Thursday, 28 May 2015

Mr Mercedes, by Stephen King

3 stars

For retired detective Bill Hodges, Mr Mercedes – the man responsible for driving a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of early morning job-seekers, killing eight and wounding many more – is the one that got away. But Brady Hartsfield, the aforementioned Mr Mercedes (not a spoiler – this book is told from the perspective of both cat and mouse), having spent the intervening years working a couple of jobs and being gross with his mother, isn’t about to let Bill settle into a quiet retirement. Drawing him back into the long cold case, Brady is building to something big…

I’ve been spending the last few years reading chronologically through King’s work. Having hit a bit of a flabby patch and having received this as a birthday gift (thanks, Bri!), it seemed a perfect time to skip a few years ahead of my schedule and find out what King’s up to these days. Mr Mercedes is something of a departure from what I’m used to reading from him; not a horror, but a thriller - though his eye for characters is still present and correct. This is at least as good as others in the thriller genre (although it’s admittedly not one I’ve read as widely in as others), even if it doesn’t rank among his best. For me, King is best when he’s showing us the squirming darkness that hides inside us, which is probably why I found the Brady chapters the most effective, whereas Bill was not only a character I’d felt I’d seen many times before but was also a little too good for my liking (even when neglecting to involve the police when thousands of lives were at risk).

The plot itself was good with some effective scenes well worthy of nail-chewing, but although I really enjoyed this I must admit that I so far prefer King when he’s being a little spooky

No comments:

Post a Comment