Goodreads Book Review - Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I know there are a lot of complaints about King's writing out there: it's repetitive, he isn't any good at endings, whatever. You can say whatever you want about those negatives and more, but one thing you can't say is that he isn't great at characters and characterization. He makes you care about his characters and what happens to them by really letting you into their lives, and that is a talent of his that is on full display in Mr. Mercedes. It's something different for King, a straight-up noir-style detective story without any supernatural elements at all, and he kills it. Obviously none of the aforementioned repetitiveness is there, although there are allusions to past works and themes. it's a fresh story, not at all hurt by being set a few years ago. The characters are vibrant and endearing, and consequently the horror that sets in when something is about to happen to them is more real. The only complaint I've ever heard about King novels that can still be applied here is that he doesn't stick the landing. The ending left me a bit disappointed, not so much in how it ends but how it unfolds, more specifically who is left out of the action and who plays too small a part in it. That's all I'll say for fear of spoilers, but if you want an engrossing read, this is the book for you.

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