In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.
In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.
In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.
Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.
Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.
©2014 Stephen King (P)2014 Simon & Schuster
It is very sad, since Will Patton is such a good narrator. I loved Doctor Sleep in large part because of his narration.
Before you just disregard this, let me say that I have been a huge King fan for a long time, with notable exceptions like Under the Dome and Mile 81. And I'm not just looking for supernatural accoutrements. I thought Joyland was good, in spite of the lukewarm narration, and I really enjoyed the Colorado Kid.
But this story is just weak. It has the feel of one of Dean Koontz's formulaic madman with sexual fetish stories. Pretty much straight down the check list:
* Homicidal Maniac (check)
* Maniac has strange sexual fetish (check)
* Tough guy hero (check)
* Damsel in distress (check)
* Unlikely love interest develops between tough guy and damsel (check)
* Some supernatural or paranormal aspect (hmm, only thing missing)
I still think Koontz was the ghost writer for this one...
I can't recommend it.
Hopefully he put more effort in to the upcoming book Revival.
5 stars is i love and i will read agani and again. 1 is i hate and i never want to hear about it ever again. YES = :))) - NO= :'(
Reading this book wasn't an easy thing... Mr. Mercedes is a disturbing character and all his actions and thoughts were very disturbing..
Stephen King really knows how to make someone creepy... It was a good read and i enjoyed it.
The narrator did a great job
It's simple really, I am just a guy looking to enjoy the writing and reading talents of others while raising my family the best I can, just Like most everyone else!!!
I will stay away from possible spoilers and try to give a slightly different kind of review.
Let me first say that Frank Muller was the best reader I have ever listened to but since he has moved on to a better place I am happy to know Mr. King has hired Will Patton to do these type of books. Stephen King has always had great readers but Mr. Mercedes needed a reader who easily brought passion, likeability and believability to the pages and Will Patton did it like only Mr. Muller has for me. Thank you Mr. Patton.
As far as the writing goes, well, if you love Stephen King then all you might need to hear is that this book won't disappoint you one bit. I found myself "into" the book during the first few pages and it only got better. Instant takeoff and classic King darkness guides you along during Mr. Mercedes' horrific ride.
If you are new to King then get ready for a writer who makes the unlikely seem very likely and who brings creepy out of the dark and into your head. Mr. Mercedes gets 5 stars all around from me!
Addicted to Audible!
This book takes us back to the type Stephen King used to write. Its a fast paced thriller, not too far out or disgusting as some of his books have been. He is a master at character development, characters were all well crafted.I couldnt stop listening to this book and I think Will Patton did a great job reading it.I highly recommend- that if some of his books have been too far out for you- that you give this one a try. I think you will enjoy it!
One master-passion in the br east, like Aaron's serpent, swallows all the rest. A. Pope
Like the Ice Cream Man (stop me when I'm passing by), all Stephen King's suspense novels are guaranteed to satisfy. I was given an advance copy of this Saturday and finished it Monday.
King stirs up a super-odd trio:
a mentally disabled, milquetoast mid-40s lady who still lives with her moma;
a rather boring, recently-retired, suicidal and alcoholic police detective in his mid-60s who failed to solve that last big case; and,
a 6'5" squeaky-clean, high school African-American kid.
As the story develops, they come together to rush against time to try saving the lives of 4,000 screaming teeny-boppers at a "Round Here" [see, One Direction] concert from the psychotic bomb plot of an Oedipal Ice Cream Man. The kid's mom and sister are in the crowd, adding to the tension.
Undeniably, King is still on his game, even without the supernatural to aid his story. The twists in the plot keep coming to build toward a concerto crescendo. This isn't a "character-driven" plodder that'll be taught in lit classes 100 years from now. With the King, the story rules and the characters are given enough that you care what happens.
King is and has been the master of creating the verisimilitude of evil in many forms in the genres of suspense, thriller and horror novels. This fits the first, but this is quite the mastery King has achieved in thriller and horror novels. While the antagonist here is quite creepy, King has painted much darker villains. This psycho isn't evil incarnate; his evil has a cause (probably not THE only cause) and, without revealing too much, it has something to do with an Oedipal aspect to the story, of which the details are so revolting that the reader-results should range from "rendered nauseous" to "released vomitus."
This is more of a modern-day suspense novel, which are churned out these days like rows of wind turbines, by much lesser talents and by some who have mastered the modern-day suspense more than has Stephen King. It's not Mr. King's strongest suit. While the bomb plot at a teeny-bopper concert hits REALLY close to home and the internet and car break-in aspects of the story were interesting, I had a difficult time suspending disbelief over the combination of the protagonist detective and his peculiar sidekicks.
This is a perfect beach read though: a rapid-paced suspenseful story that will keep you hooked until the end.
