by Stephen King
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #1
Narrator: Will Patton
Length: 14 hrs and 22 mins
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 5 cups
In a mega-stakes, high-suspense race against time, three of the most unlikely and winning heroes Stephen King has ever created try to stop a lone killer from blowing up thousands.In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the "perk" and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again. Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady's next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.
I am a die-hard Stephen King fan and have been since I was a teenager. I love his quirky characters, vivid imagination and his ability to pull me into the story. Recently I have been enjoying audio books and snagged Mr. Mercedes on audio when I saw the narrator was Will Patton. Mr. Mercedes was brilliant mystery crime thriller with an eclectic cast of characters who intrigued me as much as solving the case. I laughed, cringed and gave myself over to the audio.
The tale opens with an unthinkable, seemingly random crime that has horrific consequences and King had me hooked. The crime goes unsolved and is one of a handful that plagues now retired cop Bill Hodges. He sits in his home day after day watching a regiment of daily talk shows, fondling his gun, and contemplating suicide. When the mail falls through his door he finds a letter from someone identifying themselves as Mr. Mercedes. He is threatening another attack and it springs Bill out of his depression and back on the case. He enlists his neighborhood friend, Jerome to aid him, and picks up other help along the way.
The tale that unfolds in Mr. Mercedes takes us on one heck of a ride with twists and turns that kept me up listening into the wee hours. King includes our villain Brady Hartfield’s perspective, and call me creepy, but I loved getting inside his twisted mind. King’s characters are not your typical heroes and villains. They are quirky and flawed and he quickly brings them to life as you root for them, fear for them and shivers as they crosshairs with Brady. The story was perfectly paced with moments of intense suspense, and eye-opening horror. King then weaves in humor, friendship and teamwork giving you the entire package.
Will Patton is the narrator and many of you will recognize the name from the hit show Falling Skies. He has performed in more than forty-five films and was the narrator for King’s previous novel Doctor Sleep. Patton brought the tale to a completely new level for me. I adored his voice for Jerome as well as the other cast. He made Brady’s thoughts seem real and added a creep factor that gave me shivers. His interpretation of Bill Hodges reminded me of the old dime store novels and Patton breathed life into him. As I closed my eyes, listening to Patton each character was easily identifiable, and the tale flowed seamlessly allowing me to experience that book high I constantly crave.
Fans of King and crime thrillers will find Mr. Mercedes to be a stunning addition to King’s collection.