End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) Info

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Reviews for End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy):

5

Jun 02, 2015

Is it possible that reading the final book of a series made me love the whole series even more? Yep. I gave the first book Mr. Mercedes four stars. I liked that book. Brady was the perfect evil character against Hodges good guy. Then we had Finders Keepers, which I 3 starred. I liked it but it just wasn't going on my favorites list. Now we have this grand finale. End of Watch.

You are getting all five stars.

Former Detective Hodges in now partners with Holly in a firm called "Finders Is it possible that reading the final book of a series made me love the whole series even more? Yep. I gave the first book Mr. Mercedes four stars. I liked that book. Brady was the perfect evil character against Hodges good guy. Then we had Finders Keepers, which I 3 starred. I liked it but it just wasn't going on my favorites list. Now we have this grand finale. End of Watch.

You are getting all five stars.

Former Detective Hodges in now partners with Holly in a firm called "Finders Keepers"..they get a call from Hodges old buddy Pete about a pair of deaths that might have something to do with the Mercedes killer Brady Hartsfield in a way and he would like their insight at the crime scene. A badly injured woman from that day is still alive but paralyzed, she lives with her elderly mom and even though they seemed happy-the mother has killed the woman and committed suicide.

Holly finds a hand held device there at the scene that doesn't fit the rest of the scene. Called the Zappit it holds older versions of games that provide oddly addicting.


I'm leaving a bunch out of this review but I don't want to spoil anything for this book. You get back with some of my favorite characters; Hodges, Holly, Jerome and yes.. even Brady Hartsfield. I love to hate that fucker.

I will say this book takes the thriller want-to- be that the first books were and goes more typical Stephen King.


And it's all good.

I knew that the book was probably going to head off in a way that I didn't want it too and Stephen King didn't let me win on that one. But it did cause me to re-evaluate how I felt about the other books. But damn...


There will be better reviews. There will be reviews that hate the book (They are wrong and I am right)
PS.



I had to wait for him to finish but I knew his review was going here. See Ed's review here. My buddy Ed and I are Stephen King groupies. We have no shame. When he has a new book coming out..you will find the two of us reading it that day. Don't try and interrupt us either. We will cut a bitch.
Ed and I had planned on going and seeing in the flesh the Master King..but alas, life didn't work out that way. I'm still disappointed because I would have met two of my all time favorite people ever. Ed Lorn and Stephen King.
I'm done brown nosing now...but honestly, Ed's King reviews are beyond approach. Go check them out. ...more
5

Apr 16, 2016

Now that I've stopped weeping like child at a funeral, I believe I can review this one as well as speculate on the future of Stephen King's career. Let's do this.

To the surprise of some, I was a huge fan of Mr. Mercedes. The book was fresh, a nice change of direction, and it showed King's love for the craft. Trying something so different so late in life must have been scary fun. Finders Keepers was pretty good, too, but I thought it occasionally missed the mark. With End of Watch, I feel the Now that I've stopped weeping like child at a funeral, I believe I can review this one as well as speculate on the future of Stephen King's career. Let's do this.

To the surprise of some, I was a huge fan of Mr. Mercedes. The book was fresh, a nice change of direction, and it showed King's love for the craft. Trying something so different so late in life must have been scary fun. Finders Keepers was pretty good, too, but I thought it occasionally missed the mark. With End of Watch, I feel the series as a whole is a must-read experience, as each book compliments the next. This final novel in the Bill Hodges trilogy is my favorite of the bunch, but I don't think that would've been the case without the other two books. While I gave Mr. Mercedes five stars and Finders Keepers four, I would give this final book, and the series as a whole, a perfect score.

But I cannot help but think that Revival is the final standalone King book we will receive. For a detailed list of the evidence I have to back up this claim (all speculation, mind you, but nonetheless thought provoking), please see the Spoiler Discussion section at the end of this review. I feel that we have one more King novel to look forward to, though: the final Jack Sawyer novel, which was, according to both Peter Straub and King himself, started in 2005. I'm going to hazard a guess and say that book is done and awaiting publication. These are just theories folks. No one would be happier than I to find years' worth of King books still to come.

I will make note of four things I particularly loved about this last novel:

1. I actually came to like Det. Ret. Kermit William Hodges. It only took three books, but I did eventually come to like him. I'm sure that now, if I were to reread them, I would more than likely enjoy his presence in the previous novels more the second time around.

2. Holly is not only one of my favorite characters in this series, but one of my favorite characters ever to grace the pages of a book. And I mean any book. Her idiosyncrasies remind me of someone I've lived with all my life.

3. Theme. This book is heavy on theme: friendship, loss, a well-lived life, and the difference between letting go and giving up.

4. The ending is one of strongest endings King has ever written. Period. The ending of the novel brings the entire series full circle. I love a well-designed story and for the punishment to fit the crime.

And that's it. That's all I can say here without giving away some major plot points.

In summation: A fantastic ending to a great trilogy whose sum is greater than its parts. As cliched as it is, I laughed, I cried, and I didn't want it to end. My only regret is that I read it so damn fast. Now what am I supposed to do?

Final Judgment: A fitting farewell.

Spoiler Discussion: Wherein I spoil Mr. Mercedes, End of Watch, and Joe Hill's The Fireman, along with a minor spoiler for a story in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams(view spoiler)[

Here is all the evidence I have compiled to support my theory that this or the final Jack Sawyer novel will be King's last published works:

1. In an interview with Bryant Gumbel during the book tour for Dreamcatcher (this was two years after King was run over and almost killed by a speeding van), King told Gumbel that he could see himself retiring from publishing but he would never stop writing. Finders Keepers is about an author who who does just that. In another interview, this one after the publication of Under the Dome, King told the interviewer that Under the Dome and one more book, that one about JFK, were two stories he'd always wanted to tell but never got around to writing. Seeing that we finally got to read 11/22/63 after decades of the story marinating in King's head, I feel that he's done everything he's put off. He's all caught up. Hell, he even managed to finish the Dark Tower series. Nothing left now but the final Jack Sawyer novel, which Straub and King have been working on since 2005.

2. In Joe Hill's The Fireman, we see the death of a character known as Father Storey. Not only that, but the entire book is littered with Easter eggs for Stephen King's work and not Hill's, making me think that The Fireman serves as a passing of the torch from father to son.

3. The story at the end of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams is about the end of the world. The novel to follow that collection is this book, End of Watch. That's an awful lot of rumination on the end of things for my liking. And seeing Hodges die at this end of this one does not give me high hopes for King's future. I'm not saying he's sick, but it sure feels like something might be wrong.

4. End of Watch is about a life well lived and letting go. Saying goodbye is a major theme of the book.

No one would miss King more than I, but I can't help but to see signs everywhere. I really hope I'm wrong. I truly do.

Thanks for hanging around, Constant Reader.

