It’s no secret that I love Stephen King, and I will support him in all of his endeavors. That being said, I was not particularly enthused when I read the synopsis of Mr. Mercedes. King’s detective novels can go either way: I hated The Colorado Kid, but I couldn’t put Joyland down. Mr. Mercedes isn’t a Hard Case Crime novel, but it might as well be since it is a detective story that lacks supernatural elements. Taking all of these things into consideration, I was prepared to hate it. For a while, I did hate it. Then I became intrigued. And then I was just kindof ambivalent. The novel was compelling enough to make me finish it, but I don’t think I would read it again.
Bill Hodges is a retired cop who spends his days considering a variety of junk foods and the prospect of suicide. One day, Hodges receives a psycho letter from a man claiming to be the Mercedes killer. A few months prior, some guy stole a Mercedes and used it to mow down a bunch of people outside of a job fair. The perpetrator was never apprehended, and now here is a correspondence with details that only the killer could know. Thus, Bill embarks on an unofficial investigation, recruiting his tech savvy teenage friend and a relative of one of the victims to help him along the way. In the meantime, we are given front row seats to the freakshow that is Brady Hartsfield, the man behind the Mercedes.
I definitely didn’t hate Mr. Mercedes, but I didn’t love it either. As far as Stephen King books go, this one was just mehh. I cant seem to identify exactly what was missing for me – the writing was great, the characters were interesting, the plot was tolerable. Something about it was just lacking. It’s a worthwhile read, just not a memorable one.