These comments address all three novels in the series. Book 1 Mr. Mercedes – Book 2 Finders Keepers – Book 3 End of Watch. Written by Stephen King, all three novels are narrated by Will Patton and each book is 13-14 hours of listening in the unabridged versions.
Books 1 and 2 are pure police procedural. Book 3 is the more of this, plus stretch-the-imagination stephenkingesque involving mind control and telekinesis. Although the books can be enjoyed stand-alone, you will get the most from the stories by reading all three, in sequence, as several characters traverse the pages of all three novels.
Book 1, Mr. Mercedes, begins in a parking lot. A group of job-seekers is waiting in line for employment opportunity. A car, a Mercedes, intentionally rams through the crowd, killing and crippling. Retired detective Bill Hodges is the thread through all three books. We know who-done-it right away; the fun is the web of clues Hodges must unravel to nail the sick-o.
Book 2, Finders Keepers, brings back a trio of characters introduced in Mr. Mercedes, including Bill Hodges, to a private investigation firm of the same name – the sick-o from Book 1 now being in a vegetative state with traumatic brain damage. Finders Keepers will definitely remind you of Misery, the 1987 psychological horror novel by King about a fan obsessed with an author. A boy finds a chest filled with money and the journals of a murdered author. Of the three novels, this story would definitely stand-alone as there is no connection to Mr. Mercedes nor End of Watch.
In Book 3, End of Watch, our brain-damaged-bad-guy, Mr. Mercedes, develops his mind as he gains strength. We delve into Stephen King’s forte of hide-behind-the-couch spookiness and supernatural powers.
Why I liked. Narration by Will Patton is spot on. You should recognize his voice, there’s no doubt you’ve heard him many times. Will Patton is very prolific in television series programs like The Good Wife, 24, even going way back to soap operas. He does a great job with Stephen King prose, just the right amount of emoting. No trouble discerning who-says-what-to-who. The first two novels are pretty decent police procedural, which I enjoy. Even though there is little mystery since you know who the culprit is, the investigative nature is always fun – ponder the possibilities along with the characters. Book 3 is a continuation of Book 1. Given the author’s love of creepiness, King simply takes literary advantage of a good character, and Mr. Mercedes is a good one to exploit.
Why I didn’t like. Not too many issues, but if you’re familiar with the works of Stephen King, you may find, as I do, that he rambles a bit. Some would say verbose or ‘purple prose’ will be found in places. But, that’s his style – you either like ‘m or hate ‘m.