Finders Keepers by Stephen King
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This story is not a sequel to Mr. Mercedes. It runs parallel to the world created in the first Bill Hodges novel. You could read this novel without reading Mr. Mercedes because the first half of this novel begins with a new crime and a new set of characters. Hodges and his merry band of investigators do not show up until the end of Act II and then play a predominate role in Act III. Which is what makes this novel a bit of a head-scratcher.
The initial crime (a famous writer murdered and his secret novels stolen) and the serendipitous discovery of the stolen work by a 13 year old whose family is on tough times is an interesting hook. The story really gets rolling when Morris Bellamy, the criminal, comes after Pete Saubers, the lucky treasure hunter. Unfortunately Hodges connection to the crime is tenuous at best and outright forced at worst. It seems King might have had a great idea for a novella and then forced in Hodges and Mr. Mercedes in order to connect to a larger story arc.
Also there a moments of this novel that seem repetitious from other King novels. While Bellamy is in jail for an unrelated crime you find King plagiarizing himself as some of the prison scenes seemed to be lifted right our of his novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption."
The highlight of the novel is the teaser peaks into what should be an interesting conclusion to this series as Hodges begins to find evidence that the mentally injured Brady Hartfield (Mr. Mercedes) may not be as damaged as diagnosed, and worse, he may have picked up some telepathic powers along the way.
End of Watch will finish this series and hopefully we will see a more cohesive story that ties together all of the important characters of the first two novels in a more meaningful way.
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