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Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (1) (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) Hardcover – June 3, 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 10,607 ratings
Book 1 of 3 in the Bill Hodges Trilogy Series

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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

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Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
10,607 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on July 10, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 19, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on January 10, 2019
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Top international reviews

Mr. P. Labrow
4.0 out of 5 stars The pace of the book is almost unrelenting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 18, 2014
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Elizabeth Brazel
5.0 out of 5 stars The King of fiction never fails
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 3, 2020
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M. Leon Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2019
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EmmaS
4.0 out of 5 stars Great SK read ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2015
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Mercedes
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2019
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Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars First of a Trilogy.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 4, 2014
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Telthepensioner
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2020
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David
4.0 out of 5 stars King writes “evil” well.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2019
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jo white
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 11, 2019
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Leza H
4.0 out of 5 stars A move in to crime fiction for a great writer
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2016
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Jim Bowen
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2016
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Stu
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent as always
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 16, 2016
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I. C. Pizzie
3.0 out of 5 stars But fans need not be disappointed as all King's usual devices are there
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 28, 2014
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sharon
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow Burner - but what an explosion!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2016
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Marilyn Hart
4.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King is on form for this one...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 2, 2014
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