*hugs and high fives*
(hide spoiler)] ...more
3

Jun 13, 2016

If I look at it as the glass being half-full then this is the best of the books King has done with the Bill Hodges character. On the other hand its still pretty much a shoulder shrug of a three star read which tells you how little I thought of this trilogy so Im pretty sure that cup is half-empty after all.

Uncle Stevie tried his hand at doing a straight up crime thriller with Mr. Mercedes, but I found it to be a painful slog of poor plotting, uneven pacing, and a main character who came across If I look at it as the glass being half-full then this is the best of the books King has done with the Bill Hodges character. On the other hand it’s still pretty much a shoulder shrug of a three star read which tells you how little I thought of this trilogy so I’m pretty sure that cup is half-empty after all.

Uncle Stevie tried his hand at doing a straight up crime thriller with Mr. Mercedes, but I found it to be a painful slog of poor plotting, uneven pacing, and a main character who came across as a reckless and irresponsible jackass. Finders Keepers had a pretty decent concept, but again it’s biggest flaw revolved around Hodges himself because he was almost completely irrelevant to the story which again highlighted that King struggles with mystery novels.

Now here in the third book King has thrown in the towel on trying to write a straight-up action thriller/ detective story and gone back to his roots with a villain who has psychic and telekinetic abilities. By introducing spooky powers King doesn’t have to rely on trying to put together a logical chain of events that depend on characters reasonably deducing things or behaving rationally. Instead, he can have them following hunches and feelings, and the supernatural element keeps him from having to twist the plot into pretzels to make it all work. Like a lot of King novels most of the characters also seem to have an uncanny knack for guessing at what's happening elsewhere which seems more acceptable with all the bizarre stuff going on.

As a Stephen King horror story by itself End of Watch would probably rank somewhere in the middle of his works. The problem is that it builds on the far weaker Mr. Mercedes as a foundation. Finders Keepers can be skipped, but it’s telling that you can bypass one-third of the story and still follow the major narrative. So what you end up with is a trilogy that started as a very flawed crime thriller, had a second book with zero impact on the main story, and then goes paranormal in the third act with only some minor hints dropped in the previous book that it’s coming.

The only reason to like these three books being linked together is if King managed to make you love the main character, Bill Hodges, and his two assistants/friends. I didn’t. I mean, I really didn’t. When he wasn’t hiding critical evidence and inspiring a maniac to seek new levels of carnage Hodges came across as this bland, grandfatherly figure. Mostly he exists to ask tech questions of his younger colleagues who seem to look up to him for some reason. I never really buy him as a tough ex-cop, and he sure as hell isn’t a brilliant detective which is shown yet again here when the major breakthrough in this one comes from Hodges asking a very basic question that he failed to do in an earlier interview. Frankly, it’s a bad sign that my first reaction (view spoiler)[ to finding out that the Hodges has terminal cancer was relief that his recklessness and general incompetence wouldn’t be endangering the public any more. At last, his reign of terror has ended! Also, in three books Hodges is never once the guy who actually stops the main baddie during the final showdowns. So what purpose did he really serve? (hide spoiler)]

King tries desperately to make the reader care about Hodges and his friends, but I’m left thinking that it would have been better for Uncle Stevie to just do this basic story as one book which could have been easily accomplished. Here's how. (view spoiler)[A cop stops a mass murderer and gives him brain damage in the process. After the cop has retired he hears about weird deaths surrounding the comatose patient and investigates. Hilarity ensues. (hide spoiler)] Finders Keepers also could have been a better stand-alone book without trying to cram it into this narrative.

One other note of complaint: I doubt that King accepts product placement fees for his books, but I was really starting to wonder if MacDonald’s hadn’t paid him off when the first several pages feature an adult EMT completely losing his shit over the prospect of going through the drive-thru. This guy, who a few pages later will be portrayed as a clear headed hero in a crisis, has this gem of a line when he sees the yellow arcs of a MacDonald’s sign: ”The Golden Tits of America!”

Classy. I guess I wouldn't turn down CPR from the guy if I had a heart attack, but I can only hope he's not too busy making boob jokes and doesn't have a hunk of half-chewed Egg McMuffin in his mouth if he gives me mouth-to-mouth.

Overall, I found all three books underwhelming. It really should have been one or two good Stephen King novels vs. two-thirds of a very flawed crime trilogy that Uncle Stevie tried to salvage by going weird in the last one. ...more
5

Aug 31, 2017

I am so in lov with this series.



My whole heart swells just thinking about it!

I have a huge crush on Bill Hodges and I'm not ashamed to admit it. He was real to me and I was in love.

I felt what he felt. I wanted him to succeed. I was on his side the whole way through.



I also really enjoyed Holly. She added a lot for me, even though I know overall she can be a bit of a divisive character.

The plot of this, the final novel in the trilogy, was super interesting and bizarre.



It built up to a I am so in lov with this series.



My whole heart swells just thinking about it!

I have a huge crush on Bill Hodges and I'm not ashamed to admit it. He was real to me and I was in love.

I felt what he felt. I wanted him to succeed. I was on his side the whole way through.



I also really enjoyed Holly. She added a lot for me, even though I know overall she can be a bit of a divisive character.

The plot of this, the final novel in the trilogy, was super interesting and bizarre.



It built up to a satisfying conclusion. I will most definitely be rereading the entire series again, start to finish, some day.



I don't think it is any secret that I love Stephen King and his books. This trilogy is so unlike his other works, but I loved it all the same!



((continues swooning til the end of time...)) ...more
5

Oct 05, 2017

From bed on my iPhone at 3:30am ....
Its OVER .... and Im a little sad!!! Im going to miss Bill Hodges - and Holly - and Jerome...and Pete... even pretty gray eyes, Izzy.
FINDING KEEPERS was my VERY FAVORITE......the STRONGEST 5 stars - ( for me) ...
But this last one had an interesting ZAPPING-game mystery plot - with a very heartfelt underline love shadow following every page. Business is as usual with THE KING.... and NOT ALWAYS!!

Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers could possibly be read as From bed on my iPhone at 3:30am ....
It’s OVER .... and I’m a little sad!!! I’m going to miss Bill Hodges - and Holly - and Jerome...and Pete... even pretty gray eyes, Izzy.
“FINDING KEEPERS” was my VERY FAVORITE......the STRONGEST 5 stars - ( for me) ...
But this last one had an interesting ZAPPING-game mystery plot - with a very heartfelt underline love shadow following every page. Business is as usual with THE KING.... and NOT ALWAYS!!

Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers ‘could’ possibly be read as stand alone books ...but End of Watch wouldn’t make any sense unless you read ‘both’ the other two books.

I liked the choices Stephen King made with End of Watch, ......
Parts were killer satisfying and parts were just killer sad .... BECAUSE I MISS THEM!!!

