Mr. Mercedes

Stephen King, Author
Stephen King. Scribner, $30 (448p) ISBN 978-1-4767-5445-1
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014
Release date: 06/03/2014
In this suspenseful crime thriller from megaseller King (Doctor Sleep), ex-detective Bill Hodges is settling badly into his retirement. Then he receives a taunting letter from someone who claims to be the Mercedes Killer—the media’s name for the hit-and-run driver who, a year earlier, deliberately plowed a stolen car into a crowd at a job fair, killing eight and maiming 15. Hoping to wrap up the unsolved case, Hodges follows the letter writer to an anonymous social media chat site, inaugurating a game of cat and mouse with escalating stakes and potentially fatal consequences. Bill’s antagonist is Brady Hartsfield, a sociopath who is skilled in computers and electronics and who—with a touch of brilliant irony—also operates the neighborhood ice cream truck. Coincidence and luck figure significantly in the final outcome, but King excels in his disturbing portrait of Brady, a genuine monster in ordinary human form who gives new meaning to the phrase “the banality of evil.” Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agents. (June)
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