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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Review: MR MERCEDES, Stephen King

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"King creates a rounded character whose mind is colder than the steel drawers of a morgue."


A cat-and-mouse suspense thriller featuring a retired homicide detective who's haunted by the few cases he left open, and by one in particular - the pre-dawn slaughter of eight people among hundreds gathered in line for the opening of a jobs fair when the economy was guttering out. Without warning, a lone driver ploughed through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes. The plot is kicked into gear when Bill Hodges receives a letter in the mail, from a man claiming to be the perpetrator. He taunts Hodges with the notion that he will strike again.

Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing that from happening.

Brady Hartsfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. And he's preparing to kill again.

Only Hodges, with a couple of misfit friends, can apprehend the killer in this high-stakes race against time. Because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim hundreds, even thousands.


If you want to get under the skin of a psychopath, read this book: King creates a rounded character whose mind is colder than the steel drawers of a morgue. But then what would you expect from a man who has written more than fifty books - every one of them a bestseller.

Like the proverbial car crash, Mr Mercedes is sometimes uncomfortable reading, but you can't tear your eyes away from it. What King does so well, though, is to not just concentrate on the horror, but also make you care. He brings characters to life, lifting them from the page, only to have them mown down mercilessly. This is a master at work, and exactly what you would expect from him: taut copy, great characters, and a storyline that has you gripped until the end.


Kindle £7.47, hardcover £9, paperback £14

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