If anyone knows or hears of TV mini series or movie .... please let me know!!! ...more
2

Jun 16, 2016


I'm going to try and make this review as quick and painless as possible -- if you liked this book you're not going to want to hear me bellyache about it, and if you didn't like this book, you already feel you've wasted enough of your precious reading time on this series and are just ready to move the fuck on (and hope King is too).

Things started out sort of optimistic for me with Mr. Mercedes -- I didn't hate it; in fact, some parts of it I really enjoyed. Even so, for me it was missing
I'm going to try and make this review as quick and painless as possible -- if you liked this book you're not going to want to hear me bellyache about it, and if you didn't like this book, you already feel you've wasted enough of your precious reading time on this series and are just ready to move the fuck on (and hope King is too).

Things started out sort of optimistic for me with Mr. Mercedes -- I didn't hate it; in fact, some parts of it I really enjoyed. Even so, for me it was missing something fundamentally King. If he had stopped there I would have been fine -- but instead, he wanted to drag this wayward experiment into the crime thriller genre out into a trilogy and two more books. And that's where I started to get really frustrated and pissed off.

King is almost 70 years old. I hate to be morbid, but let's be realistic. Who knows how many more books this man has got left in him. Probably not many more. My heart broke a little reading End of Watch. Every part of my Constant Reader soul (which came into existence when I was eleven years old), sunk into the depths of near despair. King was wasting my time, and his time (however much either one of us has got left) on a weak, middling, trashy airport novel filled with ridiculous cardboard cutout characters and a ludicrous plodding plot that left me lukewarm, and quite frankly, bored. King's efforts to unravel his "mystery" with excessive plot details felt like excruciating, eye-crossing infodumps at times.

Arguably End of Watch is the best of the trilogy, but by the time I got to this one, my patience had run out with the entire experiment. When I think about what King could have been writing in the time it took him to peddle this schlock I want to sob and pull my hair out. There's other King books that haven't done it for me over the years, but they've still felt like King. In his ill-conceived foray into another genre, it's like King was a tad self-conscious and insecure and spent more time mimicking what he thinks makes the crime thriller genre so great rather than just writing as himself. When he did try to plug some supernatural elements into the final book, they felt forced and out of place, a messy, stitched up hybrid of a Frankenstein's monster NOBODY wanted. Well, this girl anyway.

And now to cleanse my reader palate of this bitter disappointment, I shall re-read The Long Walk to soothe my Constant Reader soul. It's feeling a little battered and bruised.
...more
5

Jun 20, 2016

END. OF. WATCH. is unfortunately the end of the Bill Hodges trilogy. I will miss Detective Kermit William Hodges, (his personal story) and his computer-wiz brainy partner Holly Gibney, but not what's in Room 217 of the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at Kiner Memorial.

BOOK 3 begins with a flashback of the horrendous Mercedes rundown of innocents standing in line at a job fair (no spoiler here) and flows right into retired Detective Hodges obsession with the creepy evil maniac, Brady Wilson

END. OF. WATCH. is unfortunately the end of the Bill Hodges trilogy. I will miss Detective Kermit William Hodges, (his personal story) and his computer-wiz brainy partner Holly Gibney, but not what's in Room 217 of the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic at Kiner Memorial.

BOOK 3 begins with a flashback of the horrendous Mercedes rundown of innocents standing in line at a job fair (no spoiler here) and flows right into retired Detective Hodges obsession with the creepy evil maniac, Brady Wilson Hartsfield who he periodically still visits and verbally torments knowing full well he is not completely gone.

END. OF. WATCH. takes the reader from mystery to thriller and straight into the eerie Stephen King world of supernatural forces that will make you wary of little pink swimming fishes and remind you you are reading the master of horror.

SK saved the best for last!

...more
5

Jun 03, 2018

"Because things can get better, and if you give them a chance, they usually do."

Retired Detective Bill Hodges and his sidekick Holly find themselves investigating a recent spree of suicides. But all of the dead are connected by a common thread: each of them had been in previous contact with Brady Hartsfield, the notorious Mercedes Killer.

Reviewing this book brings up an internal debate about how one should rate a book using the standard star system. If a book is given a 5 star rating by myself, "Because things can get better, and if you give them a chance, they usually do."

Retired Detective Bill Hodges and his sidekick Holly find themselves investigating a recent spree of suicides. But all of the dead are connected by a common thread: each of them had been in previous contact with Brady Hartsfield, the notorious Mercedes Killer.

Reviewing this book brings up an internal debate about how one should rate a book using the standard star system. If a book is given a 5 star rating by myself, usually it will mean that I LOVED it, and the book was particularly special or unique, or just offered something different. But I do not think you can directly compare 5 star books to each other. For example, I gave Charlie the Choo Choo 5 stars, because it was such a cool, unique idea and I couldn't fault it, for what IT was, but by no means is Charlie the Choo in the same league as Pet Sematary or 11/22/63 (both of which I also gave 5 stars). You get me? I think the genre, or even what the book is intending to be, also comes into play.

Another factor for me, is how it makes me FEEL. If a book can rip my heart out and stomp all over it, and if it does so in such an effective way, then yes, that book will be 5 stars for me. I'm admittedly quite an emotional person, I'll cry at the drop of a hat, but it takes something special for me to produce literal tears when reading a book. And this is the reason why Stephen King is my favourite author - on numerous occasions he has been able to unlock that part of my heart and trigger the terrifying sight that is me ugly crying. End of Watch was one of those books. I'll discuss why at the end of this review, as I need to get a bit spoilery in order to do so (but I WILL have a spoiler warning before this final part).

End of Watch was the most KING book of the trilogy. He's a pro when it comes to crossing genres and throwing them all together into one big pot. The most obvious example of this is the Dark Tower series. It is very hard to simply categorise a lot of King books, as he likes to throw in a bit of horror with a bit of fantasy, adding in a dash of family drama, perhaps some romance too? Mr Mercedes and Finders Keepers were almost like King's take on a detective/crime series, it had good story telling, with great character building (typical King, eh?) but then End of Watch comes and King is unable to unleash all the traits that we know and love him for. He goes back to his roots! It becomes UNPREDICTABLE - I thought the previous two books in the series felt a bit more generic and formulaic. So I really welcomed this shift in genre!

I had found Holly a tad irritating at the beginning of the trilogy and really wasn't understanding why most people seemed to be a part of her fan club, but by the end I was a huge Holly fan. She had really grown on me, and her relationship with Hodges, as well as Jerome, was just so heartwarming. The father/daughter dynamic between Hodges and Holly felt very natural and was a bit of an emotional trigger for me. I really enjoyed the story itself in this one too, some bits were possibly a bit drawn out, I didn't need all the technical details.

