Narrator: Will Patton
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on June 3rd 2014
Genres: Thriller, Psychological
Length: 14 Hours 22 minutes
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In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.
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.
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.
I started to listen to this one a while ago but listening to books take me much longer than reading a book because 1) My commute is 5 minutes, 2) It’s a waste of time to try to listen at home – I would probably fall asleep, 3) It’s hard to listen at work because, of course, I am working and because people would just walk up to me and start talking without waiting for me to remove my headphones.
While listening to this audiobook, I decided to check it out on Goodreads. That was a big mistake. 1) the reviews aren’t nearly as good as I’d hoped and 2) people are so mean. I just don’t get how you can not like a book so much that you need to write a 3000+ character essay of a review about it. I have no problem with them saying they didn’t like the book. But, why does their review have to be so damn long? I mean, I don’t want to read a long boring review of someone ranting about a book that they probably should have stopped reading if they had SO many problems with.
Anyway, let’s get to the book itself. I found the beginning a little slow. This is also probably why it took me a while to get back to the book day after day. However, by the time we get to the middle of the story, it’s gotten quite interesting. This book is more like a psychological thriller than the ‘horror’ that I have known Stephen King for. But it’s still pretty twisted. It’s not a mystery since we all get to know who Mr. Mercedes is from the beginning of the story.
In truth, I didn’t care much for our “hero”. He’s not particularly special in anyway. As an ex-cop, you would think he should have experience enough not to disregard things he hears and sees, but he does this a lot. This is his “one that got away” case. He’s roped back into this mystery; the unsolved mystery of the mysterious Mercedes killer.
The most interesting character in this story is actually the “villain”. We know who he is from the start of the book but it’s like an episode of Criminal Minds. We know who the “UnSub” is from the beginning yet we still watch the whole episode to see how the police will catch him. His name is Brady. He is a totally messed up, crazy person. His whole life is a mess. I mean, I really think this guy should be killed because I don’t see any hope for his “rehabilitation”. Another of my “liked” characters is Janey View Spoiler »but that doesn’t last too long « Hide Spoiler.
Overall, I think it was an interesting read / listen. I may or may not read / listen to the second book because I have a lot of books on my TBR list. I did like Will Patton’s narration. I found it did justice to the characters, although it’s always funny when men do women’s voices. Honestly, there where some parts of this book that really made me comfortable [but that’s all part of the experience]. That’s why I’m including a content warning.