Monday 16 June 2014

Book Review: Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

Title: Mr Mercedes
Author: Stephen King
Published: Out Now
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Summary: Detective Bill Hodges is a battle-hardened and streetwise crime fighter originally assigned to the Mercedes killings. Now retired, Hodges has lost his way in boredom and depression craving the thrills of taking down the region’s most notorious criminals. When a disturbing letter from the Mercedes Killer arrives at his door, Hodges soon finds himself uncontrollably drawn into a cat-n-mouse pursuit with stakes beyond comprehension.

Review: Sitting here typing this review, at my desk for once, and at a slightly late hour I feel a little like Brady hunched over terminal three... this is of course where the comparison between us STOPS!

For me the build up to the book has been immense! I was sent a sample a while back (which is when I fell in love with the cover) and by the end of it, felt like I had been given three pieces of a puzzle and told you can't have the rest until a lot later. I'd got so caught up in that sample, that when I reached the end I was like 'why is the rest of the book missing!'

However the excitement built in leaps and bounds as the publication date got closer, not least because of these excellent spine chilling introduction videos, that if you haven't seen you really need to, and can be found here.

The book itself is somewhat a departure for Mr King, taking on the form of a crime novel, yet still feeling like a Stephen King book. It has all the distinctive features of a crime novel, with a dual perspective that I feel really lifted the book from just a straight up crime novel with that feeling of reality that King brings to his works. What was also quite funny to read were the allusions to his previous works casually thrown in throughout.

As for the characters Bill, feels like your typical american cop, even in his retirement and he is everything that you would expect from such a novel, nothing is new to the game, but that doesn't mean he isn't a good character, because every character is effectively unique. Brady is the money maker of the novel. He is controversial and brutally blunt in this thoughts, and had an almost Irvine Welsh dark quality to his person, almost like Bruce in 'Filth'. You can see this in every aspect of his life, and he was not the character I expected from the sample, he was so much uncomfortable to read at times. I had the book and I was saying "Oh no..No...don't" to myself" which is always a good sign. I also like having this second perspective 'from the other side' as it were, when reading crime novels, and it is a skill to be able to get the right balance of crazy in a character that is still very plausible.  And just like any crime novel people come and go, but the reality of them in their moment, like they could be a person I could go out and find now, added a depth that I feel present in all kings books. I especially liked the addition of Holly and how each new character affected the dynamic of what you were reading so it wasn't just another crime book, but a Stephen King book.

What I am especially glad about now, is that this is to be the first of a trilogy, which gets the blood racing faster the speed of a I wont go there, but you get the idea (I'm excited...just in case you didn't).

I've found in the past that it can take me a while to get into some of King's books, but for me this ticked all the right boxes and I flew through it. Definitely give it a spin, and be ready for what's to come!


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