And that ending. Oh boy. King gets a lot of flack for his endings - which I don't think is always deserved - but this one was absolutely perfect. I was so fucking nervous reading those last 50 pages or so, I really had no clue what twists and turns King was going to pull on me.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Hodges trilogy. I don't necessarily think it's his strongest work, but it has a lot of great themes in there, and some unforgettable characters. It's just so nice to see King take risks and do something different so late in his career. End of Watch gets 5 stars from me!

Now for the SPOILERY part.

LOOK AWAY if you haven't finished the trilogy…

Hodges' death was just one of the most soul-crushing experiences I've ever had reading a book. We knew it was coming from quite early on in the final book, but it really didn't lessen the blow. And that's true in real life as well unfortunately. I was quite literally bawling my eyes out over those final pages. Then I set the book down, got myself together… started crying again minutes later. And then again. King manages to build these characters that we can really connect with and stay with you long after you close the book. And if King can build a story and introduce me to characters that have that much of an impact on me, then that book is getting a 5 star rating (even if it wasn't perfect for me). Bill Hodges has cemented his place in my top King characters <3 ...more
4

Aug 08, 2016



Well, we have come to the end of the road, or the "End of Watch." I enjoyed this trilogy and love all of the books but I loved different books in the trilogy for different reasons. The first because - HELLO - some maniac has done went whack a do and ran over a bunch of people in a Mercedes. The second book I liked because of the connections to people in the first book. And we come to the last book . . . I actually thought is was sad at the end, but for once -->I DID NOT CRY! Anyway, I thought

Well, we have come to the end of the road, or the "End of Watch." I enjoyed this trilogy and love all of the books but I loved different books in the trilogy for different reasons. The first because - HELLO - some maniac has done went whack a do and ran over a bunch of people in a Mercedes. The second book I liked because of the connections to people in the first book. And we come to the last book . . . I actually thought is was sad at the end, but for once -->I DID NOT CRY! Anyway, I thought it was a really cool and creepy addition to the madness that is Brady Hartsfield (Mr. Mercedes) And now I know what all of the fish on the cover of the book meant, especially little pink!



I mean this jerk has went to some crazy ways to kill people but this last one took the cake! He is beyond crazy in the membrane and I'm sure glad he's not real. . . or is he? We don't know! But his ending is so wonderful =)

In all of the books there were parts that were annoying. You know those parts where someone is right there but your too busy doing something stupid to notice them? I mean if there was some freak out there killing people, I would be watching every little thing. But nooooooo..

I still can't believe the trilogy is finished. I feel like I was stuck in this crazy little world for some time. I still loved Holly and Jerome so much in these books. They were smart and just so cool. I don't think ole Bill would have pulled anything off if it wasn't for their help. But I'm going to leave it at that or I will accidentally on purpose give out a spoiler!!!!!

Also a big shout-out to Mr. King for adding this in his Author's Note at the back of the book:

One last thing. End of Watch is fiction, but the high rate of suicides--both in the United States and in many other countries where my books are read--is all too real. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number given in this book is also real. It's 1-800-273-TALK. If you are feeling poopy (as Holly Gibney would say), give them all call. Because things can get better, and if you give them a chance, they usually do.

Stephen King

Cheers to you Mr. King!



I just might take you up on that offer ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List ...more
4

Jul 07, 2015

Not my favorite of the series, but a good finish to a series I enjoyed a lot.

This book is more of a sequel to Mr. Mercedes than the 3rd book in series. I think you could skip Finders Keepers and not miss a thing. But, I don't recommend that as the second book of the series was my favorite!

I like Holly and Bill - they were a great team, and not conventional in any way. In the last two books Jerome felt forced in when he was there. Brady was a good, despicable bad guy. Love to hate him, am I Not my favorite of the series, but a good finish to a series I enjoyed a lot.

This book is more of a sequel to Mr. Mercedes than the 3rd book in series. I think you could skip Finders Keepers and not miss a thing. But, I don't recommend that as the second book of the series was my favorite!

I like Holly and Bill - they were a great team, and not conventional in any way. In the last two books Jerome felt forced in when he was there. Brady was a good, despicable bad guy. Love to hate him, am I right?



Only issues with this one (view spoiler)[the game console thing was unique but did seem a little contrived. Also, at times I got confused during the Dr. Z/Z-boy scenes - who was who, in control, etc. (hide spoiler)]

Sad to see the series come to an end. I did enjoy King's foray into the world of crime/detective drama. I would not mind if he does more with it in the future. ...more
5

Jun 08, 2016

Its only recently that I've come to fully appreciate the writing ability of Stephen King. I used to think that all he wrote was paranormal nonsense and horror stories. Not my thing, not my thing at all. I steadfastly avoided him. But then I was persuaded by a friend to give him a try; that King had much more rounded abilities. I did, and I was quickly converted. I've now changed my opinion him completely and can see that he's a truly gifted story teller. So when I heard hed written a crime It’s only recently that I've come to fully appreciate the writing ability of Stephen King. I used to think that all he wrote was paranormal nonsense and horror stories. Not my thing, not my thing at all. I steadfastly avoided him. But then I was persuaded by a friend to give him a try; that King had much more rounded abilities. I did, and I was quickly converted. I've now changed my opinion him completely and can see that he's a truly gifted story teller. So when I heard he’d written a crime fiction book (right up my alley) I was on it – as Alan Sugar would say – like a tramp on chips.

Mr Mercedes was brilliant! The story of a retired cop, Bill Hodges, and his efforts to track down a man who had run his car through a group of people camping out for a job fair, causing mayhem and multiple deaths. And the follow up, Finders Keepers, was possibly even better. This time Hodges doesn't appear until quite late on and the link with the first book then becomes abundantly clear. Both stories work very well as standalone pieces, but when you add in this third book then it’s very clear that the three must be read as a full set in order to extract full value.

This time around Hodges is in from the start again and I won't spoil the storyline for any prospective readers other than to say that it does involve telekinesis (the ability to move objects using the power of the mind). I didn't think I’d like this element – a key foundation stone of the plot – I just don't believe in this kind of stuff and anytime anything even vaguely paranormal is introduced into a story it's normally the last line I read. But this was different, though I'd struggle to explain why. Maybe it was my existing investment in the Bill Hodges books that made me hang in there, but I don't think that was it. In all honesty, it's just so well done that I was carried along with it – I started to believe this could happen. And what a story King tells here! All the threads are gathered together and the suspension is maintained until the very end. I loved it.

I listened to all three books on audio, read by American actor Will Patton. He did a superb job and in my view his performance added another level to my enjoyment. I know not everyone is an audiobook convert, but if you are then this trilogy should go straight on your Christmas list.

...more
4

May 24, 2015

4.5 stars. My favorite of the trilogy! It was exactly what I was hoping for. A blend of the horror I love from SK and the suspense/crime continuing from the first 2 books. Fast-paced, great characters, and just overall well done. The perfect intro to my summer reading!

