Title/Author: Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges trilogy #1) by Stephen King.
Publisher: Simon and Schuster.
Synopsis: In the gloomy pre-dawn hours of a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of unemployed hopefuls are lined up for a job fair. Without warning, a merciless driver plows through the crowd in a roaring Mercedes. Eight people are killed; 15 are wounded. The killer escapes into the early-spring fog never to be seen from again. Until now...
Detective Bill Hodges is a battle-hardened and streetwise crime fighter originally assigned to the Mercedes killings. Now retired, Hodges has lost his way in boredom and depression craving the thrills of taking down the region’s most notorious criminals. When a disturbing letter from the Mercedes Killer arrives at his door, Hodges soon finds himself uncontrollably drawn into a cat-n-mouse pursuit with stakes beyond comprehension. ~Goodreads.com
Midnyte Musings: Mr. Mercedes is not a typical Stephen King story. There are no supernatural elements, no monsters (except human ones) and not everybody dies. Mr. Mercedes is a straight up thriller and a solid one.
The book starts out by letting the reader get to know the main character, recently retired Detective Bill Hodges. I adored this man. I think it's because some of his characteristics reminded me of my father or at least of someone who I would love to have as a father. He was so forlorn sometimes and my heart just went out to him. He has a lot of interesting and endearing qualities. Although he is technically not doing the right thing by continuing to investigate an open case, withholding evidence and lying to his former partner, he has the best intentions. The killer of an open case contacts him directly so he feels that it is still his case. Maybe it's a bit selfish, which he admits, but catching this killer rejuvenates him from a lonely future. I loved how his investigative process was shown. Lots of legwork, lots of interviews and lots of taking notes.
The supporting characters were compelling as well and I became very attached to them. Jerome, a genius teenager who works for him doing odd jobs becomes integral in his investigation. Janey, a victim's sister and her niece Holly also become important in finding the killer. Holly is a very interesting character and possibly one of my favorites. She is so damaged and odd, but becomes attached to Hodges and her affection for her him and her Aunt Janey compel her to get back on her meds and become useful.
I happened to read Felicia's review of Mr. Mercedes and I do agree with her assessment of the villain. However, while I was reading it, I wasn't disappointed. I would have liked him to be more frightening or more creepy but I really can't complain.
Although some thought the plot a hard to follow and a bit implausible, I didn't. I felt the characters and the story were very convincing and captivating. I'm so glad there are going to be more books in this series.
Starstruck Over: The characters and their relationships with each other.