Stephen King’s newer novels do not disappoint…trust me. Especially the Bill Hodges series. The first novel in the Bill Hodges series is Mr. Mercedes. If you haven’t heard of the novel (or the upcoming television show), it’s about a retired cop named Bill Hodges who comes out of retirement to finally take down a serial killer known as Mr. Mercedes. I’ll spare the gruesome details of how Brady Hartsfield becomes Mr. Mercedes. It’s pretty self explanatory…he kills people using well, a Mercedes. There are a lot of twists and turns in this well written novel, and Bill Hodges is definitely a character you will come to love. However, if you’re expecting a classic King horror story…you’ll be VERY disappointed.
This book instantly hooked me. Although the story line was a little gruesome, (what Stephen King books aren’t?), it kept me on the edge of my seat and I could NOT stop reading it. This book was not in the least predictable and every character was extremely interesting. Brady Hartsfield was one of the most awful characters that I have ever experienced in a novel— but he was a very interesting character. Honestly though, some portions of this book were a little much. Brady Hartsfield is a lot to take in, and I wouldn’t recommend this book for the faint of heart. I had nightmares…trust me. That being said, Stephen King doesn’t half-ass anything. Of COURSE I got nightmares. The story is a lot, the characters are a lot…but it all comes together for a super interesting story.
Like I stated before, this isn’t typical horror Stephen King. It’s actually more on the crime fiction side. This is a genre that really interests me (sometimes I get lost and bored with supernatural stuff…sorry Carrie!). But, if that’s not for you, I can’t guarantee that you’ll enjoy this book. A unique characteristic of Mr. Mercedes that King implemented so well was the switching of view points between the characters. It kept me even MORE on the edge of my seat and the story line become more exhilarating with every page turn. As I said earlier, Brady Hartsfield is A LOT. And when it became his turn to narrate the story, I often had to pause to take a moment to regroup. He maayyyy make your skin crawl, but it makes for a much more authentic and exciting story.
This is is no sense a perfect novel. However, it is proof that Stephen King has still got it. It’s a read that will consume you so much that you’ll need to finish it as soon as possible. And at the end, it’ll leave you wanting more. And on that note, I have a pleasant surprise. The Bill Hodges series contains 3 books, and I’m going to review all of them! So, if you’re a fan of King/the crime fiction genre, definitely give Mr. Mercedes a try. You won’t regret it!
Rating: 4/5 Stars