action, Caution: May not be appropriate for those under 13, mystery, suspense/thriller, Uncategorized

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Last year, a mercedes drove into a crowd of people, killing eight and injuring many more. There were no suspects, and the killer was never apprehended. Now, the Mercedes Killer has sent a letter to Det-Ret Hodges in an attempt to force the man’s hand toward suicide. But this could be just the thing Hodges needs to get off the couch and back into the field.

Mr. Mercedes becomes a rase against time as Hodges tries to stop the Mercedes Killer before he commits another atrocious act of mass murder.

 This book was absolutely amazing. Though it takes a bit to fully feel the thrill of the novel, Stephen King does an amazing job of generating a feeling of unease throughout the book, and before you know it, you have gone from slowly reading the first dozen pages to hurriedly turning pages to know what happens next.

One of the things I loved and which added to the suspense of the novel was the addition of Mr. Mercedes’ narrative. Not only does King give us insight into Hodges head, he also allows us to see all the crazy inside the Mercedes Killer. But what was truly spooky about this was that for the initial part of the book, the Mercedes Killer does not seem truly crazy. Extreme, yes. Psychopathic killer–most definitely. From the beginning he is shown as someone you want to avoid on the street. But King also gives us a different view of the killer: one of intellect and a troubled past, charming on the outside and a frozen wasteland on the inside. And I, for one, greatly enjoyed the inside look. Given the insider’s information, I knew all of his plans before Hodges did. So the suspense does not come from not being given information, but not being given all the information and not knowing whether or not Hodges will figure it out in time.

Personally, I never felt a strong connection to characters. There were some I enjoyed, like Jerome, the boy who mows Hodges’ lawn, and Janey, Olivia Trelawney’s sister (Trelawney was the woman who owned the mercedes that killed eight people and injured many others), and of course Hodges himself, among other characters. And there were characters that absolutely disgusted me, like the killer. But I never felt a deep attachment to any of the characters. And in this case, this was a good thing: my focus was more on the case itself, and less on the individual characters.

What I did love outside of the case was the dialogue between characters. No matter who was speaking, the dialogue was always rich with jokes and references that kept it flowing. It didn’t hurt that the dialogue between characters added a comic aspect to the novel, which made the thriller aspect of it a little more lighthearted.

Overall, though, this book was highly enjoyable. The suspense thrummed throughout the entire book, and once again, Stephen King has created a page turner that makes my breath catch with every new horror and every new bit of information. If you’ve got some time on your hands, and you need a good suspense/thriller, or even just a good old fashioned detective novel, I fully recommend this book.

Warnings, as usual: There are extreme Oedipal complexes, non-explicit sex, some cussing, and a lot of horrific and gory scenes.