Actor Will Patton has become the go-to guy for blockbusters because of his super acting talent in the *performance of narration.* He is clear, crisp, low-key until the story calls for him to turn it up; he never overdoes a character and, with him, after a while of listening you just get lost in the story and forget about the narrator. To me, that is the ultimate ability for an audible narrator; isn't that why so many of us love Tom Hanks? You forget it's Tom Hanks after watching for a while and get lost in the movie. Same thing here.
In the genre, I give Mr. Mercedes 4 stars. It does not stand out as a 5 when compared to some of the supremely talented novelists who have mastered the art of suspense in a modern-day, non-supernatural setting. 5 stars for Will Patton.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
I would give it five stars but it is part of a series which means it doesn't seem finished. I don't want to be a Stephen King fan but I somehow love reading his books. They aren't perfect in my opinion, whatever that means, but I find myself returning to his books frequently. I can count on that book-aholic high of finding life difficult when I have to stop reading to actually be a responsible adult when I am in the middle of a Stephen King novel. I hate that. And I love that. (Isn't that the definition of an anything-aholic?). So this will probably not be my last King novel, I say with reluctance.
I enjoyed the story of Mr. Mercedes, even though I had a good idea of how it would end. It's part of a series after all. It has its share of gore and horror and cussing and all the other King markers, and also the suspense and empathy for the characters that make it worth reading. And yes, I'm excited for the next book. . . And the next . . . Then I'll stop . . . Or not . . .
Will Patton is among the very best narrators. What a good choice for Stephen King!
I liked his take on the two main characters, Hodges and Brady. He failed a bit for me with some of the female characters, not least of which because touches of their voices were reminiscent of Brady (the villain) and I started to sort of hear Bill Murray's Caddyshack voice for some of the ladies.
This isn't King's best book, but he sets the standard so high it isn't really fair to hold him to it. It is a very solid mystery, with nicely realized characters (both heros and a villain), and he lets those characters interact and be entertaining and make mistakes. You always have the feeling things will turn out all right in the end, so you don't get that existential dread that many of King's supernaturally adjacent books have. That might be a negative, as you don't feel things as keenly, or a positive, as you can just enjoy the snappy dialog and climactic encounter. This book could easily stand alone, but knowing it continues and concludes as a trilogy (and knowing the third book is supposed to bring in that classic King-sian horror/supernatural twist) definitely makes me curious to pick up the next two books. Definitely recommended for those who like their King in doses smaller than a doorstop, who are not TOO creeped out by mother/son romance, and who can handle blue language.
This is a review for those of you who like me, read a lot, but not that much fiction (due to lack of time), and thus want the ones you read to be unique, intriguing, thought provoking - something Stephen King is great at delivering - like King's 11/22/63.
I purchased this book based on the ravishing reviews here. And I ended up disappointed. So even though I seldom write reviews I am now taking the time in case there's someone like me out there.
What's the problem here?
Great characters, and the peformance is GREAT. Yet, it fails to deliver anything novel, intriguing. I found it predictable, a bit of a 'cookie-cutter' novel.
I know I'm going against the stream here, but hey, there are many other great Stephen King novels out there (even his book on writing is superb) so if you are a little bit picky due to time restraint and don't want to be disappointed: pick another one.
Suspense books that pass the Bechdel test
Some alignment with reality. If a book is set in a distinct year, and King made very clear that it was 2010, then there should be congruence. There were larger issues with the way technology was utilized (or more often not utilized), but I was just as irked with the little mistakes. Tweens didn't wear Guess jeans in 2010 and teenage boys didn't wear belt clips for their phones. Saying that being downsized was a 21st century way of saying you were fired...what?...certain that was a common term before 2000. I get it, King is a genius and he's allowed to not have any idea of how the real world works, but I'm pretty sure that's what editors are for.Beyond that, the characters were one dimensional and seemed like he picked them from a book of Noir characters.
Stephen King doesn't need to make anything more enjoyable for me. I know he is brilliant and prolific. Honestly, if he submitted this thinking that it was done well...I am clearly not his audience. It reads like something my grandparents would have liked.
He has a great voice and he is a great actor, but there were regular inconsistencies in how he voiced a character. I don't know if audio books have directors, but if they do this director was asleep on the job.
I just don't see any point in mentioning styles or popular culture if you don't want to do any research. The larger issues were on King.
I love Stephen King's work and I hate writing such a negative review, but this was a waste of time and money. I was certain until the last few chapters that it would get better...it didn't.
Engineer, wife, audiobook addict. I live for those books that you just cannot put down.
Most of the Stephen King books I've read had left me wanting to read straight through and never stop. While sometimes his endings leave a lot to be desired, he's a master at building the plot and driving me into a frenzy of infatuation with the story. This one however, didn't leave me with the same insane need to keep going. We listened to it during most of a car trip and it kept me entertained (but hubs got bored with it) but I never got to the point where I got really really into it. For a King book, it was just okay. Definitely not worth a re-listen. It inspired me to take a break from King for a while.
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