Thursday, May 5, 2016

Audio Book Review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King book cover and review
I think it has been said plenty. Stephen King is a great writer. I used to read everything he wrote as soon as it was released, but I've fallen behind. Mr. Mercedes is a bit different for King; there's no supernatural element. It's just a straight-up detective mystery. Well, nothing by King is really straight up, is it?

Bill Hodges is a retired detective and he's bored and depressed.  All that is about to change. He receives a letter from a person who claims to be the perpetrator of a mass murder that Hodges was unable to solve.

Hodges begins to quietly investigate, without the knowledge of the police, and he inadvertently involves a couple of very unlikely partners. One is the African American high school kid who mows his lawn and happens to be very good with computers. The other is Holly, the niece of the old woman whose car was stolen and used for this crime. In essence, the car (a Mercedes) was the murder weapon. Holly is in her 40s but has some mental problems (maybe Asperger's?) However, her computer skills are just as good as the kid's, if not better. This unlikely trio of characters are the heart and soul of Mr. Mercedes.

We also get the perspective of the "perk" (as he calls himself instead of "perp"), Brady. He's a messed up individual who is out to ruin Hodges and maybe take a whole bunch of people with him. Hodges is clever. He was one of the best detectives in the department. Brady, for all his craziness, is clever too. Their head-to-head competition is fascinating.

Things get more personal as we get to know these characters and my heart was pounding a bit as the tension mounts. The ending is satisfying, which we don't always get from King. Mr. Mercedes is the first book in the Bill Hodges Trilogy.  The second is already available, and the third comes out soon. I'm putting them both on my list.

Fans of King should be happy with this, unless you are all about the paranormal. Fans of thrilling mysteries should love it too. It's also not as wordy as some of King's novels can be. The audiobook narrator, Will Patton, is superb. His voices are great but not over the top, and he doesn't read too slowly. Mr. Mercedes can be recommended to teen mystery fans also, and I've already done so.

Published by Scribner, 2014, Simon & Schuster Audio
Audiobook obtained from the library
448 pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. Great review! Stephen King was pretty much the only author I read when I was a teenager. Like you, I’ve fallen behind with his books. Someday I’d like to read all of them.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I have not read a King novel in years. This one sounds good. Thanks, Annette.


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