Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
It’s been a while since I’ve read anything dark and even longer since I’ve read a novel by Mr. King. Right off the bat, I wasn’t sure if I could go through with it. Did I really want these dark and gruesome images stuck in my head? I’ve really become a wimp over the years. I pressed on, though, and I’m glad I did.
For starters, Mr. Mercedes is a thriller without any supernatural aspects as many of Stephen King’s books have. King has never been one to skimp on words, and he has always done a really good job when it comes to describing a scene. You aren’t left filling in a lot of blanks in your mind – there’s no need to. Perhaps that’s what makes it even more difficult when something horrendous happens, like the mass killing of a group of people in the very first chapter. I have a difficult time reading about violent occurrences that could happen in real life because I just get sucked into books so easily… and movies, and video games, and you name it.
The further I got into it, the more I didn’t want to put it down and became more immersed in the characters and the story. By the final ¼ of the book, I didn’t want to stop reading and was trying to read as fast as I could to get through it because I had to know exactly how it turned out. I knew on some level that there would be a “happy” ending, but I didn’t know at what cost because, let’s be honest, you don’t really expect a skipping through fields of daisies ending in a Stephen King novel.
My conclusion? I’ll be reading the next two books in the trilogy. There’s something about the characters that I really, really like. Perhaps it’s a tad cliché to have the unexpected friendship between such unlikely characters, but I enjoy the charm of it anyway.
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.
Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Mr. Mercedes is 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.