Written by Stephen King
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Original Language: English
Read from 2017-07-02 to 2017-07-08
Read in English
Review: Annoyingly, this book was both good and disappointing. After Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers my expectations for this last book of the trilogy were very high. They weren’t met.
The Stephen King books I’ve read have tended to fall roughly into one of two categories: the fantasy/supernatural, and the relatively natural thriller/horror, with a touch of the supernatural here and there. The thing that I’ve appreciated so much in the latter category, into which the two first books of this trilogy fell, is the plot itself being driven mostly by rational events, with the supernatural and weird being used to spice up the story here and there. It has added a very effective layer of unsettling uncertainty to a universe that has been normal enough to identify with.
End of Watch bases the plot entirely on a pretty major supernatural conceit. This could have worked, had it not been for the extent and the significance of the conceit being revealed gradually. Instead of the twists being based on events in the story itself, the twists are mostly based around revelations about how the “rules of the universe” actually work. This didn’t work for me. There is also an annoyingly unnecessary lack of realism in some of the tech-aspects. I don’t mind stories leaping over technical realism when it adds to the story, I’m fine with “zoom and enhance”, but when the errors are mostly irrelevant to the story, and it would have taken half an hour of Googling to make it more realistic, it just seems lazy. I also think this is the first time in a Stephen King story where I could see the ending coming from a mile away. I expected and hoped that I’d been mislead down the wrong path, but, alas, I hadn’t.
All that said, the book is still worthwhile. It has a real warmth to it, and the characters and the interactions between them are, as always, wonderful. Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers are excellent, and this is a perfectly fine, if not entirely satisfying, conclusion to a great trilogy.