Blogging from A to Z – M for Mr. Mercedes

April 14, 2018 Blog 10

Blogging from A to Z – M for Mr. MercedesMr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1) by Stephen King
Published by Scribner on June 3rd 2014
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 436
Source: Purchase
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Now an AT&T Audience Original Series

WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL #1 New York Times bestseller! In a high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands. “Mr. Mercedes is a rich, resonant, exceptionally readable accomplishment by a man who can write in whatever genre he chooses” (The Washington Post).

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, 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 Hartsfield 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 two new, unusual 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.

Reading Challenges: A to Z, Book Blog Discussion

More info can be found at Blogging from A to Z and the full list of bloggers is here!

  •  After Challenge Survey  —  May 3, 2018
  • Reflections  —  May 7, 2018

My A to Z Challenge: M for Mr. Mercedes

Of course I had to have the King of Horror on this list. I debated quite a bit because, to be honest, this is a difficult challenge for one month, and Stephen King’s books are all terrifyingly long. But, hubster purchased Mr. Mercedes for me, when, on a whim, I randomly picked up three horror books from B&N. I’ve seen this one everywhere, and I’ve been wanting to read it but for some reason thought it was about a killer husband that had a side life. Not sure where I got that from, because that was not the case!

What actually happens is between two characters. The first chapter is how Mr. Mercedes introduces himself to a crowd of people. In a car. Have to admit, it was dark, even for Stephen King! Of course, being who I am, that just means I was even more excited to read what in the world was going to happen in the rest of the book.

Mr. Mercedes isn’t caught. To make matters worse, one of the detectives on the case has retired. Like many policemen he is struggling with the life after being in the police force for so long. Mr. Mercedes decides to send him a long winded letter about how he understands how difficult it must be that Det. Ret. (detective retired) didn’t get his last bad guy, and how hard his conscience must be riding him.

What Mr. Mercedes doesn’t anticipate is the tango that Hodges is willing to dance to get Mr. Mercedes to talk.

I love how this was displayed. Both characters get their own voices, so the reader isn’t left trying to work out the clues with Hodges, we have all the information up front. I even think it was within the first three chapters of the story where we’re introduced to Mr. Mercedes. I love getting to see who this guy is, how he thinks, and exactly what he wants. Especially since Hodges knows he’s protecting some of his identity in the letter, but he doesn’t know how much. The story would have been much slower had we not had both pov’s.

While not exactly scary, is there anything on this A to Z that is!?, it did get my heart going. While the middle is slow, it is a process. As a lover of behavioral science, I am fascinated and respect that process. Hodges didn’t know who Mr. Mercedes was, and he has to reel him into a conversation, online of course, to get Mr. Mercedes to say. It’s a process, that I think is worth reading about.

The ending had my heart in palpitations. Currently I get up way too early to go to work, and hubster even reminded me multiple times that I was up passed my own created bed time (gotta have my brain cells prepared for customers!), but I could not put the book down. I only went to bed an hour later than usual, which is not bad. But, I had to stay up and finish this.

View Spoiler »

Again, while this isn’t scary, what I’m finding is that I love the thrillers. The books and movies where you know there’s a bad guy, whether that be a demon, ghost, alien, or human, and that bad guy could be around your corner. It’s thrilling! It’s scary to think about these things, which is exactly why, I think, Stephen King does it. This is scary because, like many on this list, it can happen!

I wound up loving the book and talked about it so much that the hubster is getting it on Audible. We’ll probably go ahead and get books two and three as well!

As fans of Stephen King, I will say, there’s no paranormal element to this one. The story is quite enough without it. There’s some creepy stuff, and the paranormal isn’t needed to drag that creep notch up.

I’m noticing I prefer books between 250 to about 400 pages, while this was just a tad over at 436, it had so much in it that it felt shorter. Especially at the end when I wanted to tear through the information and get to the finish!

Is there a page count that you prefer not to go past? Do you ever make exceptions?

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

10 Responses to “Blogging from A to Z – M for Mr. Mercedes”

  1. Laura

    I still have never read anything by Stephen King, but I keep meaning too, because he’s just one of those authors it seems like everyone should read. I’ve had a copy of The Shining since forever, but I’m not overly into horror, so haven’t yet picked it up, but I really like thrillers, so I might have to try Mr Mercedes instead. I’m intrigued by the aspect of the two POVs, and basically knowing everything up front, as that’s a pretty different approach to take.
    Great review! I’m glad you enjoyed this 🙂

    • Christina

      I agree. I think this would be a great way to start and dip your toe in, but still not technically be in that horror genre. This is listed as horror, but if you enjoy a good mystery, you’ll like this one! I haven’t read The Shining but everyone puts that on their list of top ten horrors! One of these days I’ll get to it!

    • Christina

      Oh! So you may not like this. Or maybe since it’s such a different take from his normal, it’ll be a surprise! Isn’t that funny how our tastes change, or when an author’s writing starts to change or even grow, we may like them less? I tried to pick up one of Nora Robert’s new books and I’m thinking I may never be able to read her stuff again. And I used to love her!

    • Christina

      If you like the paranormal aspect he sometimes has, you may enjoy Lisey’s Story as well. That one is longer but it was worth it!

  2. Joy Weese Moll

    For a long time, I thought I preferred shorter books — 350 pages and under. But, in the last few years, I’ve discovered some really long books that kept me mesmerized, so I guess I have to abandon that rule.

    • Christina

      Those are the special ones that captivate us and then we forget we’re even reading! I love when that happens. And sometimes the shorter stories can seem cut off, or not fully developed. Even so, I’m right with you at the 350 or so mark. It just seems like a good place for character and plot growth.

  3. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I have all three of these books but have never read them yet. Hubby and I did watch the first season of the series and if you can get your hands on it, you must watch it. The casting was great in my opinion. In fact, I can’t wait for season 2 in August. I have Direct TV so I was able to catch it on Audience. Don’t know if you can stream it somewhere else yet or not.

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