Pre-reading Review:
Don't know when it will be released yet. June 7th, 2016. Don't care. Give it to me now!



Update: after finishing Finders Keepers, I'm even more excited for this! The ending with Brady leaves me wondering... Wonder 4.5 stars. My favorite of the trilogy! It was exactly what I was hoping for. A blend of the horror I love from SK and the suspense/crime continuing from the first 2 books. Fast-paced, great characters, and just overall well done. The perfect intro to my summer reading!

Pre-reading Review:
Don't know when it will be released yet. June 7th, 2016. Don't care. Give it to me now!



Update: after finishing Finders Keepers, I'm even more excited for this! The ending with Brady leaves me wondering... Wonder if King will be tying in something supernatural to this crime trilogy...

Update #2: THE COVER AHHH! It's not what I expected at all, I mean...fish?? But it's awesome and I can't stop looking at it and now June can't come fast enough!
...more
4

Jun 20, 2016

'Payback is a bitch, and the bitch is back.'

Brady Hartsfield isn't hurting anybody these days. And Dr. Felix Babineau doesn't bite. Truths? Believe what you will. Thought fish, eye-traps, seeds of suggestion, telekinesis, the big payback. Where do they come from and how do they fit in here?

Brady, the Mercedes killer, is safely ensconced in a center for those with Traumatic Brain Injury. Five years have passed since he pulled his murderous shenanigans in Mr. Mercedes. Ready to find out just what 'Payback is a bitch, and the bitch is back.'

Brady Hartsfield isn't hurting anybody these days. And Dr. Felix Babineau doesn't bite. Truths? Believe what you will. Thought fish, eye-traps, seeds of suggestion, telekinesis, the big payback. Where do they come from and how do they fit in here?

Brady, the Mercedes killer, is safely ensconced in a center for those with Traumatic Brain Injury. Five years have passed since he pulled his murderous shenanigans in Mr. Mercedes. Ready to find out just what is going on behind that waxy face and those vacant eyes?

Retired police detective Bill Hodges has never bought off on Brady's drooling-in-his-shoe act there in the hospital. Hodges knows enough to follow his gut. The painfully literal-minded, yet intuitive Holly Gibney is in the mix again. A most satisfying conclusion to the trilogy.
...more
3

Jul 04, 2015

What I'm feeling right now after reading the last book of the trilogy is a sheer amount of disappointment. This third book had a monstrous amount of expectations for me because first of all, Stephen King is my favorite author of all time. Second reason is that I gave the first two books a 5-star rating. I completely enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy and it didn't take me more than 5 days to finish them. I bought these books the moment they were being sold and read them right away. The What I'm feeling right now after reading the last book of the trilogy is a sheer amount of disappointment. This third book had a monstrous amount of expectations for me because first of all, Stephen King is my favorite author of all time. Second reason is that I gave the first two books a 5-star rating. I completely enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy and it didn't take me more than 5 days to finish them. I bought these books the moment they were being sold and read them right away. The first two books really exceeded my expectations, but this concluding novel really left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Brady is one of the reasons why I really enjoyed the first two books, but unfortunately he didn't deliver the same way he did in this third novel. He is not the same Brady that I enjoyed before. He's not that badass and interesting. I know Stephen King wanted to incorporate some paranormal aspects to this crime trilogy, but for me it didn't work out that well. I loved Stephen King's other paranormal/horror novels, but this trilogy was supposed to be his crime series. It wasn't supposed to be different, in a good way. When I see people review his first two novels and give them less than 4 stars, I read the review because I'm bewildered at how they couldn't see the brilliance of the plot. This third novel though makes me wonder whether or not what I'm feeling now is what other people were feeling when they read the first two books. Don't get me wrong, if I read the first two books again I'm completely sure that I'll enjoy them just as much, but this third novel was a chore to read. It took me more than 2 weeks to read it, and it's only about 430 pages. I'm disappointed at how slow I read this, but I'm much more disappointed at how this novel turned out.

The plot didn't deliver the way I wanted it to, in fact, the only really exciting parts of this novel are the ending and I faintly remember some good parts along the middle of the book. Aside from those though, the novel was dreadful. I didn't like the things that King focused on in this novel. It might just be a personal preference but I believe that this novel would've been a lot better if he concentrated on the crime aspect.

The characters, aside from Brady, are still just as amazing. That reason alone made me rate this novel 3 stars, rather than the shameful 2 stars. Hodges is still one of my favorite Stephen King characters, and I'm glad that he is still interesting in this novel. (view spoiler)[ I'm glad that King gave him closure, and a proper death. (hide spoiler)].

3/5 stars. This series overall is really good, but if we're talking about this novel alone, then it can be considered a disappointment. I waited for a year for this book, and it really bothers me that it's not as good as I was expecting. I'm still highly recommending the series because some people enjoyed this novel just as much as the first two. ...more
2

Oct 24, 2016

Yeah, yeah, yeah when I started this book I really felt like it was going to be my favorite of the trilogy (which I still argue isn't the right term... this is a sequel of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers didn't need Bill Hodges forced on it... in fact that book is barely referenced here... but I digress.....) because Stephen King went back to full Stephen King mode, and I was having fun with the whole thing, but gee golly sunshine if he didn't just double down on one of the dumbest, laziest, Yeah, yeah, yeah when I started this book I really felt like it was going to be my favorite of the trilogy (which I still argue isn't the right term... this is a sequel of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers didn't need Bill Hodges forced on it... in fact that book is barely referenced here... but I digress.....) because Stephen King went back to full Stephen King mode, and I was having fun with the whole thing, but gee golly sunshine if he didn't just double down on one of the dumbest, laziest, cheesiest endings to a story that I've ever read.

I applaud him for the first two novels of the trilogy. He's written so many blasted books that it was a nice change to see him dive into police crime drama stuff and do it relatively well. I loved this at first when he started hinting to taking the series to a new direction and bringing back the evil from the first book. He started going all supernatural on me a little bit, and I was like hey hey hey alright we're going old school here. But good gravy the end of this stupid book was so hard to read.

I don't want to spoil anything here, but this whole Zappit garbage and pink fish was awful. Just awful. Take the worst idea you ever had for a story and multiply is by ten. It's worse than that. It was a low point for Stephen King, especially after an enjoyable first couple of books in the trilogy that isn't really a trilogy but whatever I'm over it now so who cares. I went from an aw yeah this is awesome phase to a what the hell are you kidding me phase pretty quickly and I never got back to the awesome phase. I just kept reading and watching the proverbial train wreck.

Bill Hodges is still an alright dude though. Holly annoyed the hell out of me most of the time. Again, the voice the narrator uses in the audio books may have ruined her for me so it may not be fair to say that but I said it and I'm not going to change my mind!!!!!! I meant to use a period and that was an accident but I just stayed with the exclamation point. Oh well. Sorry to yell.

