Review: Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I hear the name Stephen King I think of supernatural horror stories. Mr. Mercedes breaks that mold and delivers instead a suspense filled detective story. Newly retired Detective Bill Hodges receives a note from the Mercedes Killer, one of the few cases he failed to solve, and it gives him purpose.

Some stories are interesting for the richness of their characters. Others are interesting for the unique environments. This story invests in the actions of the characters. King tantalizes us by interleaving chapters of alternating perspective between Hodges and the Mercedes Killer. We are allowed to peek into the life of the killer and see exactly how he intends to harm Hodges and those around him, then fret over whether the plan will work or fail.

I didn't find the characters themselves particularly interesting. The killer is sufficiently loathsome, the detective acceptably noble. The supporting cast...well they support the progression of the plot. You won't find a Detta Walker or Randall Flag in these pages.

King is tops when it comes to suspense, and I have to admit I broke out into a sweat as read through the final pages of confrontation. Even so, the story is ultimately forgettable, and I'm not sure I've been given enough reason to get excited about a sequel.

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Jade Mason