Stephen King is a horror mogul and you would be hard pressed to find someone who does not know his name. Many films and television shows have been adapted from his books, with some of them becoming hit classics. With at least 50 novels under his belt, he is still writing and releasing books left, right and centre, with his most recent future release being Revival, due out November 2014. Today, we will be looking at his latest book, Mr Mercedes, a crime thriller novel that was released 3rd June 2014.
The story is intriguing. Despite starting out slowly, the pages soon flew by and it was difficult to put the book down until it was finished. Though Stephen King is mostly revered for his Horror novels, his attempt at a crime thriller was impressive and highly entertaining. Said to be the first book in a planned trilogy, Mr Mercedes ends with a cliffhanger that will lead nicely to a second instalment, and would have been cruel had there been no future books planned.
The story was fast paced and full of interesting characters. Jerome is my personal favourite and hopefully he will return in a large role. He's charming, intelligent and computer savvy. He's the type of boy, when he isn't 'Tyrone', that girls should be looking for to start a relationship with. He's sweet and kind to everybody and has his priorities straight. Holly is another character who should come back. She first seems to be entirely useless at everything and suffers from mental illness, but later shows what she is capable of and becomes a well rounded, lovable character. The characterisation of Brady Hartsfield was worrying as both he is presented to the reader as not just a killer, but a normal person, to some extent, as he is also a point of view character. He has some troubling thoughts and outlooks on life which King puts across brilliantly and occasionally caused a shiver of a disgust.
King uses too many colloquialisms and contractions in this book, giving the feeling of a parent trying to 'get down with the kids,' Perhaps this was to appeal to a slightly younger audience but it came across as lazy and cringe worthy at times, especially since they were often being used in reference to, or said by, the older Mr Hodges and it does not fit in with his character at all.
Everything seemed to fit together throughout too neatly. Hodges, despite not being a profiler and saying so, manages to describe Brady perfectly, knowing only details that he managed to garner from the letter. The letter was given a lot of page time and dominated the story for a while but seemed to drop out of existence. One character would make assumptions about another character, and were always dead on, like the characters knew exactly what was going on in everyone's lives, even though they didn't. This lead to some repetition of lines and felt forced and out of place. King didn't trust in the intelligence of his readers enough and so spelled too many things out which was entirely unnecessary.
This book was far from perfect but it was highly enjoyable and I rate it a four out of five stars. I will certainly carry on the series and cannot wait for the next book to be released. There was a wealth of characters and information within this book about technology which has made me come out of the story having learned a few new things and any book that can teach me something is a good thing in my books!