Sorry about the lack of punctuation and stuff too. I'm typing really fast on my phone just after reading the book and I'm not that into punctuation tonight. Just glad to be done with this and really wishing it ended in a more satisfying way. Might be time for a break from King before I come back around again and read a bunch of his other books in a row. It's an endless cycle. ...more
4

Dec 13, 2017

And so ends Stephen Kings inventive and enjoyable modern mystery tour the Bill Hodges trilogy.

Beginning with Mr. Mercedes, about a psychopathic asshole named Brady Hartsfield who drives into a crowd of job seekers at a civic event, and detouring into a literary collectors nightmare in Finders Keepers, and then delivering the coup de grace with this excellent return visit with Brady who has kicked his evil into overdrive.

Reminiscent of Messiah, Gore Vidals 1954 love letter to suicide, King And so ends Stephen King’s inventive and enjoyable modern mystery tour – the Bill Hodges trilogy.

Beginning with Mr. Mercedes, about a psychopathic asshole named Brady Hartsfield who drives into a crowd of job seekers at a civic event, and detouring into a literary collectors’ nightmare in Finders Keepers, and then delivering the coup de grace with this excellent return visit with Brady who has kicked his evil into overdrive.

Reminiscent of Messiah, Gore Vidal’s 1954 love letter to suicide, King broods and explores this self-destructive path, finding common ground in depression, anxiety and the ever-present suicide gene, of which we all seem to share.

Bill Hodges is a sick man, but the old Det. Ret. is still man enough to tangle with the likes of Brady who is in what is supposed to be a catatonic state after Holly poured a ball bearing laced tallboy can of whoopass on him at the end of the first book.

But this is Stephen King after all and we must remember the edicts of King’s Law: If things can get creepy, they will.

Brady takes a Marvel mutant turn for the supernatural with the aid of some experimental drugs and things drive off into a left field that Fenway never imagined. Brady can influence people to kill themselves and likes to keep score. Can Hodges and his ragtag team of misfit toys save the day? Got to read to find out.

Good book and a good series.

...more
5

Oct 19, 2017

Well, it looks like SK has gone back to his roots in this one, and far from complaining, I had a great time.

Mind you, it wasn't the plot or the supernatural element that I loved, although the development and the execution were interesting, very Shocker-like.

Instead, I liked the characters. If you don't like the characters, you won't like these books. Bill, the Ret-Det, and Holly, his Lisbeth Salander partner make up the bulk of this one, making a full circle back to the first book and firmly Well, it looks like SK has gone back to his roots in this one, and far from complaining, I had a great time.

Mind you, it wasn't the plot or the supernatural element that I loved, although the development and the execution were interesting, very Shocker-like.

Instead, I liked the characters. If you don't like the characters, you won't like these books. Bill, the Ret-Det, and Holly, his Lisbeth Salander partner make up the bulk of this one, making a full circle back to the first book and firmly casting these as a solid and non-continuing series, not only continuing the story of the Mercedes Killer but following Bill to his natural end.

BUT, lest this review devolve into a "I like it, damnit," gonzo thing, I should bring up that it does some really solid justice to a really big issue.

Suicide.

Oddly enough, what felt like a cliche in the first book turned into something a lot more complicated and terrifying in the third. Let's take it supernatural. Let's make it a bit sick. This is King, after all. :) ...more
4

Jan 11, 2016

As the Bill Hodges trilogy comes to an end, Stephen King fans lament the conclusion of something that has taken on a mind of its own, while being pleased with the calibre of the final novel. The reader gathers the shards of literary glass King left with the end of the previous book, as Bill Hodges is called to the scene of an apparent murder-suicide, a favour by his former partner. What brings Hodges and his partner, Holly Gibney, rushing to the house is that one of the two bodies belongs to As the Bill Hodges trilogy comes to an end, Stephen King fans lament the conclusion of something that has taken on a mind of its own, while being pleased with the calibre of the final novel. The reader gathers the shards of literary glass King left with the end of the previous book, as Bill Hodges is called to the scene of an apparent murder-suicide, a favour by his former partner. What brings Hodges and his partner, Holly Gibney, rushing to the house is that one of the two bodies belongs to that of Martine Stover, severely injured by a man dubbed the Mercedes Killer back in 2009. Left a quadriplegic after the car ran into her, Martine lived with her mother, who seemingly could not take all the pressure after seven years. Hodges can remember the day of that horrific killing spree, one that led Brady Hartsfield to attempt another horrible at the following year at a boy band concert. Now, Hartsfield is in the hospital with a severe brain injury and resting in a coma, though Hodges cannot help but wonder if there is more going on that the hospital staff will admit. Unbeknownst to anyone, Hartsfield's neurologist, Dr. Felix Babineau, has been giving his patient injection of an unapproved drug while running his own experiments. Outwardly there is nothing apparently going on, but Hartsfield seems to have honed some telegenic skills, those that he can use to his advantage. As the story progresses, someone close to Hodges is involved in an accident that could have been suicidal in nature, only to learn that a handheld console, a Zap-It, apparently lulled the potential victim into throwing herself in front of a car. A similar Zap-It was found at the scene of the murder-suicide, alongside a letter describing a particular game found on the console. Hodges and Holly dig a little deeper and learn that there are ties between these consoles and victims of both events attributed to Hartsfield, but he remains in a coma and therefore could not be responsible. When approaching the authorities, Hodges is left in the dark and reminded of his retired state, only angering the former detective. While battling these mysteries, Hodges must also come to terms with a medical diagnosis sure to slow him down; one that he would rather shelve until after the investigation. As Hartsfield remains in the hospital, he seems to be able to use these telekinetic powers to have others do his bidding as he continues to haunt those he was unable to kill. As suicidal messages flood into the brains of many young people, Hodges must find a way to end this before many people clock out for their final End of Watch. How Hartsfield continues to play puppeteer from a hospital bed and the havoc that develops is revealed throughout King's novel, though ne'er in a clear and precise manner. A brilliantly crafted novel that takes many turns as King helps the reader bid adieu to Hodges and the rest of his colourful ensemble.

