I have been an on-again, off-again reader of Stephen King’s over the last decade or so (I was more loyal prior to that time) as sometimes I like his stuff and sometimes I don’t. The last one I read was the awful "Under the Dome," which was long, pointless and ultimately just silly, and I wasn’t thinking of reading anything else by him until I read a couple of reviews by Charles de Lint in a recent Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I trust Mr. de Lint’s tastes, so when he praised "Mr. Mercedes" and its follow-up, I figured I’d give them a try. Mr. Mercedes is the nickname given to a man who stole a car (guess what make) and plowed into a group of job seekers standing outside a building waiting for a job fair, killing 8 and wounding many others. Recently retired cop Bill Hodges has been drifting since his retirement, regretting that he didn’t catch certain bad guys, including Mr. Mercedes, but when he receives a letter purporting to be from the villain, instead of succumbing to depression as the writer intended, he begins to investigate. And, of course, the investigation just becomes more and more dangerous as he continues to delve into the mystery…. The reader knows who the culprit is from early on in the book, so the appeal is following the cat-and-mouse hunt as the suspense builds. King is as good as he ever was with respect to his characters and plotting, and he’s always great with the gross-out scenes (which here are not too many, thankfully). This turns out to be the first book in a trilogy, and I’ve already picked up the second, "Finder’s Keepers," with the third due out in mid-2016. Fast-paced popcorn reading, "Mr. Mercedes" just hits the spot; recommended!