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End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) Hardcover – Unabridged, June 7, 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 2,967 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Bill Hodges Trilogy Series

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Product Details

  • Series: The Bill Hodges Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Book Club Edition edition (June 7, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1501129740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501129742
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,967 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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NOTE: It’s hard to get into my feelings about End of Watch without describing the basic premise of the book, which, in turn, is going to spoil some details from the first two books in the Bill Hodges/Mr. Mercedes trilogy. So, if you haven’t read those, just know that I liked End of Watch quite a bit, but I think it’s not as good as either of the first two books in the series. If you have read the first two books, feel free to read on. I won’t spoil anything from End of Watch beyond the basic premise.

Mr. Mercedes, the first novel in Stephen King’s trilogy of books about retired policeman Bill Hodges, represented something wholly new in King’s career. It was basically a crime novel, one in which a retired cop does his best to track down a serial killer. And while the details of the book were unique, and the style unmistakably King’s, it felt like the master trying something new: telling a suspense story without any supernatural elements. It’s something he’s done now and then – most notably in Misery, which was originally going to be a Bachman book – but not often, and it was a joy to find him doing it so well.

Then came Finders Keepers, which felt even less traditional – a crime novel about a long-lost book, authorial intentions, and so much more. Finders Keepers was a blast – a complex crime story that kept you guessing and whose stakes were hard to put into simple words – and easily outdid Mr. Mercedes. And yet, there was one odd plot thread: the ongoing fate of Brady Hartsfield. Left alive but comatose at the end of Mr. Mercedes, Hartsfield spends his short appearances in Finders Keepers in a nursing home, by all accounts unaware of the world around him…except for the hints that he may be able to use his mind to move objects around him.
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I was anxiously awaiting the conclusion to the Bill Hodges Trilogy from Stephen King after blasting through the first two books in the series. The way the second book ended I was expecting something completely different from what King delivered in this conclusion. This is definitely a departure from the rather gritty, real-world detective fiction that the previous two novels presented. Instead King re-entered some of the realms he presented in earlier works like Carrie and the Green Mile. Much more supernatural than parts one and two, but totally engrossing and exciting. The novel is long, as are most King books of late, but it's a rather quick read - hard to put down - just one more chapter. Obviously it won't make much sense if you haven't read the first two books even though King does a good job of refreshing your memory of what went on before. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
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Interesting series! Neither Mr. Mercedes nor Finders Keepers depended on Stephen King's talent for the supernatural...but both were terrifically suspenseful.

In "End of Watch", King amped up the suspense--palpable throughout the novel--and threw in the stuff that made him famous...eerie supernatural occurrences, made utterly believable by his masterful writing.

But, for me, the real treasures in End of Watch are King's characters. Bill, Jerome and Holly are some of the most realistic and endearing characters King has written, and during the course of the trilogy, you can feel them develop & grow. Holly, especially, is most memorable and wonderfully unique. As for Brady-- the villain we loved to hate in Mr. Mercedes? No letdown there, either!

While "Finders Keepers" wasn't my favorite King novel, I thought "End of Watch" was the perfect conclusion to the Bill Hodges Trilogy.

By the way, while the three novels are best read as a trilogy, King has included enough background in each (without being horribly repetitive) that they could, I suppose, be read as stand alone novels...but you'd be missing out.
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I'm rating this on a Stephen King scale, comparing it to the rest of his extensive works. I think I would put this trilogy, along with his other crime novels (like Joyland), into a "softer" category of Stephen King, separate from the harder category of pure horror (Doctor Sleep, Shining, It, etc.). First, let me say that I really enjoyed this trilogy, I couldn't wait until this book came out, and I read it in about a day and a half. Not sure how people couldn't get through it, or how people could say it was too long. For me, what I enjoy most about Stephen King is his character development, his ability to flesh out real characters, with all of their faults and insecurities. That's why I would say this novel was the weakest of the three. In Mr. Mercedes, he creates all of these interesting main characters. Bill Hodges, the detective hero, Holly Gibney, who becomes his unlikely sidekick, Jerome Robinson, the child prodigy, and finally the villain, Brady Hartsfield, one of his best villains. Then in Finders Keepers, he creates new characters like Morris Bellamy (the villain) and Peter Saubers, the child hero. Bill Hodges and Holly have less central rolls in this novel.
In End of Watch, he doesn’t create any new characters of real substance. Sure there’s Brady’s new sidekicks, Dr. Babineau and Library Al, and he brings back an old acquaintance from the first novel, but there is no real character development going on. The most interesting characters are Holly, and frankly, Brady Hartsfield. He’s not sympathetic, but the description of how he progressed from parapalegic vegetable to a telekinetic super-villain (with the same homicidal insanity) is the best part of the novel. If anything, I would have liked the novel to be longer to get further into some of the characters.
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