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Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy Book 1) by [King, Stephen]
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Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8,000 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in The Bill Hodges Trilogy (3 Book Series)

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Length: 449 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

King’s interest in crime fiction was evident from his work for the Hard Case Crime imprint—The Colorado Kid (2005) and Joyland (2013)—but this is the most straight-up mystery-thriller of his career. Retired Detective Bill Hodges is overweight, directionless, and toying with the idea of ending it all when he receives a jeering letter from the Mercedes Killer, who ran down 23 people with a stolen car but evaded Hodges’ capture. With the help of a 17-year-old neighbor and one victim’s sister (who, in proper gumshoe style, Hodges quickly beds), Hodges begins to play cat-and-mouse with the killer through a chat site called Under Debbie’s Blue Umbrella. Hodges’ POV alternates with that of the troubled murderer, a Norman Bates–like ice-cream-truck driver named Brady Hartfield. Both Hodges and Hartfield make mistakes, big ones, leaving this a compelling, small-scale slugfest that plays out in cheery suburban settings. This exists outside of the usual Kingverse (Pennywise the Clown is referred to as fictive); add that to the atypical present-tense prose, and this feels pretty darn fresh. Big, smashing climax, too. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: No need to rev the engine here; this baby will rocket itself out of libraries with a loud squeal of the tires. --Daniel Kraus

Review

"Pays off exuberantly . . . Surprising and invigorating." (The New York Times)

"Classic Stephen King. Creepy, yet realistic characters that get under your skin and stay there, a compelling story that twists and turns at breakneck speed, and delightful prose that, once again, proves that one of America’s greatest natural storytellers is also one of its finest writers." (Associated Press)

"On one level, Mr. Mercedes is an expertly crafted example of the classic race-against-the-clock thriller. On another, it is a novel of depth and character enriched throughout by the grace notes King provides in such seemingly effortless profusion. It is a rich, resonant, exceptionally readable accomplishment by a man who can write in whatever genre he chooses." (Washington Post)

“Think of Mr. Mercedes as an AC/DC song: uncluttered, chugging with momentum, and a lot harder to pull off than it looks. . . . King has written a hot rod of a novel,perfect for a few summer days at the pool. Mercedes-Benz commands drivers to demand ‘the best or nothing.’ In pop-fiction terms, that motto still applies to Stephen King, too. With apologies to AC/DC, the highway to hell never felt so fun.” (Christian Science Monitor)

“A taut, suspenseful race-against-time book . . . [King is] in reliably fine form.” (The New York Times)

"A taut, calibrated thriller . . . The majority of the book is merciless and unforgiving, and the scariest thing about it is how plausible the whole scenario is." (Miami Herald)

“The nerve-shredding denouement is vintage King—a pulse-pounding race against time . . .” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

“A full-throttle sprint to the finish; the last 80 pages cannot be doled out over multiple reading sessions. You'll have to swallow them all in a single gulp.” (Sarasota Herald Tribune)

“A literary Van de Graaff generator: tightly paced and parsed with dynamic dialogue and traumatic twists.” (Columbus Dispatch)

“An oh-so-dark mystery that never shuts the door on love, loss and, possibly, redemption.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“No one can create a villain quite like King. . . . [A]ll the elements come together in a very public, potentially explosive finale (with a surprising post script). King fans may find themselves furiously turning pages long into the night.” (Seattle Times)

“Along book that doesn’t feel like one. King’s pacing is perfect here . . . [Y]ou should read Mr. Mercedes. You’ll be checking your automobile’s back seat for months, if not years.” (BookReporter.com)

“A fast-paced whodunit.” (Esquire)

“King excels in his disturbing portrait of Brady, a genuine monster in ordinary human form who gives new meaning to the phrase‘the banality of evil.” (Publisher's Weekly)

“The most straight-up mystery-thriller of [King’s] career…Pretty darn fresh.” (Booklist)

“Nicely dark, never predictable and altogether entertaining.” (Kirkus)

“King deftly takes elements of hard-boiled mysteries and puts a fresh spin on them.” (USA Today)

“A showdown between good and evil that characterizes the best of King's work, regardless of genre.” (Los Angeles Times)

“King may have left out the supernatural in Mr. Mercedes, but his gifts for creating thoroughly believable characters and thrumming suspense are in full play. He keeps raising the stakes and ratcheting up the violence, and just when you think everything is settled there's one spine-icing little turn on the very last page.” (Tampa Bay Times)

“King creates such vivid characters—people you can picture yourself drinking a beer with or inviting over for lunch. So when he puts them in great peril, and that includes Jerome’s family and pet dog and the Mercedes’ owner’s family, it’s a race against time . . .” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“Hartfield is sensitive, sympathetic and one of King’s most realistic characters. He is a lot like Norman Bates from Psycho, in the worst ways imaginable.You can add Hartfield to the list of great King villains, alongside the shape-shifting monster Pennywise from It and the hypnotic vampire Kurt Barlow from Salem’s Lot.” (Boston Herald)

“A fast-paced cat-and-mouse game between Hodges, the motley group of unlikely heroes that he assembles, and the Mercedes Killer.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“As always, Stephen King draws very real people and scenes straight out of life as we know it . . .” (Raleigh News & Observer)

“A trimmer-than-usual King, but that doesn't mean he skimps on the suspense and spine-tingling chills.” (People Magazine)

“With Mr.Mercedes, [King] demonstrates that he can still rock a pure genre novel like nobody’s business. . . . a thrilling example of King’s boundless imagination.” (Bookpage)

“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.” (Cemetery Dance)

“. . . barrels toward a memorable conclusion. King’s work has almost always gotten lost in translation on the big screen, but his tense, propulsive, ultra-fast-paced climax here seems like it was written with the movie in mind.” (Onion AV Club)

Product details

  • File Size: 2608 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (June 3, 2014)
  • Publication Date: June 3, 2014
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GEEB52S
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,030 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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