Sunday, June 8, 2014

Not Good, Not Bad

Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

Mr. Mercedes: A Novel
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $11.99

3.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Blessing, June 8, 2014

Book Description

June 3, 2014
In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

I have the horrible feeling that letting others know that in my opinion, this isn’t Mr. Kings best work, is going to be a mistake…but here goes:
I loved the idea that the author used a different from the one we are in know, yet he did not delved too far into the past.
I loved the fact that the protagonist, Det. Ret. Bill Hodges is an overweight, depressed and suicidal, non-tech savvy lump who may just have one more thing to do before he literally ‘bites the bullet’.
I also loved that this book combines many of Mr. Kings past tropes. Not very well, but they are combined. I saw so many of his past successes packed into this book.
I liked the fact that he had so many unlikely characters helping in the end.
I also liked that he did get the girl-sort of.

What I did not like?

This book was too similar to so many of his past works, the characters were not really well fleshed out and the ‘horror’ aspect just really wasn’t horrible enough to justify using that word.
This book read more like a police procedural but with a couple of semi-horrible things thrown in just as an after-thought. Perhaps I am just immune to fictional horror because of true/real horrors going on all around us in everyday life.
I admit that I haven’t been keeping up with Mr. King’s writings since “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” and The Dome, so I don’t know how his latest works have evolved –but this just seems like a kinder gentler Stephen King with a touch of Richard Bachman thrown in.

This is not a wonderful book but it is not a horrible book either. I think that his is the type of book that everyone will be reading something different into it. Each reader will have different emotions pulled out of them, and each separate person will be seeing a different horror behind the words.

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