Since discovering the greatness that is Stephen King, I have been amazed at the intricacy of his writing and the varied styles in which it is presented. Once the King of Horror (no pun intended), he has been able to morph away from the blood and gore and more into more of a psychological mystery that keeps some of his tried and tested ideas fresh. King uses detail to his advantages, particularly as he develops his main characters, tossing in minutiae in order to flesh out their normalcy, but also offering scores of other characters whose appearance sometimes does not last longer than a page. While many authors would be chastised for this, King's use of these minor characters always has a purpose and therefore is to be applauded. While keeping the stories closer to home, the New England feel of the settings works well with the development of the story, allowing the small-town approach to work wonders as the characters utilise what is on offer to allow the narrative to grow. King is not one to regularly write multi-volume stories like this, which has forced him to keep the momentum up and attention to detail as a priority. The story flowed so well and the narrative remained synchronized that any reader who chose to read all three novels back to back would likely not notice too much of a disturbance. While dealing with some paranormal activities and placing a mystery within the bounds of the novel, King is also able to address the social issue of suicide, particularly that by teens, and uses this novel as a soapbox of sorts, crossing some subtlety rather than the inculcation of his points of view. This works well and keeps the reader attuned to some of the issues that are poignant, while also seeing how easy it can be to sway someone with the power of suggestion. While I could go on and on about King and the nuances he places in his writing, I will leave it to the reader to pull much from these pages, while seeking not to spoil too much. A fabulous piece of work that ends an entertaining series. If only all authors dedicated as much detail as King, readers would be in for a smorgasbord of superior novels, at least in my opinion.

Kudos Mr. King on another wonderful piece. I'll not look at those pesky, mindless gaming apps the same way again, but will surely promote this book to anyone who will listen.

Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:
http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ ...more
5

Mar 19, 2017

I enjoyed this trilogy and I loved End of Watch. I started out slow with this book, taking little sips, I think because I was sad to finish the final book. But at some point, I couldnt stop. I finally had some free time and I binged the second half like a bag of popcorn at the movies. Great big mouthfuls, one after another. It was refreshing to see Mr. King meander outside of the supernatural in Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. I think they both demonstrated his ability to horrify and thrill I enjoyed this trilogy and I loved “End of Watch”. I started out slow with this book, taking little sips, I think because I was sad to finish the final book. But at some point, I couldn’t stop. I finally had some free time and I binged the second half like a bag of popcorn at the movies. Great big mouthfuls, one after another. It was refreshing to see Mr. King meander outside of the supernatural in Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. I think they both demonstrated his ability to horrify and thrill within the boundaries of our reality, for he knows that the horrors we create ourselves are just as terrible of those of the paranormal. But I loved the return to the supernatural in “End of Watch”. I loved it because my favorite aspect of Mr. King’s stories is his ability to make ordinary people’s reactions to the impossible, very natural. It’s the honest and believable reactions of his character’s that pulls me and makes his novels stick with me. I read a wide variety of books and I enjoy many of them. But what sets apart an author for me is if the story worms its way into my long-term memory. Not many do, but Mr. King is taking up more than his fair share of my precious long-term memory storage.

As a new Author, I found myself experiencing a new emotion while reading this novel. Jealousy. I’ve been intrigued by the concept of gamification for some time and fascinated that scientific research can show how to manipulate peoples pleasure centers with virtual rewards. I’ve had a few ideas for short stories around this concept, and then Mr. King comes along and nails it. When he combines it with the perils and despair of suicide, it became a fascinating plot that I couldn’t turn away from, even if I wanted to.

I’ve been a devote King fan for a very long time and this just continues to keep him at the top. I highly recommend this book. The next time you reach for your phone to play some addictive little game, you’ll think of it. And you might even find part of yourself craving a game where you try to tap on those elusive little pink fish. Thanks again Mr. King for yet another delightful scare. ...more
4

Jan 07, 2016

I dithered backwards and forwards over five stars or four but then decided that although I enjoyed it enormously it did not have that wow factor that makes it a five. So I am now in the very unusual situation where the middle book of the trilogy was actually (to me) better than part one or part three!
Having said all that I did like the this book very much. It certainly tied up all loose ends and I loved the roles played by Hodges and Holly. King could have written a whole series based on the I dithered backwards and forwards over five stars or four but then decided that although I enjoyed it enormously it did not have that wow factor that makes it a five. So I am now in the very unusual situation where the middle book of the trilogy was actually (to me) better than part one or part three!
Having said all that I did like the this book very much. It certainly tied up all loose ends and I loved the roles played by Hodges and Holly. King could have written a whole series based on the exploits of these two!
Although most of the book was great - and I always love it when King dips into the supernatural and things become odd and gruesome - the ending fell flat for me. And poor Hodges just made me feel uncomfortable. So pretty much five stars until the last couple of chapters and then not so good! That's just me though - I see a number of reviews proclaiming the brilliant ending. Maybe I should go back and read it again.......... ...more
4

Jan 16, 2020

Boy, I am so glad I enjoyed this book more than the previous installment in the series! Finders Keepers felt like a bit of a dud and unnecessary addition in the series, but in this one I finally recognized the characters I loved so much in Mr. Mercedes again.
I criticized the lack of Hodges in the previous book, so I'm incredibly happy he and the other main characters of the series played a bigger role again. This is how it should be!

The story itself was suspenseful and just very interesting?! Boy, I am so glad I enjoyed this book more than the previous installment in the series! Finders Keepers felt like a bit of a dud and unnecessary addition in the series, but in this one I finally recognized the characters I loved so much in Mr. Mercedes again.
I criticized the lack of Hodges in the previous book, so I'm incredibly happy he and the other main characters of the series played a bigger role again. This is how it should be!

The story itself was suspenseful and just very interesting?! Like, I'm just amazed at the fact that someone could come up with something like that. It was well thought out and made sense, (view spoiler)[despite the supernatural aspects. Brady's telekinesis is actually the only think I might be able to criticise. I say might, because I actually like it, but I could imagine that others might not. Mostly because there's only a tiiiny bit of foreshadowing in the previous two books. And I'm not even sure if Brady's headaches in Book One is foreshadowing or if they are unrelated to the matter. I think it would have been good if some more signs and clues would have been planted throughout the entire series, that would have made it more believable and "natural". So yeah, I would understand if someone hated this entire book, simply because they didn't expect this change of genre. I'm used to Stephen King's bending of genre by now and simply expect something like this to happen in every book I read by him, but others might not and thus deem the entire matter ridiculous. (hide spoiler)]

Overall, I thought this was a worthy ending of the series. It was fitting, satisfying and justified. I had a good time reading; I smiled and got excited and even a bit misty-eyed. I binge-read the trilogy, so I didn't take a long time to get to know the characters, the setting etc. But I still felt close to them/it in the end. They've found a place in my heart and I'm sure I will think back to them now and again. ...more
5

Jan 18, 2020

5 stars audio**
Narrator Will Patton
4.5 stars story**

Its a bittersweet feeling to finish this beloved series! ???? Couldnt have asked for a better ending though, and the final closure to the Mercedes killer. As always Mr. king is such a masterful story teller he sure knows how to do eerily, mysterious and suspenseful especially with this trilogy that won my heart with its characters. Im going to miss Bill Hodges and his yeah but Im so happy to know will see more of Holly who is by far one of my 5 stars audio**
Narrator Will Patton
4.5 stars story**

It’s a bittersweet feeling to finish this beloved series! ???? Couldn’t have asked for a better ending though, and the final closure to the Mercedes killer. As always Mr. king is such a masterful story teller he sure knows how to do eerily, mysterious and suspenseful especially with this trilogy that won my heart with its characters. I’m going to miss Bill Hodges and his “yeah” but I’m so happy to know will see more of Holly who is by far one of my favorite characters. She was amazing in “the outsider” and I can’t wait to see comes next for her. ❤️ ...more
1

Mar 25, 2017

"She wipes her eyes almost angrily. 'This is just so fracking poopy'."
60% in and I am zappit-ing this one. I did read the final pages to learn the inevitable fate of Hodges.
Although I enjoyed the first two in the series, I'm turning off my e-reader with no reader rewards from this one. I'm just thankful it didn't hypnotize me into finishing. End of watch and reading. :-/
4

Sep 15, 2017

Look at the fish. Tap the pink ones. Come on, Billy-boy, tap those pink fish!

