Saturday, 5 March 2016

Review Time! - Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr Mercedes book coverTitle: Mr Mercedes

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Crime, Thriller

Series: Bill Hodges (#1)

Amazon: UK - USA

A few starting notes:

I'm a fan of (good) crime novels, and a fan of Stephen King - put the two together, and we're ready to roll!


Bill Hodges is a retired cop. But there's one case which he just can't let go - the Mercedes Massacre.

Now 'Mr Mercedes,' the psychopath who perpetrated the crime, has made contact. Bill should pass on what he knows. But...

Best bits:

I actually really liked the way we know from early on who the Mercedes Killer is, while Bill Hodges doesn't. This could have gone terribly wrong - but it didn't, because Stephen King has the talent and skill to pull this off.

So what we have here, instead of a 'whodunnit' is a cat-and-mouse chase - will Bill manage to figure out who Mr Mercedes is in time? That's the hook here. And it's done supremely well.

What I also really loved was the inclusion of main characters with mental health problems.

Bill clearly has depression issues post-retirement, and Holly - well, Holly rocks. I would have loved to have her come in earlier in the book, but meh, c'est la vie - what we have with Holly in particular though is a realistic and individual character with mental health problems. Who I love. She's my new hero.

Also worth mentioning is Jerome - another main character - who just so happens to be black. Diversity rocks.

There's also - alongside references to King's own books - a reference to Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box, which did my fangirling heart good to see.

Not so great bits:

This is a Stephen King book: if you want rainbows, bunnies, and unicorns, find another author. There's everything here from incest and bombs to child murder and suicidal thoughts. Bunnies and unicorns it ain't.

There's also a fair amount of violence and gore. And swearing.

There's instances of the 'n' word, even though we're not supposed to be on the side of the guy who uses it, it's still not OK. 

And Jerome himself plays-up to racial stereotypes, but in a fooling-around teenage-idiot kind of way. Still, written by a white author... it's awkward.


A great book that uses all of King's talent and experience to add something that seems genuinely fresh and new to the genre.

I really enjoyed it - and loved that the depth King always gives to his characters was present here.

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  1. Is it sad that I have never read a Stephen King book or even watched any of the film adaptations?

    1. Nah :) it's not something that's compulsory! If one of them tempts you then go for it, if not, then meh :)

  2. I think this is a book for me. I know I don't mind violence and gore, and also I haven't read a King book before which is something I really do want to try in time. I also think the idea of not questioning who has done it but if Hodges will find out in time is pretty cool. I like that kind of twist and I am glad to know it was pulled off so well too :D

    1. Mostly he writes horror, obviously, but I love it when he goes off the reservation and tries something new - playing it safe is not a Stephen King thing :) and yeah, it wasn't my *favourite* King book (that's actually Lisey's Story, a really under-rated and beautiful book,) but I really enjoyed it - it was awesome :)


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