Title: Mr. Mercedes
Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 424
In one word, faultless. This book combines all of the goodness of a Stephen King novel with all of the entertainment of a crime thriller which leaves the reader genuinely stuck turning the pages. I mean, I’ll admit that I’m a big Stephen King fan to begin with, but still – this was something else, a sort of weird hybrid of writing styles that left me feeling as though the book had been written specifically for me.
This book is the first in King’s Bill Hodges series, and it follows the story of a retired detective who is so bored with life that he’s on the brink of suicide; until the “perk” of one of his unfinished cases comes to light and without actually threatening to repeat his actions, somehow threatens to repeat his actions.
Hodges – first name, ‘Kermit‘, but you can call him Bill – teams up with a couple of unlikely allies in a story that will literally make you angry because you have to put it down. Unless you’ve got at least six hours to set aside to read then you’re not going to be able to read it in one sitting, And that’s a shame, because you’re going to want to, but that’s not the book’s fault – it’s your fault.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say, objectively speaking, that this is quite possibly the best book to read if you’re not sure where to start with Stephen King. The fact is, not only is it accessible and well-written, but also it’s just undeniably King – so typical of him, and yet so stunning, so surprising.
I was also impressed with how vivid and evocative the story is. It’s easy to imagine every single scene, and while you do see things coming from time to time, it’s not enough to ruin the story and besides – King doesn’t use cliches. He invents them. He suffers from a sort of unique curse that you can witness by the way that every time he writes an original story, it gets repeated again and again until it enters popular culture.
Overall then, read this book. Seriously, read it. As much as I’ve been loving Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie, as well as Peter James and even J. K. Rowling’s Robert Galbraith books, this is something else. A crime thriller that really thrills while gripping you from start to finish. What more could you possibly want?