I was excited for the release of Mr Mercedes as soon as I saw the premise on King's website last year. When the book came out in June, I was in the middle of reading 2 other books. Then, I started reading the review on here and they were all over the place. This caused me to hesitate and read something else hoping that there would be a more clear consensus after some more time. No such luck. The reviews spanned both ends of the spectrum. It's great. It's terrible. It's only ok. Ugh. Finally, I got tired of listening to all the noise and decided to read it and decide for myself.
What I found was a great detective story with shades of the Dead Zone, Carrie and Psycho. Now, before those of you that have already read Mr. Mercedes start getting your pitchforks and torches ready to storm my house while shouting at the top of your lungs about blasphemy, let me explain. The story is a straight up detective story. If you're waiting for something supernatural or Twilight Zone-esque to happen, you're going to grow cobwebs waiting for it. But that shouldn't deter you from enjoying the story. It still has the interesting characters that King can do so well. Bill is the retired detective not enjoying his retirement and stews over the murder he never solved. When a letter comes through his mail slot from the killer gloating about Bill not catching him and that he should just kill himself, this is the spark that Bill needs to get "back on the case". Trying to solve the mystery of the unknown killer that happens to "live among us" is where it evoked a little déjà vu of The Dead Zone (minus the supernatural). The sheltered "weird" girl with the overbearing mother reminds me of Carrie (again, minus the supernatural). And, the relationship of the killer with his mother is very reminiscent of Psycho. Even the killer himself feels like someone we all know. The whole time while reading Mr. Mercedes, I had the feeling that I've met people like the killer and that he could truly be "among us". Is the story original? No. Do I care? No. It was an entertaining story with good characters and plot that made you turn the pages and I enjoyed every bit of it. Now does it rank up at the top of King's best work? I don't know. If you're the type of person that whines that everything King puts out these days is not The Stand or The Shining, then you'll probably find a reason to bitch about Mr. Mercedes. If you're simply looking for a good story told with King's flair, pick it up and decide for yourself. 4 1/2 stars.
I read it in two nights. After the first horror of a Mercedes plowing down people at a job fair, it hooked me. No one does "insane" as well as Stephen King! Except for one other horrifying event, the rest of the book hints what was going to happen next However, it kept me reading on with anxiety!
Mr Mercedes had an exciting ending. I'm sure there will be a sequel. I'll give it 4 stars because there was more anticipating what was "going" to happen throughout. However, the ending didn't fall flat by any means!
An excellent detective mystery, no supernatural "stuff" just a persistent detective (retired) who is not content to sit around and watch TV and vegetate, especially when a killer seems to be stalking him, and those he cares about. A new direction for Mr. King, well worth another several books to make it a series featuring this new sleuth.
I gave up on King a long time ago but when this came out I thought I'd try again----didn't get far, it was soooo boring and it didn't get anywhere in the first 100 pages, that is enough for me, by that time the story should be moving along pretty good but this one was still standing still as a statue so I lost interest and moving to something else worthwhile to read.
Wow -- that was one great whodunit, even though we knew who did it almost from the outset. Mr. King is a master of characterization, and this one had me from the first page. Most of the characters were pretty likable (and certainly understandable), except, of course, the serial killer. Didn't care much for him, but King has written about much nastier characters.
I really enjoyed this book. I had given up reading King's books because I thought they were just too weird. Well, this one was a departure from that. I found it quite entertaining, easy to read, and I was eager to see how it all got resolved. I'm anxious to read the other two in the trilogy.
Loved it, loved it, loved it.
When you need a great suspense action book, you grab a SK book.
Fast paced, action everywhere in each characters situation, blended seamlessly together to make this a page turner staying up past my bedtime gotta find out what happens book.
Couldn't wait for the second and third so I ordered them both at once. Thank goodness for Amazon!!
Just a great SK book. If you read them you know what I mean, if you haven't well shame on you. ;o)
Love the quirky niece the best!
Stephen King at his best...which I guess is always. That said, this is not a supernatural horror story although it is horrific. A thriller with enough suspense to keep one glued to its pages to find out how this all plays out. What a ride!
This was one of those King books that had me from the very first page. It was intriguing, horrifying, and sometimes surprising. I could hardly put it down once I started reading. I was so anxious to get to the end to find out what happens yet I didn't want the book to end. I loved the character of Bill Hodges. Don't let the size of the book intimidate you - every minute I spent reading it was very worthwhile.
I so enjoyed this book! It had all the elements of classic King and I couldn't be more pleased. No one does wacko like King. Great characters, the build up was exciting, suspense and humor. On to the next one!
Even though Stephen King has given me hours of enjoyment with so many of his novels, I have to admit that I was a bit peeved when Mr. Mercedes won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Novel. (I'd been rooting for one or two of the other nominees.) Then I read the book, and I understood why it won. This is the first straight-up mystery thriller of his career-- with no supernatural bits at all-- and it's fantastic. Once I started Mr. Mercedes, i wanted to sink down into the story and not reappear until I finished it. I didn't allow myself to-- but it was difficult.
To me, Stephen King's writing voice has always felt like snuggling my toes down into a pair of comfy slippers. I'm at home listening to that voice of his, and I refuse to stop and wonder if I should be concerned about what that says about my own mind. Once again King brings readers right into the heart and soul of the marginalized, reminding us of what it feels like to have no job, to be hungry, to have no real roof over our heads... and what it feels like to have Death come roaring out of nowhere to plow us into the asphalt.
The killer, Brady Hartsfield, is a Norman Bates-like psychopath whose two jobs will give readers pause, but as well-drawn as he is, it's Bill Hodges and his crew that hog the spotlight and deservedly so. With one crazed letter, Hodges comes out of retirement raring for a rematch, and this time he's determined to win no matter the cost. His two sidekicks-- a young black man named Jerome and Holly, a fortysomething woman with Asperger's and a horrid beast of a mother-- are perfect for helping him find clues, for providing laughs, and creating poignant moments that can bring tears to the eye.
This tightly plotted mystery will have you anxious to reach the end, and when you reach it, you will find a tense, teary, bone-chilling climax that will have you clamoring for the next book in King's trilogy.