- Series: The Bill Hodges Trilogy (Book 1)
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Gallery Books; Reprint edition (January 6, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476754470
- ISBN-13: 978-1476754475
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 8,000 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mr. Mercedes: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) Paperback – January 6, 2015
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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"Pays off exuberantly... Surprising and invigorating." (Megan Abbott 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)
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Top customer reviews
The tension at the end was almost unbearable. The finish was absolute but (here's that magic again) left the story open for another in a series. Bingo. It's out. And I can't wait to finish this review and get to reading.
Anyway, this book was different. This is a straight up detective novel (my very favorite genre), and it's brilliant. I loved it. The characters are wonderful, the suspense is well balanced, and the action was satisfying. I cannot recommend this one highly enough. If you've never read King, THIS is the book to start with. He doesn't disappoint!
I think Stephen King has passed Chuck Palahniuk on my list of favorite authors. I know I've read more of King's more recent novels than Palahniuk's and now that I've finished Mr. Mercedes, I can't wait to move on to Finders Keepers.
Mr. Mercedes is not your "typical" Stephen King. There's nothing supernatural within these pages. The antagonist, Bill Hodges, is a retired detective who, like many others, is contemplating suicide because there's nothing to do any more but watch afternoon television. The protagonist is a crazy killer who stole a Mercedes one morning and drove through a large crowd of job seekers, killing eight, and is now having thoughts of killing more. The two become pen pals of sorts and Hodges realizes that catching the bad guy in one of his biggest unsolved cases might be something to keep him from eating a bullet.
The rest of the characters in the story all feel very real (one character, Holly, gets an in depth background of her childhood in the climax of the story) and I think that's what makes me love King so well. Sure there is some gore and creepy stuff in here, but his characters are written fully and interestingly. The numbered "chapters" within each titled "section" are usually pretty short so you can pick the book up and read 4 pages or 40. The action often shifts from one character's POV to another smoothly and quickly. There's one part, about 3/4 of the way through the book, that introduces a couple of cops in squad car 54 and goes all into how they're nicknamed the characters from Car 54, Where Are You? It acts as a jolt leaving the characters that we've followed for 340 pages to learn about "Toody" and "Muldoon" all of the sudden, but no less than 15 pages later you realize why King put in this mini-side-story and the action is rolling full steam ahead again.
I remember watching this teaser video for the book before it came out, and with the cover art and thos yellow gloves, I always felt like the book would be like Dexter. It's not. But that's probably a good thing because what King has created is a suspenseful novel with enough twists and turns to keep me interested in what's to come. I'm very interested in how this becomes a trilogy. Maybe I'll go start Finder's Keepers tonight...
Kings crime stories of late, Mr. Mercedes included, are birds of a different color. King is wonderful in this genre...the books get you hooked fast and reading furiously!
Most recent customer reviews
his story teeters on the rim of things that could happen.