Friday, September 19, 2014

Horror Pick: Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes
Stephen King
436 pages
ISBN: 9781476754451

Master of the macabre, slayer of sanity, wizard of witticism, and maker of mirth, Stephen King is just having fun now.  He even pokes fun at himself and his  earlier books and films--recalling shades of "Christine" when investigating the, "...cops expected the big gray sedan to start up by itself, like that old Plymouth in the horror movie." When the police find a mask worn by the killer, they both note that it's creepy not unlike Pennywise, King's creepy clown from "It."

Not only is it King's job to scare us, he has taken on the responsibility to show us what humans are capable of. And not good humans. Oh, no....not the good ones. He wants us to see the grim and grisly, the evil and egotistical, the broken and the bigot, the narcissist and the narc. King's characters get to say things that no American--at least not during these days of p.c.--- could say in public or polite conversation. But King's characters do! And they do it with a vengeance!

A madman in a Mercedes plows down  a crowd of people in the early morning hours as they line up for a job fair. Police are faced with  the impossible job of finding the car, identifying the driver, and figuring out why anyone would want to kill innocent strangers. Newly retired cop  Bill Hodges is bored and depressed. He watches game shows and inane talk shows and wastes each day, that is until he gets a letter from someone claiming to be the killer.

Now it's a game of cat and mouse, and Bill gets a new lease on life. With the help of a much younger neighborhood computer geek and good kid Jerome, Hodges realizes that in order to catch a rat, you have to set a trap---but a rat as smart as this one is going to take the world's greatest rat trap, and Hodges is nothing if not patient and thorough.

Stephen King tells an epic tale of a madman and the forces of good out to stop him.

 King has become almost Will Rogers-esque with his keen observances of the American culture--however depraved it  has become. This is no small town story. This is no fond remembrance of  times gone by. This is no Garrison Keiller and  Lake Wobegon. King's America is in-your-face, violent, sick and creepy. We have plenty to fear and the madness is everywhere.

It is obvious that King had help with the technical aspects of computers, Internet security and hacking, and computer platforms, and in the author's note, he gives credit to various individuals including two of his sons. It comes in handy to have a few digital natives close by.

Highly recommended for mature readers grade 9-up. If you love King, you will love Mr. Mercedes.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I purchased this book for my own reading.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at

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