Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Author’s Journal | Original Pen Date 10.1.2021 | Updated 1.23.22
Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Death, Violence, Adult, Abusive, & Bigoted Language, Sexual Content
I finished Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King October 1, 2021, and I have to say the best thing about this novel is the character development. I think that’s a staple of most King novels. He does well to get inside his characters’ minds as they relate to the world he’s built around them.
Bill Hodges has retired from his life as a detective. Only to find himself at odds with a man he can only assume is Mr. Mercedes. A maniac who stole and drove a woman’s Mercedes through a crowd of innocent people waiting to enter a job fair during the ’08 recession.
Now that he’s beyond the confines of the law, Hodges, a love-interest, and two unlikely aids in a teenager and a woman with a severe social disorder come together to track down this maniac.
|The Bad Guy|
The villain, Mr. Mercedes is legitimately cringe-worthy and easily detestable. He is filled with oedipal issues, racist mutterings, and outright bigoted views. You’ll very much root for the universe to find a way to put a bullet in his brain, before he can exact his next mass murder.
He is the overall reason for many of the trigger warnings in this book, and though we know King isn’t afraid to type out an N- or F- bomb, it’s still jarring to see them written down in modern text. It makes for an antagonist that has no redeeming qualities, a true villain.
But, it may turn off a lot of readers, and I wouldn’t blame them.
The protagonists are flawed in a way that really makes them feel real, and their stories progress at a great pace. But in the end, the set up for future novels left me desiring a bit more from this novel. Thankfully there are two more novels to form this trilogy, and I’ll get to them soon.
Mr. Mercedes didn’t crack my Top 5 for the year (2021) but it’s definitely a good detective read where you’re not solving a whodunit — we already know the answer to that — you’re seeing who will reach the finish line first.
A four star read that is worth picking up, but may be easy to put down.
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