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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner
This is a real non stop, riveting read with plenty of suspense that we've come to expect from Stephen King. There's no hint of the supernatural or horror that often appears in his books, rather a straight out crime thriller. The reader is hooked from the first page, Stephen King certainly knows how to create a tense atmosphere, and also has such a good grasp on...
Published 1 month ago by Ben.S

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best King book
'Mr Mercedes' follows retired policeman Bill Hodges who is haunted by the major case that he failed to solve, the killing of 8 people with a Mercedes car. He launches an unofficial investigation after being contacted by someone claiming to be the killer and along the way two other people get dragged into helping him investigate. There is a love story in this and mental...
Published 1 month ago by Justhavingfun


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner, 19 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Hardcover)
This is a real non stop, riveting read with plenty of suspense that we've come to expect from Stephen King. There's no hint of the supernatural or horror that often appears in his books, rather a straight out crime thriller. The reader is hooked from the first page, Stephen King certainly knows how to create a tense atmosphere, and also has such a good grasp on characterization. The character of ex detective Bill Hodges is well written and you feel yourself rooting for him throughout the book. Hodges is bored with his life so far since retiring, has become lazy and bordering suicidal, until he receives a letter out of the blue from somebody claiming to be the perpetrator of a crime involving the murder of 8 people who were lining up for a job fair, by driving his Mercedes into them at high speed then driving off. The crime was never solved, and this taunting letter gives Hodges a kick start into trying to solve the case, as he begins a cat and mouse style correspondence with the sender of the letter. We know from the beginning who the perpetrator is: Brady Hartsfield, a 28 year old man who lives with his alcoholic mother, who spends most of his time either at work or in his 'command centre' style basement, plotting new and manic ways of causing mass destruction.

As always in a good book, for every good protagonist there needs to be an even viler antagonist. This is definitely the case here! Brady is a misanthropic, psychotic young man, who gradually seems to get worse as the story goes on. King always has a knack at creating great villains, and Brady Hartsfield is one of them. After his initial mowing down of job seekers that begins the book, we follow his internal monologue as we are privy to his thoughts of new ways to cause mayhem, all the while engaging in back and forth correspondence with Hodges through an anonymous chat website.

The supporting characters are also well created. These include Jerome, a young black neighbor of Hodges who, like Brady, has skill with computers, who later assists Hodges. Also some tertiary characters who appear later on, such as the sister of the owner of the Mercedes used in the murder, and her cousin. The introducing of seemingly secondary characters through the main characters, and having them play a big role is a skill Stephen King has, and often uses in his novels.

I would recommend this book for any crime fans, but also for anyone who prefers King's less supernatural novels. I'm also pleased to hear this is to be the first in a trilogy featuring Hodges, so that's something to look forward to!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Looking forward to the next one, 6 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
I find it irritating when Stephen King is typed as a straight up horror writer. Yes, while he is known, and rightly so, for some pretty amazing scary stories there is so much more variety in his work then he is given credit for. Take his recent novels 'Joyland' and '11.22.63,' both of which I found absolutely amazing. Mr Mercedes proves is another break from the general consensus.

I did enjoy this book and am looking forward to the next in the trilogy, but I did enjoy his other recent works more (those mentioned above, as well as Dr Sleep). I just felt that the characterisation and plot was lacking in places; Brady Hartsfield, the 'Mercedes Killer,' was clearly a smart guy. Yet I found him to be a bit of an inconsistent character, often fumbling his plans-yes, to the good luck of others but I don't read a book needing a happy ending-otherwise I wouldn't be such a fan of Stephen King's work! And Detective Bill Hodges also needed to live up a bit more to that savvy, decorated and commended cop reputation, by putting 2 and 2 together more.

Regardless of all that, and it's not intended as a negative, I did enjoy the book and wanted to see how it would end. I liked the contemporary feel of the novel regarding the recession and the crappy economy, which is something we can all relate to. All in all a very good book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sort of coming back to the old days, 4 Jun 2014
By 
Denis Vukosav - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
Stephen King with ‘Mr. Mercedes’ managed to create a bit different novel compared to the ones people usually associated with this writer – inside reader won’t find demons, ghosts, evil forces or some other extraordinary things, but only an insane killer and his car.

And though his latest novel doesn’t include any supernatural elements, Stephen King still manages to bring story that has subtle horror line, while telling something which can be imagined in real life.

The story takes place in some unnamed city several years ago when a man using a Mercedes car will drive into the crowd of people leaving a multitude of bodies as a result of his mad act.

