Brady Hartfield loved the thrill of cutting through the crowd of people waiting for the job fair to begin, the gray Mercedes running over bodies, killing eight people and injuring dozens of others in the predawn hours of the morning.
Detective Bill Hodges spends his days in front of his television, playing with his .38 Smith & Wesson revolver, lost in the world of retirement with nothing to live for; that changes when he receives a letter from a man who claims to be the killer that alluded him all those months ago. Hodges must find Mr. Mercedes before he kills once again– only this time, the result will be much more devastating.
Mr. Mercedes is– in his own word’s– Stephen King’s first hard-boiled detective novel, a battle between good and evil that lets you into the mind of the terrifying Mr. Mercedes and the mind of the aging, on-the-edge-of-depression Bill Hodges.
As this is King’s first detective novel, I was very interested in how he would handle something hat has no element of the supernatural. After reading, I can say that he should write more like this one. It did not disappoint.
King not only writes in a new genre, he also writes– to my knowledge, there are none of his books written as such– in the third person present omnipotent. I wasn’t entirely sure if this was going to work as I have only read one other novel, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, that was written in such a way. It did take a little while for me to adjust, but King handles it extremely well as he jumps back and forth primarily between Hodges and Brady.
The novel does start of a little slow, and readers who are used to reading fast-paced detective novels might be a little bored at first, but as the book progresses, the reader won’t be able to stop turning the pages. The climax has a rip-roaring pace that will keep you hooked, and the ending– Oh man, the ending! Here is the one thing that I will say about it:
Darn you, Stephen King. Darn you.
Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are mine.