'Wake up, genius.' So begins King's instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, a Salinger-like icon who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn't published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.
Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Sauberg finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he's released from prison after thirty-five years.
By now it's no secret that I'm a huge Stephen King fan and look forward to all of his new books. Last year I read and loved Mr MERCEDES, so I couldn't wait to read the sequel. Bill, Holly and Jerome are back in this second instalment, but we also get to meet a new psychopath.
Four years have gone by since the events that led to Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney and Jerome Robinson defeating the ruthless killer, Brady Hartsfield. Bill and Holly now have a business together, and it's called Finders Keepers. They help people by taking down assholes who scam or steal from them, but some scars never fade. Bill still visits the brain-dead Brady, and even thinks the psycho might be faking his current vegetable status. But Bill's got other things to think about now, because there's a kid who might desperately need his help.
Morris Bellamy is a troubled and very obsessed man. His obsession--and the reason why his life has continually gone downhill--is a fictional character called Jimmy Gold. The author, John Rothstein wrote a trilogy featuring this character and then faded into obscurity. Something that enraged Bellamy, because he hated what the author did to the character. And for that, he wants revenge.
That's how he hatches up a plan in 1978 and breaks into the author's house. Rothstein is an old man now, but he never stopped writing. Bellamy confronts Rothstein and actually kills him. After all, it's what Bellamy thinks he deserves for screwing up his favourite character. When he cracks open the author's safe and finds a large collection of Moleskine journals, he's hit the jackpot. There's money in there too, but all he cares about are the books.
Bellamy cares so much about them that he sticks them inside a trunk and buries the notebooks where no one will ever find them. However, life gets in the way and as he spirals out of control once again after getting into a fight with a friend, he winds up going to jail for a completely different crime. He got so drunk he doesn't even remember raping a woman, but she does. As well as the policeman who caught him in the act.
Jail is a hellhole of pain for Bellamy, but even inside he finds a way to survive. He spends most of his life behind bars, but the notebooks he buried kept him going.
Pete Sauberg is a good kid, but his family life isn't as good as it used to be. His father was rundown by a crazy man driving a Mercedes and now he can barely walk, let alone provide for his family. So when the kid finds a trunk filled with notebooks and envelopes containing money, he hatches a plan that gets his family out of financial strive. But the real treasure are the notebooks, and before long he finds himself as obsessed with John Rothstein's Jimmy Gold books as Bellamy was decades before he was even born.
When the money runs out and Pete still wants to help his family, he decides to sell a few of Rothstein's notebooks. Except, doing this catches the attention of one man willing to blackmail him for them, and another much more dangerous man willing to kill for them...
Wow. This book was as tense as the first one. I was hooked from the beginning, and as the different stories unfolded, I couldn't wait to reach the point where they all led to the same place. And when they do, yikes! This story leaves you breathless.
Finders Keepers is yet another brilliant book to add to Stephen King's collection of awesome. It's a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat and takes you into some very dark places. And I'm not just talking about the villain's POV, because there's plenty of darkness to be shared in this tale of obsession, betrayal and survival. And OMG, that ending! Creepy.
I LOVED every minute of this brilliant, yet disturbing book and can't wait for the next one!
Don't forget: Shit don't mean shit. ;)
Finders Keepers, June 2015, ISBN 9781473698987, Hodder & Stoughton