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Review: Mr. Mercedes

October 30, 2014

Mr. Mercedes

Retired police detective Bill Hodges has settled into a dull routine when, out of the blue, he gets a message from someone who claims to be the person who drove a stolen car into a crowd of people, killing eight.  It’s a case Hodges never solved – he knows he should pass the information along to his old partner but he feels compelled to investigate.  Things quickly turn into a game of cat and mouse – but who’s the cat and who’s the mouse?

I was a little worried when my book club chose Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.  I did enjoy 11/22/63 but it’s not horror and, based on the cover, I assumed Mr. Mercedes is.  It turns out I was very wrong – rather than horror, King’s newest novel is crime fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  The book wasn’t perfect – there was a small romantic element that seemed out of place – but it sure was compelling.  Stephen King certainly knows how to tell a story!

The point of view switches between Hodges and the killer so readers know early on whodunit.  The story focuses on Hodges investigation and if and how the killer will be caught.  I thought King left things open for a sequel and have read that Mr. Mercedes is the first book in a proposed trilogy – I look forward to the next two entries in the series.

Everyone but one person in my book club enjoyed this book.  I have to admit, though, that we didn’t find much to discuss beyond the characters.

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2014 6:04 am

    New one for me. Enjoyed the review

  2. Techeditor permalink
    October 30, 2014 6:55 am

    Thanks for saying this isn’t horror. Now this book is on my to-read list.

  3. October 30, 2014 7:22 am

    I generally don’t read Stephen King but when I do I like him!

  4. October 30, 2014 7:23 am

    As long as it’s not horror, I might give it a try.

  5. October 30, 2014 8:25 am

    I feel exactly the same as you do about Stephen King – loved 11/22/63 and am not a fan of his horror. I avoided this one for the same reason you did, but now have it on my “before the end of the year” TBR list.

  6. October 30, 2014 8:51 am

    Loved your post about this one and I totally agree with you. I really enjoyed this one as well and am really looking forward to the next two in the trilogy 🙂

  7. October 30, 2014 9:38 am

    Since 11/22/63 is in my top 12 all-time, I have basically just written King off for any other book. I do like Koontz but stopped reading King many years ago (I read The Stand a while ago because a friend gave me the book, and I felt obligated). This sounds interesting.

  8. October 30, 2014 10:10 am

    I enjoyed this one too, and I felt the same way about the romance – it seemed unrealistic at best.

  9. October 30, 2014 11:10 am

    Oh, glad to know it’s not horror! I enjoy crime fiction and loved 11/22/63…but horror leaves me grossed out and afraid…LOL

    Thanks for the review.

  10. October 30, 2014 11:44 am

    This was a good one. My only criticism was the little romance that King tried to include in the novel. It didn’t feel genuine and when you realize the outcome, you wonder why it was in there at all.

  11. October 30, 2014 1:23 pm

    This just may make it on my TBR list after all!

  12. October 30, 2014 1:45 pm

    I love SK and like that he’s been writing more than horror…but I do love his horror stories!

  13. October 30, 2014 3:28 pm

    I just recently found out that this one isn’t horror, too. I assumed from the cover that it was! Makes me curious to pick it up…though I agree that there’s not always a ton to discuss in King books. He is fun to read, though! So…you in for the Bag of Bones readalong next month? LOLOLOL! 😉

  14. October 30, 2014 4:22 pm

    Now you’ve got me interested, Kathy! I wasn’t thinking of reading it before.

  15. October 30, 2014 4:25 pm

    I never read any of his horror stories

  16. Patty permalink
    October 30, 2014 5:17 pm

    I would have been just a teensy bit afraid of this one, too…I have not read him in ages!

  17. October 30, 2014 7:15 pm

    Kathy, I’m glad you that you and (most of) your book club enjoyed Mr. Mercedes. I plan on reading this at some point. It does sound like a departure for Stephen King, but I’m not worried because he’s a terrific storyteller!

  18. October 30, 2014 7:55 pm

    I liked this a lot Kathy, but I can see where there would not be a lot to discuss by a book group.

  19. October 30, 2014 10:34 pm

    Hmmmm interesting! I love Stephen King but haven’t checked this one out yet. Not sure I’ve read anything of his that seems like crime fiction (maybe Joyland?). I’ll definitely pick this one up soon.

  20. Beth F permalink
    October 31, 2014 7:23 am

    Oh crime fiction! In that case, I could read it!

  21. October 31, 2014 9:32 pm

    I’m almost finished with 11/22/63 (which I’m thoroughly enjoying!) and plan to read Bag of Bones (a re-read) with Trish, but this sounds like a winner, so I’ll have to add it to my list. I don’t mind SK’s horror novels, but it’s nice to hear that he can write a decent mystery, too. Have you read A Painted House? I thought it was very good and a nice departure from his scary stuff.

    • November 1, 2014 4:02 pm

      Correction: A Painted House is by John Grisham NOT Stephen King. Oops. 🙂

  22. Shweta permalink
    November 1, 2014 4:46 am

    It has been a while since I read a Stephen King novel. I listened to Joyland as an audiobook but it was a different genre so I might give this a try.

  23. November 2, 2014 1:11 am

    I like King’s older horror books and would be interested in trying out his crime fiction. Glad you and your book club enjoyed it!

  24. November 2, 2014 9:40 am

    I like how Stephen King is very versatile and has books in almost every genre. I do need to read one of his book soon.

  25. November 2, 2014 4:23 pm

    I’m so glad you said this one is not horror! I want to read more Stephen King, especially after 11-22-63 is STILL at the top of my favorite books list but I’m really not into horror at all. I shall pick this one up now that you’ve shared it’s more crime fiction (a fave of mine!)

  26. November 3, 2014 11:45 am

    When I make the time to read King – which isn’t often – I usually end up liking it. My next by him has to be 11/22/63 though!

  27. bookingmama permalink
    November 4, 2014 7:17 am

    I really didn’t know much about this one but I suspect I’d really enjoy it!

  28. January 15, 2015 2:34 pm

    Almost every time Uncle Stevie writes about the romantic side to his characters, it makes me CRINGE. Seriously, it’s the same awkwardness and out of place injection into his stories that I’ve never liked (in some cases, HATED, like in It). I wish he would stop that part. I absolutely love his stories, but the romances are so weird and uncomfortable.

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