Make sure you get all the pinkies! Thats all the fun!

This was a BR with The one with great tats and The one with purple hair. Unfortunately, it went completely awry. Craig finished way too quickly and poor Orient was taken down by RL! Better luck next time, fellow Sladists? I hope so.

Mr. Mercedes was my initiation to the great master that is Stephen King. It was the first thing I ever read from him.
Yes, I read it “Look at the fish. Tap the pink ones. Come on, Billy-boy, tap those pink fish!”

Make sure you get all the pinkies! That’s all the fun!

This was a BR with The one with great tats and The one with purple hair. Unfortunately, it went completely awry. Craig finished way too quickly and poor Orient was taken down by RL! Better luck next time, fellow Sladists? I hope so.

Mr. Mercedes was my initiation to the great master that is Stephen King. It was the first thing I ever read from him.
Yes, I read it even before The Shining!
Yes, I am cuckoo!
Can we stop stating the obvious and move on? Thank you!

As I was saying, this series introduced me to an amazing author who I completely love and it turned me into a ‘Constant Reader’. In that context, this series is and will be special. It is also, literally THE ONLY series till date that I read as and when released. I don’t do that bcz I am OCD and ongoing series really triggers it. This was the whole reason I sold my box set of GOT! Simply put, I. DO. NOT. READ. ON-GOING. SERIES!
And yet I stuck around with this one. Not bcz it is that awesome. It really isn’t. Infact, so far from what I have read from SK, this is one of his lowly works. And yet, it’s great! Take from that what you will. Yeah I am cuckoo, didn’t we settle that already? We did! Moving on!

The thing is, I can hardly discuss the book without giving away anything as a spoiler which is why I loathe love books like these! Like if I can’t rant about it, where’s the fun in reading it? Huh, Mr King? Damn you, man!

Anyhoo….
So this series starts of as a straight forward detective thingy, a game of cat and mouse and a race against time. But it graduates into more. The final part turns this book into a sci-fi (at least borderline) and then into a full blown supernatural thing. Best part? It works! It totally does!

This book, following up from Finders Keepers, sees Bill Hodges and Holly running their investigating firm and settled into a decent rhythm. A rhythm that is disrupted when Hodges receives a call from his partner (now ex) from the good ol' days as po-po. He asks for Hodges’ and surprisingly for Holly’s advice on what seems to be a Murder-Suicide crime scene. Hodges obliges. This leads into Hodges doing his detective shit and trying to get to the bottom of things that the regular police is willing to let slide. The more he digs, the more it goes back to Brady. The same one that roved a Mercedes in an unsuspecting crowd, killing EIGHT people and maiming dozens. The same Brady who wanted to go out with a BANG, literally. The same one that Hodges and his ragtag band of unlikely accomplices, Holly‘berry’ Gibney and Jerome ‘Tyrone’ Robinson, incapacitated and put him in a vegetative state in book one.

Brady Fucking Hartsfield! The drooling-over-his-chin and can’t-button-his-own-shirt Brady Hartsfield. But is it possible that a guy who can’t even tie his own shoes or wipe his own shit has been doing any of what’s been happening? “Hodges doesn’t quite believe it himself, but the pieces are coming together, and although the picture that’s being revealed is a crazy one, it also has a certain nasty logic.” With Holly by his side, once more Hodges finds himself locked in a battle against time. The clock is ticking and this time the stakes are higher and much deadlier! Literally! Will Hodges persevere or will this this be the end of the line?

As is the norm, I was fascinated by the way SK shapes his characters. How he lets you in on their thoughts and how he makes you feel what they feel and how you can see the proverbial run-away train headed for a crash and yet you hope against hope that SK will put the brakes on and how every time he lets it crash! Never one for pulling punches!
I love the terrific trio in this book. I love ‘Massa’ Hodges, the sly fox. I adore Hollyberry and I am a true fan of Jerome and his alter ego ‘feel-good-Tyrone’. I truly loved the relation arc of Holly and Hodges. It is a tender thing, built on trust. Hard to earn and even harder to keep especially when the person expects you not to. But Hodges does that. He allows Holly to grow and she blooms with him. “He opened a door for me. One into the world. He gave me something to do that made a difference.” I am kind of pissed and miffed with SK for not giving more ink to Jerome. Why the hell didn’t you, SK? Why?

Talking about the story, it kind of drags a touch in the middle but just as soon as you realize that it’s starting to drag it picks up and goes at a break neck pace. I love how SK can bring the smallest of things like a mobile ringtone to bear in a major way. And the bitter-sweet ending was masterfully done. I truly do not think it could or should have been any different. The book is simply an exciting read and even though it isn’t one of the best of SK, it’s definitely a great one.

One other thing that I really like about Stephen King’s books and this might sound weird but what the hell. Hardly have I seen any author even come close to SK in terms of swearing and cussing. If I am terribly honest, I have learned the worst swear words that I know in English from SK. He is downright degrading when he cusses. And you know what? It works! It’s what gives life to his characters, especially his villains. They are so damn real!
It’s how he shapes them up with these small intricacies, the swearing here and there, the detestation towards a person or a thing in general, the vehemence and vigor of hate, all this makes them so crazy and completely psycho and malevolent and that’s what makes him a great author and story-teller.

I could go on and on and yet what would be the point for can I truly tell you something new about how great SK is? Naaah man! I can’t. This is one of the better reads of the year and I am very glad for it.

I personally feel that it is mighty awesome of SK for writing a series so different and far removed from what he does best. To be trying out new arenas so late in his career and life. It’s something commendable. And although this series is not a who-dunnit but more of a chasing game, nothing is lost for it. It’s a great ride. So hop on, enjoy the ride and become a ‘constant reader’! ...more
4

Jun 17, 2015

Absolutely excellent. The perfect ending to a great trilogy.


PRE-READING THOUGHTS:
The wait is killlliiiinnnnggggg me

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