Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

4 Stars
(probably more like 3.5, but it's Stephen King so he automatically gets an extra half star)
When I first saw the cover art for Mr. Mercedes I thought , “Awwwww, how sweet – Stephen King wrote a book about a guy who drives an ice cream truck” ; )

I didn’t bother to read the synopsis. I rarely do – especially when it comes to anything by King. He writes it. I read it. End of story. Then the ratings started coming in, and boy were they polarized. I still didn’t bother reading any blurbs or reviews, I just braced myself and prepared for the worst.

I’m telling all you King superfans right now to repeat the following mantra: “Stephen King did not write this. Stephen King did not write this. Stephen King did not write this.” Did it work? Are you sufficiently brainwashed? It seems strange that I need to even add this disclaimer. With all of the different stuff Stephen King has written in his 40 year career his fans should know to expect the unexpected. If you’re expecting a horror story – you’re going to be seriously disappointed, so just pretend a Lee Child or a Harlan Coben or a Dennis Lehane wrote this book rather than King so you can give it the stars it deserves.

Bill Hodges is a Det-Ret (that’s retired police detective in layman's terms) who let one big fish get away. He’s now dipping his toes in the amateur private investigator arena – kind of a Philip Marlowe, if you will.

Brady Hartsfield is “Mr. Mercedes” – a member of the geek squad turned murderer who is dealing with some serious mommy issues (wink).

He’s a little:

(Hopper with a reading reference? Nerdgasm!)

with some of this:

and a smidge of this:

(read the book, I promise you’ll understand)

“In a don’t-give-a-fuck world, [Brady] is about to become the ultimate don’t-give-a-fucker.”

Can Hodges make the (not-exactly-legal) collar one last time and catch Hartsfield before he strikes again?

After reading approximately eleventy billion mysteries over the years, I've become pretty good at figuring out the “whodunit” part, so I need a book that either takes me on a wild ride to the finish or one that assumes I’m not brain-dead and lets me know who the bad guy is right from the jump. Stephen King did both. Yes, right before the climax everything kind of turns into a giant stew of boiling shit and unbelievable plotline, but really who even gives a flying fart? because it’s STEPHEN KING and even when he’s writing something he doesn’t generally write, he does it better than 99% of the other authors out there.

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