Monday, August 4, 2014

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr. Mercedes In the gloomy pre-dawn hours of a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of unemployed hopefuls are lined up for a job fair. Without warning, a merciless driver plows through the crowd in a roaring Mercedes. Eight people are killed; 15 are wounded. The killer escapes into the early-spring fog never to be seen from again. Until now...

Detective Bill Hodges is a battle-hardened and streetwise crime fighter originally assigned to the Mercedes killings. Now retired, Hodges has lost his way in boredom and depression craving the thrills of taking down the region’s most notorious criminals. When a disturbing letter from the Mercedes Killer arrives at his door, Hodges soon finds himself uncontrollably drawn into a cat-n-mouse pursuit with stakes beyond comprehension.

Stephen King is one author whose books I will always read. I don’t even need to read the synopsis for any of his novels, I just buy them as soon as they come out. All that said, I was a bit disappointed with this one. 

I don’t know if it’s because there’s really no supernatural element to the plot or because the villain didn’t get under my skin the way that some of his other villains do, but it was a bit of a dull read. It didn’t get my pulse racing, even though the pacing is in pretty good shape throughout the novel. There just wasn’t enough tension, not enough buildup. The characters weren’t as developed as I’m used to getting from King. The readers don’t truly get a sense of their lives beyond the book’s plot. Usually, King is so good at presenting readers with characters that have a past you can believe, it just didn’t happen in this one.

I also thought that the car, the Mercedes, would have more significance. The title is a little misleading because of this and builds a tension that never really develops fully.
There are better Stephen King books out there. Unless you’re like me and like to read everything he’s ever written, I’d give this one a pass.

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