Written by Stephen King
Number 1 in Bill Hodges Trilogy
Genre: Thriller, Crime
Original Language: English
Read from 2015-01-11 to 2015-01-28
Read in English
Review: As they have tended to be for Stephen King books, my expectations were high for this one, especially since the reviews of it have been so favourable. My expectations were almost met, but not quite. Mr. Mercedes is, of course, a great story. It’s dramatic enough from the start to be instantly interesting, and it makes it clear from the outset that this is one of those books where “that couldn’t possible happen”-things can actually happen, which is crucial for a book like this to work. It’s also refreshingly unpredictable, and I never knew where it was going. This wasn’t down to sudden twists and unexpected turns, but rather the compounded effect of a story where both the events and the characters are original enough for me to lose my general sense of “I’ve seen this kind of thing before” gut-feeling about what is going to happen. The characters are well-developed enough for their actions not to feel out of place, and likeable enough (when they need to be) for me as a reader to care about what happens to them.
That said, I felt that the book as a whole lacked some intensity. The fact that some sections of it were real page-turners made me all the more aware that other sections weren’t. It never got boring, but at times it felt a little too much like I was reading a set-up to a future event rather than something that was written for its own sake. I think I’ve used the phrase “a great story told well” in reviews of Stephen King books before, but this time, for the first time, I feel like this was a great story that perhaps could have been told a little better. Still, Mr. Mercedes was a really fun, worthwhile read, and delivers more or less exactly what one would expect from a Stephen King story with a blood-soaked umbrella on the cover.