Rating: 4.5 / 5
There aren’t many Stephen King novels that I haven’t yet read, but the Bill Hodges trilogy is a set of books I hadn’t yet picked up. I was happy to see it added to the July/August schedule for the #constantreadersbookclub on Instagram, starting with the first book MR. MERCEDES.
MR. MERCEDES begins with a grizzly event, and sadly one not too far outside the realm of possibility in today’s world. In a town hit hard by unemployment, a line of people has formed in advance of the doors opening to a job fair. A Mercedes comes on scene and instead of hitting the brakes when approaching the crowd, the driver intentionally hits the gas. Several are killed and many more injured. The killer isn’t caught.
Some time later, investigator Bill Hodges is retired, but this is a case that still haunts him. When he’s contacted by someone who claims to be the killer with another plot in the works, Bill dusts off his investigative skills and decides to pursue the case once more.
I really enjoyed this book! It was still signature Stephen King in the writing, even as he veers a bit into more of a thriller/police procedural genre. The book is told from two perspectives, that of Bill Hodges and that of Brady, the killer himself. Both characters are a bit flawed in their own ways, though of course the killer is a much darker mind to see inside.
The pace of the book was very well done, building up to the potential big evil plot Hodges is trying to prevent. While you know all along who the bad guy is, the suspense comes from watching the dual storylines for overlap as Hodges and the characters he ropes into the investigation seek to close in and capture Brady.
Though this wasn’t necessarily a ‘typical’ King, I finished this one excited to pick up the next in the series, which is always the sign of a good book as far as I’m concerned!