Skip to main content

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King


This is Stephen King's most recent novel and his first (and hopefully only!) crime/detective novel. The protagonist is Bill Hodges, a 62 year old retired, overweight former detective who now spends his afternoon watching daytime television and contemplating using his father's gun on himself until he gets a letter from the infamous Mercedes killer. The killer had, the year before, driven a grey Mercedes into a group of people who were waiting for a job fair to begin, killing 8 and injuring many more. The killer had gotten away and the case was one of the active ones when Hodges retired from the police force. The letter rejuvenates Hodges in a way that the killer perhaps never intended, motivating him to start his own private investigation and solve the case before the killer strikes again.

I understand that Stephen King has had a long and deep love for crime fiction - he has said it over and over again through the years. And lately, he's tried to branch out somewhat successfully with his book on JFK and Joyland, a coming of age tale. I genuinely liked what the MErcedes killer represented- a plausible bad guy who is unremarkable in his own way and could be anyone; he is a man that has a tenuous at best grasp upon reality and his own mental health. He can't stand the world that he lives in because of the circumstances that have occurred to him. However, the plot and the story itself was not in anyway unique: it was like every other crime novel that has ever been written and was utterly predictable. The characters were also really predictable and cookie-cutter: the maverick detective, his sidekick (a young person) and a family member that is a member of the family that has been influenced by the events of the killer). In general, King's latest novel is nothing special because it's like every other crime/detective novel that has come out with the exception that it has been written by Stephen King.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

In Memoriam

One of my most favorite bookish podcasts, Books on the Nightstand, has ended its tremendously successful run.  It has been around seemingly forever and was one of my staples in book recommendations. It will be sorely missed and leaves a space in my podcast listening zone that I'm striving to fill.  While I understand that the podcast em-cees, Michael and Anne, have their own lives that they probably want to continue with (and podcasting takes a lot of time, particularly when you're as popular as they are and, for example, as popular as the Manic Mommies are/were), they will be sorely missed.  However you can find them on both Goodreads and on Twitter.

In anticipation of their ultimate decision to end the podcast, I found a number of other really awesome podcasts to fill the void, some of which are bookish and some of which aren't.  For your listening pleasure:


BookRiot - more of a news in the publishing industry podcast but still pretty awesome;All the Books - a weekly po…

City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

I was hesitant to pick up Justin Cronin's trilogy, which began with The Passage, because I was vampired out.  But it's different. It combines science fiction and westerns and spans about 1500 pages and 1000 years and generations, upon generations of people.  It's dystopian and hopeful all at the same time! The vampires don't sparkle, thankfully, and the story isn't just told in prose - it's told via letters, journals, scientific journals, flashback, the whole nine yards.
As the book opens, we find our beloved characters in a time of peace and relative prosperity.  There have been no viral attacks for twenty years. The main characters are all struggling with something that has broken them and they each struggle. And there was also Zero, the ultimate bad guy, that wants his say and his ultimate revenge. This book is wonderful in the sense that it is Cronin at his absolute best - he is a storyteller on par with perhaps the best of the fantasy writers - of any w…

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I'll be honest - this wasn't the first time that I had read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The last time I read it was 9 years ago, right after my son was born - I can't believe that it has been out for that long. I'm glad that I re-read it now, because I found myself in a place where I could relate more to Ms. Gilbert and her experiences.

At the start of this book, we learn that the author is not in a good place. It's the middle of the night, she's on her bathroom floor sobbing and her marriage is literally going down the toilet. She enters quickly into another relationship that is very stressful for her and ultimately very heartbreaking. She was hurt, depressed and anxious. In order to heal, she decided to spend one year of her life traveling in order to get to know herself.  For the first third of the year, Ms. Gilbert spent time in Italy. For the middle third, Ms. Gilbert spent her time in India and in the last third, she went to Bali.

I really enjo…