Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1)
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Mystery
Originally Published: June 3rd 2014
Format: Kindle (449 pages)
Synopsis: 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.
My Rating: ★★★ 1/2
This is only my second Stephen King novel and I am absolutely determined to keep reading his works. I enjoyed this novel and really thought the mix of characters and story line were great.
The opening of this book left me feeling angry and wanting to know more about what had happened. What ensued was a long investigation by retired Detective Bill Hodges into the Mercedes Killer. Accompanied by teenage sidekick Jerome and the later addition of the mentally fragile Holly, this book had lots of twists and turns that I wasn’t expecting.
I liked that the chapters were fairly short as they kept me wanting to read on. I enjoyed the way in which King took us between the Bill and Brady’s points of view. This really helped to build up the suspense for me. One minute I was on the trail of the Mercedes Killer, the next I was reading about what his next plans were. As I got closer to the end of the book, I was quite frantically willing on Bill, Jerome and Holly as I knew what the consequences would be if they didn’t get him.
Brady creeped me out. The idea of him being the ice-cream man was very real, almost too real for my liking. It really brought back those feelings of realising that psychopaths and murderers really can be anyone. Brady’s relationship with his mother made me feel a bit queasy at times but I liked how King used this to show another edge to Brady’s unstable nature.
What did I love most about the book?
This book was really well written and I loved the fact that I could so easily visualise what was happening. I had my own mental movie going on throughout the time I was reading this. There were some scenes that did make me feel physically quite sick, but this is down to the intimate writing style of King.
“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.”
“Never tell a lie when you can tell the truth.”
“I did something good for you just now. Before the sun goes down tonight, I want you to pass it on.”
Overall I thought this was a great read. I really liked the characters and the team that King has created. I definitely enjoyed it enough to want to read the next in the trilogy and see what happens next.
Have you read Mr Mercedes? What did you think?
What are your favourite King novels? Which would you recommend?