Book review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A good solid mystery written by one of the best writers around. While I had a few issues with the plot in this one, I invested heavily in the characters as I usually do in Stephen King stories.

This is the first in a trilogy featuring Bill Hodges, a recently retired detective struggling with finding his purpose now that he is no longer a cop. He is haunted by a mass murder that he was unable to solve before he retired. The book opens with a detailed account of this crime.

“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.”

The killer is also bored and has no plans to retire any time soon so reaches out to Bill Hodges, at first trying to play on Bill’s despondency by trying to convince him to commit suicide and then by threatening an even bigger mass murder than the Mercedes killings. As Bill opens his own investigation into the killer, he picks up some assistance along the way from Jerome Robinson, the brilliant 17 year old who mows Bill’s lawn and Holly Gibney, middle-aged and struggling with mental illness.

I was debating whether to continue on with the trilogy but thanks to feedback from a trusted reviewer coupled with the fact that I really love the Holly Gibney character, I will be continuing. I know there is another smart mystery to solve in book 2 and then I think there is some supernatural elements that get introduced in book 3. Looking forward to both!

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