jeudi 14 août 2014

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King


Of all the cases that haunt Bill Hodges after he retires as a cop, none haunt him more than the lone driver who plowed into a crowd of job seekers in a stolen Mercedes. Known as Mr Mercedes, the perpetrator was never found. So when Hodges gets a letter from someone identifying themselves as the escaped killer, he enlists the help of an unlikely group of allies in order to track him down before he causes another tragedy. What starts as an obsession, though, soon turns into a race against time as Mr Mercedes prepares to strike again, this time with an attack that will kill or maim thousands...

Announced as Stephen King’s first entry in the ‘hard-boiled’ genre, Mr Mercedes is a cracking story, full of some of the most unexpected and original heroes he has ever created, going up against a truly twisted villain with some major mommy issues. While the echoes of Norman Bates are obvious, King manages to freshen the archetype, partly through a truly sickening opening scene that left me breathless. After a classic Stephen King slow start, the book picks up following the cremation scene and from then on it is almost impossible to put down – I for one stayed up way too late to finish it, especially considering some of the gut punch events building to the gripping finale! There are a few elements that might turn you off. If you’re looking for a non-King Stephen King book here, you’ll be disappointed: his inimitable style of writing is ever present, which you will either love or hate depending on your personal taste. As with most of his work, it is a book of its time: there are lots of references throughout to reality TV, terrorism and the Internet. And one character who is pivotable to the resolution of the plot only appears half way through. For me, though, this is a great King novel, written with all the skill the master can bring to the page. Apparently it is the first in a trilogy – I will be queuing up to get the sequel.

I gave Mr Mercedes 5 stars.

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