Tuesday 1 July 2014

Mr MERCEDES by Stephen King

A retired cop and a couple of unlikely allies race against time to stop a psycho-loner intent on blowing up thousands... Stephen King is on a roll, this time with the heart-pounding suspense that he does best.
A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring a retired homicide detective who's haunted by the few cases he left open, and by one in particular - the pre-dawn slaughter of eight people among hundreds gathered in line for the opening of a jobs fair when the economy was guttering out. Without warning, a lone driver ploughed through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes. The plot is kicked into gear when Bill Hodges receives a letter in the mail, from a man claiming to be the perpetrator. He taunts Hodges with the notion that he will strike again. Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing that from happening.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. And he's preparing to kill again. Only Hodges, with a couple of misfit friends, can apprehend the killer in this high-stakes race against time. Because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim hundreds, even thousands...  
Stephen King is one of my favourite authors, so I was really looking forward to reading his latest book. And boy, this turned out to be an awesome thriller that hooked me in right away!
Bill Hodges is a retired homicide detective. Nowadays, he spends most of his days lazing around on his La-Z-Boy with a gun nearby, too many snacks, and so much daytime TV it might end up being enough to push him over the edge. His life has become useless, and he's constantly haunted by the few cases he was never able to solve.
The day he receives a letter from someone claiming to be  responsible for one of those unsolved cases--The Mercedes Killer--his life takes an unexpected turn. The letter sets him off on a personal investigation that gets him deeper into what really happened that foggy morning when a bunch of jobless people were run down by a psychotic killer, than he ever did during the initial investigation. It also lights a fire within him that he was sure would never be sparked again after retirement. He even finds a little romance along the way. But it's with the help of his intelligent, computer-savvy teenage neighbour and the oddball woman who turns out to be a lot more intuitive than even she imagined, that he manages to crack the case.
Brady Hartsfield is an unstable man who appears as average as can be on the outside, but is rotten to the core on the inside. He hates everyone. He also lives at home with his mother and has a very creepy relationship with her. He has two jobs, both of them give him the opportunity to peek into people's lives. As well as the opportunity to spy on his next victim--the Det.-Ret.
He has plans for the old, overweight has-been, and he's going to relish every moment of the detective's downfall by taunting him until he can't take it anymore. But when his conniving plan starts to crumble around him because he underestimated the retired cop, Brady is forced to hatch up a new hateful plan. One that will take a lot more victims than his last stint. It might also end up being the last thing he ever does.
OMG. This book was seriously tense. Starting from the very first page, where the awful scene is set and we meet some of the jobless people in line for the Job Fair at City Center. We know what's about to happen to them, but you keep reading... This story is a psychological, tense thriller that keeps you glued to every page because you can't stop until you find out just how this is all going to end.
I also got a kick out of reading the many references to some of his other novels. :)
Mr. MERCEDES is an amazing, nail-biting suspense thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. As usual, Stephen King has created an amazing ensemble of characters that you get to know so intimately you're either rooting for them, or hoping they will die a slow and very painful death. This story's a hell of a ride. It's got heart, scares, and a good dose of sadness too.
I absolutely LOVED every single minute of this brilliant book!
Oh, and check out the creepy book trailer:

Mr MERCEDES, June 2014, ISBN  9781444788631, Hodder & Stoughton

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