I love mysteries and thrillers, and I thought I knew all of the established authors of books from this genre. So it was with great surprise that I discovered a three-book mystery series that began in 2014, written by Stephen King. I have not read King’s previous novels, because I’m not a fan of horror stories that involve snarling dogs or murderous cars. Give me a good ghost story any day. But I did read and review his memoir/writing textbook called On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and liked it oh-so-much, despite my dislike in general of most memoirs. The book gave me a flavor of King’s writing, which is amazingly good.
Mr. Mercedes is the first in the trilogy starring retired police detective Bill Hodges. Hodges is bored to death with retirement, and sick of sitting in his chair in front of the television watching Judge Judy. He has, in fact, contemplated taking his own life.
And then he receives a letter from an anonymous person who claims it was he who drove a stolen Mercedes into a crowd of people at a job fair, killing eight and injuring many more. Hodges had worked the case after it happened, but he and his partner were unable to get a handle on the murderer before the police detective retired. The letter contains enough information that was never told to the public to make Hodges believe the sender really is who he claims.
Meanwhile, Brady Hartsfield is jonesing to have another go at murdering a crowd of people, and is waiting for the right time and event. In the meantime, he continues to send letters to Hodges containing information that leads the detective to know he is being watched.
Hodges has renewed energy as he attempts to find the murderer before he kills again.
Friends, I couldn’t put the book down. It is clear that Stephen King could write a book in any genre. I can’t wait to read the second novel in the trilogy.