The police will find out that car was stolen from the woman who some time later will commit suicide, thought the one who was behind the wheel will remain unknown and this case open. Known as City Center Massacre committed by Mr. Mercedes, how the killer continued to be called, this event will mark the beginning of the events in this good, though not great novel in comparison with some other Stephen King novels.

Reader will meet Detective Hodges who after retirement from the force still can’t get rid of cases he wasn’t not able to resolve, one of them Mr. Mercedes. When he will receive the letter from someone who is saying that he is the unknown killer, mocking him while explaining how he enjoyed while killing people, this will motivate Hodges to once again try to connect pieces of the puzzle and find the killer…

‘Mr. Mercedes’ is somehow a sort of coming back to the old King’s days while sharing the motives of killing car - Christine, published in 1983, is still one of the best and scariest he ever wrote. Though, this time King is not pushing towards some unexplainable demonic forces but instead drives us through the exciting 400 pages until case will be resolved.

Unfortunately, the end of novel in fact is the weakest part of the story and although I cannot reveal why not to spoil the fun of reading, you'll probably just like I wish that the novel ended differently or earlier.

Still, it’s King novel and you know that with this guy you just cannot miss - fun and excitement are guaranteed. Therefore recommendations for all the fans of this great writer's oeuvre who must read anything he writes, while for those who might think what of recent King's books to read, I suggest to start from the Dome or Dr. Sleep as they are a slightly better titles.

And as one of the fellow reviewers wrote, those that are looking for ghosts and demons should skip this work because in ‘Mr. Mercedes’ you will not find such things. It seems that King realized there is enough such works on his list.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping thrtiller, 12 Aug 2014
By 
Sarah Durston (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
The novel starts when a retired detective receives a taunting letter from the ‘Mercedes Killer’, a man who killed a number of people by driving into a queue outside a job fair, and who Hodges was never able to bring to justice. Since retirement, Hodges has lost direction and purpose, something he finds again when he receives the letter and he begins his own investigations.

The novel then switches focus and we are allowed into the dark world of Brady Hartsfield, the killer, and his plans.

I was utterly gripped by this novel. Ok, it was implausible and unpleasant in places, but it is a Stephen King novel after all! I cared about the characters and there were a few moments when I was genuinely surprised. I won’t give anything away but I will always love that King champions underdogs. The quality of his writing also seems to be improving with every book and I’m really happy that he’s continually trying new things. Great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic opening chapters and a darkly, comic crime ride., 9 Jun 2014
By 
JK "Julie K." (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
Strange book to review. Opening chapters are brilliant and it's here King does what he does best; creates horror out of normal situations. As that infernal Mercedes plunged into a crowd of innocents and carnage ensued I was totally hooked. What followed after was somewhat different.

I was probably a quarter of the way through the book when I was ready to put it away without finishing it. I didn't and read to the end. It's a clever novel this first 'non horror' detective fiction but it's so far from what I expected and it reads in a way that's almost comic book and ringing with cliche. It's almost a 'send up' of the real genre. The plot is spoon fed to the reader and it's just a matter of; there's the good guy and there's the bad guy - watch them as they chase one another. Who'll win?. It's almost impossible to take seriously. Retired, fat ex detective who failed to solve the original Mr. Mercedes murder does battle with an evil genius who is so completely over-the-top he'd be perfectly placed in a Batman movie.

There are glimpses of the real Stephen King from time to time. The odd few chapters when I dropped back into the plot but those moments were few and far between.

I'm leaving 4* simply because the opening chapters are pretty hard to beat. Even though Mr. Mercedes isn't supposed to be a 'horror' those chapters have some of the strongest horror elements I've read for a long time. Stephen King is an author I've read for over thirty years and he has enough of a hold over me I'll be in the queue for his next horror. Can't say the same for what I believe will be the next novel in this detective series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The pace of the book is almost unrelenting, 18 Sep 2014
By 
Mr. P. Labrow (Stockport, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
I seem to remember Stephen King announcing his retirement some years ago. And yet, the books keep coming – and I'm thankful for that.

I saved Mr Mercedes for my annual vacation (sorry to make you jealous, but I'm writing this review on my iPad, on the sundeck of the cruise ship Azura, just off the coast of Italy, while listening to Haydn’s Symphony 103 on my iPod).

I romped through Mr Mercedes in just a couple of days or so, pulled along by King's easy style – the thing I've always most admired about his writing is that it is so immersive; the words fade away in your mind and it becomes like watching a film.

