Book Review – Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen King

August 15, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 11 Comments

Book Review – Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen KingMr. Mercedes by Stephen King
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #1
Published by Scribner on June 3rd 2014
Pages: 436
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

three-half-stars

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 Hartfield 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.

‘Life is a crap carnival with shit prizes.’

Bill Hodges is a retired detective that spends his days now sitting in front of his TV, stroking his gun and contemplating suicide. He remains haunted by the unsolved cases he left behind, most especially one where someone ran down a group of innocents waiting for a job fair to open. When Hodges receives a letter from the individual that supposedly committed the crime, it manages to revive his sense of purpose and gives him a new reason to live. This time he’s determined to prevent him from acting out his next heinous crime.

Mr. Mercedes isn’t exactly horror, but it’s certainly horrific. It’s best identified as a crime thriller and lacks the anticipated supernatural aspect that is usually key to King’s stories. It feels more akin to something James M. Cain, Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett would have written but Mr. Mercedes still manages to possess that certain something that is most definitely ‘King’.

What’s most impressive about this well-written bad guy is we’re given his identity from the very start and yet the story still manages to be full of surprises. The story occasionally has a scene from the point of view of Mr. Mercedes himself, Brady Hartfield, that will leave you unsettled, to say the least. This guy is one seriously twisted bastard that is not only murderous but is incredibly smart which is one distressing combination.

“Creepy as hell. You ever see that TV movie about the clown in the sewer?”

Even for those of you who have not read It (myself included, because, fuck you clowns) will still likely be able to recognize the references to the cult classic. Add to that is the ice cream truck on the back cover of the book that is parked in a puddle of blood while more blood rains down so you figure the ice cream truck is NOT a good thing even though everybody loves the ice cream man. Well, not anymore my friend. I actually heard the ice cream truck drive by my house while reading this, no joke, and I almost had a small aneurysm. So thanks, Stephen King, for ruining ice cream for me.

Mr. Mercedes may not be what most have come to expect from King, but who honestly knows what to expect from that man anyways? It’s no less thrilling and no less of an enthralling page turner. Highly recommended for fans of crime thrillers and for those that don’t love ice cream.

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11 Responses to “Book Review – Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen King”

  1. Wendy Darling

    “fuck you, clowns.” Hah hah hah. Oh Bonnie, you kill me.

    This book sounds intriguing and I love Stephen King, but I don’t know if I can read something that’s going to ruin my deep and meaningful relationship with ice cream.
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  2. Tammy @ Books Bones & Buffy

    Well, I’m not a big fan of ice cream so I’ll most likely read this at some point! I love that SK tries not to repeat himself, so I’m glad he’s written a thriller that isn’t supernatural. (Don’t get me wrong-I love his supernatural books!!) Thanks for reviewing it!
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  3. Heidi

    Seriously, you never read IT? OMG…. that is one of my all time fav King books ever and my first… please please drop everything and good read it. I have an audiobook copy of this sitting on my desk unopened. I need to get after it. The whole thing about the icecream truck going by while you read this is too funny!
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  4. Lauren

    “because, fuck you clowns” That made me giggle! 🙂 I already hated clowns before It and since then reading & watching the TV movie it has turned to full on phobia. I am almost terrified to read this because I don’t want ice cream ruined for me!

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