Book Review: Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) by Stephen King
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Synopsis: 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.*

All hail Stephen King, the king of all things beautifully evil (horrible pun intended). Mr. Mercedes is brutally realistic, disturbingly so. It is a fantastic murder mystery thriller, not one I would recommend for the faint of heart. King, as always, does an incredible job developing multidimensional characters that will suck you into the story from page one. Brady Hartsfield is a master villain with a frightening past, an alarming relationship with his alcoholic mother, and unremorseful psychopathic tendencies. He's like a train wreck, horrifying to watch but you can't seem to look away. Then we have the retired, overweight detective Bill Hodges, who, for a good guy, finds himself caught in the middle of some not-quite-legal situations. The tangled dance these two find themselves in is addicting. If you enjoy cruel plot twists, colorful prose, and brilliantly written, chilling stories, I highly recommend this novel. 



*Synopsis provided by Goodreads.com

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