The book is a cat-and-mouse story; one where it's often difficult to tell who is the cat and who is the mouse. Retired detective Kermit William Hodges (thankfully known as Bill to his friends) passes time by watching TV and gaining weight, until a letter arrives from the perpetrator of an unsolved crime, goading him back into life.

Brady Hartsfield is a man without conscience; he takes enjoyment from inflicting misery and has a somewhat unhealthy relationship with his mother. It's often said that believable villains can't be 'all bad' but there's very little to redeem Brady. And Hodges is his latest target – but far from the biggest one in his sights.

As ever, King creates characters which are as believable as the person next to you. The pace of the book is almost unrelenting – there are several natural pauses as characters develop their relationships – and the plot twists in a way that real life does. Only one event I felt was foreshadowed too clearly; I won't spoil it for you but I think you'll know which one I mean, once you reach it.

Hodges becomes our friend; his good nature balanced by the ability to be tough when the going demands it. The insight into his thought processes, as he tracks the letter's writer, is as enjoyable as the plot. Brady's mind works in a different way and he's the counterbalance to Hodge's morality – outwardly so ordinary that he's forgettable, but inwardly as dark as anyone King has created.

I've heard people say that they 'prefer classic King' but I have to say that I really like the way that his writing has evolved. I recently re-read The Shining and found it less satisfying (in terms of writing style) than his later work.

It's true, this is less horror than we're used to with King's earlier works; there's nothing supernatural here – just the perverse nature of the human race. But this book is no poorer for that. There are some enjoyable name-checks of King's other work to look out for along the way, too.

This is yet another great book from Stephen King. Thoroughly enjoyable, it's definitely one that you won't want to put down until you're done – and when you are, you'll wish it wasn't over.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Mercedes, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
King at his best! Gripping, suspenseful and character driven, as always.He get's better and better. I highly recommend this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An easy ride, 11 Aug 2014
This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Hardcover)
I count this as one of Stephen Kings in between books or good easy read and this is what Mr Mercedes is. The story line is simple enough and I suppose if you wanted to be pedantic you could pull a few holes in it, but at the end of the day I enjoyed it. I enjoyed this far more than Mr King's last offering Dr Sleep which I felt was sorely lacking particularly as it was supposed to be a sequel to The Shining. The characters slip into the story easy enough and you can see the main character of Hodges being played in the film version by any number of American character actors. Brady the psychotic bad guy was perhaps not psychotic enough and I got the impression that Mr King was unsure how far to take Brady into the twilight world of hearing voices and speaking to the dead. I would have liked a little more of this if I'm honest. Overall though a good read, not taxing, not overly long and not complicated.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thumping good read, 14 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
Oh my word, this is absolutely awesome and Stephen King at his very best. He has long since been my favourite author especially Salem's Lot, Green Mile, Dead Zone etc and I just adored 11.22.63; but not for one minute did I think Mr Mercedes could top it, but it certainly does. It is a fantastic book and I immersed myself in it from the outset and didn't want it to end at all.

From the outset it gripped me with the brutal murder of innocent people whilst they were queueing overnight to secure a job. A Mercedes ploughs into them killing 8 and severely injuring many.

We hear the story from the 'perks' point of view who is obviously as mad as a hatter, and taunts the brilliant Detective Kermit William Hodges (known as Bill) with a letter, a year after the atrocity and when Bill has retired.

Bill does a little investigating of his own and goes to meet Janelle Patterson (Janey) who is the sister of Olivia Trelawney who was the owner of the killer car and has subsequently committed suicide.

Bill has a gardener, Jerome, who is 17 years old and they have a brilliant friendship. I really liked Jerome and his alter ego, Tyrone Feelgood Delight.

Bill starts to become hot on the heels of the dreadful Mr Mercedes but he (and we) know that he misses a vital clue early on in the investigation (from one of his busy body neighbours, Mrs Melbourne) which he totally disregards and he comes to utterly regret this.

The pace never lets up and the whole thing is simply mesmerising. Be warned though there are some real tearjerking moments in this too.

This would make a fantastic movie, in the mould of the fantastic Shawshank Redemption, and I would dearly love to see the brilliant Bill, Jerome and Janey come to life on the big screen.

This man just gets better and better and I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 19 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Mr Mercedes (Kindle Edition)
I've been waiting for this book to become available and I'm so pleased I bought it as soon as it came out. I couldn't put it down! It's not your usual Stephen King book as nothing goes bump in the night but it's definitely on my list of favourite Stephen King books. Would recommend it to everyone. The characters are likeable and it's easy to understand the choices they make and why the story unfolds the way it does.
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