Book Review: Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes
Stephen King

It’s 2009. The economy’s tanked. In a nameless Midwestern city, job-seeking hopefuls are lined up outside the annual City Center job fair when a madman plows into the crowd with a stolen Mercedes Benz. Eight are killed, and dozens maimed by the time the death-car’s taillights vanish in the early morning fog. When the police find the vehicle hours later, it’s abandoned in a parking lot, and wiped clean of prints. As a final, creepy touch, the killer also left the clown mask he was wearing during the massacre on the driver’s seat. No one is ever caught.

Exactly one year after the massacre, newly retired detective Bill Hodges receives a letter from Mr. Mercedes, taunting him for being unable to crack the case. Given a new sense of purpose, Hodges sets to work trying to catch him. Covering points of view for both the killer and the detective, Mr. Mercedes chronicles the cat and mouse game they play that could result in yet another attack of unthinkable horror.

What can I say? No one can craft a story like King can, nor can they capture the feel of an era and use it to such maximum effect. A modern-day tribute to the detective genre, Mr. Mercedes combines good old-fashioned noir with creepiness, out-right horror, and that off-the-wall prose that King’s fans know and love him for. And while I can’t quite hail the ending as particularly strong or original, it certainly is one heck of a ride getting there! Recommended for fans of David Fincher's serial killer film, Seven.

Liz Winn
Microforms/Gov Docs
Central Library