for me to connect to, possibly because it tugs at my motherly instincts. It was easy to sympathize with Peter and his situation. Who wouldn’t root for a boy that would do anything to help his family through hard times? Not only did he bail his parents out of a financial crisis, but he was willing to give up his most priced possessions in order for his little sister to attend the school she wanted. I respected his selflessness. Under the circumstances, I would have made the same choices.
I loved the plot, especially the concept of an antagonist with a crazy obsession centering around literature. So obsessed in fact that he would go as far as murdering an author out of resentment over an outcome of a book. If you can believe it, the antagonist in Finders Keepers was actually much more tame in comparison to the antagonist in Mr. Mercedes. That does not mean he was not terrifying, he just seemed a little more… human? real? I’m not sure what it is, but Morris, the antagonist, was definitely a believable character. I wonder if Stephen King has ever thought of the possibility of a crazed fan doing him harm… I am assuming he has. Does this thought keep him awake at night? Does Stephen King even experience fear? The things he creates in his mind ((insert shiver of fear))… I think one of the things that makes this book so terrifying is that it is believable. If I read this story in a newspaper, it really wouldn’t surprise me overmuch. Sometimes real life can be just as terrifying as fiction.
Bottom line: Stephen King has proved that he could make the jump to crime fiction. His character development, particularly the antagonists, are second to none. If you are a fan of crime fiction, you need to read this series!
“For readers, one of life’s most electrifying discoveries is that they are readers—not just capable of doing it (which Morris already knew), but in love with it. Hopelessly. Head over heels. The first book that does that is never forgotten, and each page seems to bring a fresh revelation, one that burns and exalts: Yes! That’s how it is! Yes! I saw that, too! And, of course, That’s what I think! That’s what I FEEL!”
“A good novelist does not lead his characters, he follows them. A good novelist does not create events, he watches them happen and then writes down what he sees.”
“No. I was going to say his work changed my life, but that’s not right. I don’t think a teenager has much of a life to change. I just turned eighteen last month. I guess what I mean is his work changed my heart.”
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Have you read this series? What were your thoughts? Which of Stephen King’s books are your favorites?
About the Author
Stephen 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.