MR. MERCEDES Review

Review:

Mr Mercedes - Stephen King

Synopsis: 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.

 

*****

 

As is usually the case, I enjoyed Mr. Mercedes even more upon rereading it. That’s not to say I didn’t like it the first time around — I certainly did — but when a new book drops by one of the authors I follow religiously (Stephen King chief among them) I tend to devour the new work whole, often finishing in only a single day. Because of that, many details pass me by — hence why I reread books so much.

 

Mr. Mercedes is the first book in the Bill Hodges trilogy, and it sets things up masterfully. Since I now know the synopsis of End of Watch (coming in one week!), it makes the character development of all involved — especially Brady, the baddie — so much more delicious to behold in this story. Brady Hartsfield is simply one of the nastiest villains King has ever created. *shiver* The scene involving Frankie (you know the one if you’ve read this book) is among the most heartbreaking in all of King’s oeuvre. I was gutted the first time I read it, and my reaction was only more intense the second time around.

 

What makes this novel so fun to read is the interactions via the Internet between Bill Hodges and Brady. This is a chase novel — not a mystery, really, aside from not knowing what Brady will do next — and it’s so entertaining seeing it all unfold. Bill — a retired cop — is a character I didn’t really care for the first time reading this, but I liked him more during the second read. I’m certainly glad I warmed up to him, since the trilogy revolves around him and all!

 

This is a fun, edge-of-your-seat thriller not quite like anything else by King (except for Finders Keepers and End of Watch, I suppose). Once the reader hits page 250 or so, he or she will not be able to put the book down until it’s finished. I docked off half a star for some of the wonky, unbelievable dialogue (Jerome’s jive-talk drives me up the wall), but everything else is done right. This one is King trying new things, something he seems to be more and more willing to do as he gets older — which I am extremely thankful for, as a reader. If you’re looking for a highly enjoyable summer thriller, you could do much worse than the Bill Hodges trilogy . . . starting with Mr. Mercedes.

Original post:
theguywholovesbooks.booklikes.com/post/1407606/mr-mercedes-review

#20booksofsummer

Reblogged from: Obsidian Blue

 

Long lazy days & warm, occasionally sleepless nights – I am not particularly a summer fan. I prefer spring, with its wet, richly scented rainstorms, and fall, with its changing leaves and windy days. But, one thing that summer is good for is reading. Reading on the patio. Reading on the deck or the porch or around the campfire or under the moon (the benefits to a kindle). Reading in bed when it is too hot to think about doing anything except for reading.

 

There’s even a challenge for that – called the 20 books of summer. Follow me on twitter @moonlight_reads or on instagram @reading_while_stitching. Or find me here, of course, always.

 

Booklikes tag: 20 books of summer.

 

Anyone want to join me?

Original post:
theguywholovesbooks.booklikes.com/post/1407869/20booksofsummer

THE OCTOBER COUNTRY Review

Review:

The October Country - Ray Bradbury

Synopsis: Haunting, harrowing, and downright horrifying, this classic collection from the modern master of the fantastic features:
THE SMALL ASSASSIN: a fine, healthy baby boy was the new mother’s dream come true — or her nightmare . . .
THE EMISSARY: the faithful dog was the sick boy’s only connectioin with the world outside — and beyond . . .
THE WONDERFUL DEATH OF DUDLEY STONE: a most remarkable case of murder — the deceased was delighted!
And more!

 

*****

 

I received this book as a Christmas gift from my sister, and I’ve finally read it! Before now the only Ray Bradbury works I’d read were Fahrenheit 451 (read it in high school — it was assigned reading, and I felt pretty MEH about Bradbury’s futuristic tale of censorship and loss of identity) and Something Wicked This Way Comes (another MEH one for me). I’d heard Bradbury’s short stories were ace, so I decided to go for the collection that seemed to have the best reviews on Amazon — that collection being, of course, The October Country.

 

I know many of my book-loving friends don’t like short fiction — instead, they enjoy immersing themselves in worlds created and developed over the course of 350+ pages. I’ve heard some say short stories aren’t ‘fun’ to read because you’re planted into a world only to be ripped away twenty pages in. That’s a valid opinion, I suppose, though I must disagree. I love short stories (if done well), and this book is one of the finest story collections I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Each story manages to pack a punch in short amounts of time (the longest tale here, “Next In Line,” is only 31 pages long). Bradbury’s prose has a certain style — a certain swagger — that seems to be lacking in contemporary writers of short fiction. These stories are graceful, the prose absolutely astounding. Stories such as “Jack-In-The-Box,” (my gosh, I could write an entire blog entry on that story alone!), “Skeleton,” “The Small Assassin,” and “The Scythe” I now number among my very favorites of all-time. Equally sublime and terrifying, almost all of the stories found here are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on the reader.

 

If you can’t tell, I sort of really really really loved this book. I have two more Bradbury collections now coming in the mail, and I eagerly await their arrival. I’ll probably pull this book out again come October — it’s only fitting. I would recommend this one to fans of The Twilight Zone, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson.

Original post:
theguywholovesbooks.booklikes.com/post/1406898/the-october-country-review