Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1)Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm going to put aside the fact that I've been a lifelong SK fan for a moment because it doesn't really have much bearing on how I like this book.

Why?

Because even though it has King's easygoing and watery style of story-crafting, it really doesn't connect with his dark fantasy and horror titles the way that so many point fingers at Derry or the Crimson King. Indeed, King goes right to the core of what he used to call his triad of horror. The lowest level is the gross-out, the higher level being the horror level, and the highest order being the thriller. Stephen King has gone for the straight thriller.

Cops (or Ex-cop) and Robbers (techno-murderer).

He really shines in characterization and flow and detail. I like this side of King and always have. No supernatural stuff, just sick-ass people doing sick-ass things and a cliche-ridden ret-cop wanting to eat a bullet or at least check that one nasty little item off his unsolved list.

Sound fine to you? Me too. And his plot is nice and twisty, too, feeling out all the edges of a long tradition of detective fiction and turning a few bits on their edges and sidelining to great effect in others. No genre grows up in a vacuum, of course, and King knows (and loves) the whole shebang. It's obvious.

And I think he had a great time writing this, too. I may be wrong, but I doubt it. He didn't have to write a whole trilogy with Bill Hodges, but he did, and if anyone had the right to say no to a thing, it'd be the King.

Now, I should mention that I don't think this is his best work, but I'm judging it on one simple category.

Did I have a great time?

The answer is an unequivocal yes. :)

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