Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges #1) ★★★☆☆


This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot, Librarything & Tumblr by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: Mr Mercedes
Series: Bill Hodges #1
Author: Stephen King
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: Thriller
Pages: 449
Format: Digital Edition


Synopsis: Spoilers!!

A madman runs through a crowd of jobseekers, using a stolen Mercedes. He is never caught and the detective in charge, Bill Hodges, retires and always regrets that he never caught Mr Mercedes.

Then Mr Mercedes sends a letter to Bill, taunting him. And the chase is on. Mr Mercedes wants to break Hodges and make him commit suicide while Hodges wants to catch Mr Mercedes. Other people get involved. Things get personal for Hodges with the death of a lady friend. Mr Mercedes decides to go out with a bang at a teeny bopper concert put on by the nations latest and greatest boyband.

Hodges, with help, prevails and Brady, aka Mr Mercedes, ends up in a coma.

* very weak cheering *



My Thoughts: Spoilers!!

Did a buddy read of this with BookCupidity. Unfortunately, due to life circumstances, BC wasn’t able to participate as much as hoped in the back and forth. However, I was able to do a couple of updates as I read this, so this review is pretty much a compilation of those updates.

First, and most importantly in my mind, there is NOTHING supernatural going on in this book. This is just a detective thriller about chasing a madman who is halfway intelligent. I read King, once a year in October, for his supernatural, other worldly, stuff. So that was a huge disappointment for me.

Second, the whole relationship between Brady the villain and his drunk mom. It was incestuous and while they never actually had sex, it was clear that they toed that line. It turned my stomach. Also, being inside Brady’s mind was not a pleasant experience nor was it one I ever wish to repeat. Which leads into the next point.

Third. I am done with King now. Every year I vacillate about whether I’ll keep reading him. He can write a heck of a story. He draws me in every time and makes the characters and situations come to life. But this? It was just filthy and disgusting and I am done using my brain as a filter for that kind of thing. In some ways that is a relief, as I don’t have to wonder every year what I’ll be exposing myself to in my next King read, but there is also a tinge of regret as I know that King has some great stories that I probably would have really enjoyed. But there are things that are not worth desensitizing myself to just for entertainments sake.

And the ending, where Brady wakes up from his coma, caused by being bashed in the head multiple times to prevent him from blowing the plastic explosives at the concert, was just lame. That should have happened in the 3rd chapter and he is then possessed by supernatural powers and Hodges goes toe to toe with Evil Incarnate. THAT is what I expect from a King book. This was like a weak version of the Strawmen Trilogy by Michael Marshall, in tone.




  1. Bookstooge’s Mr Mercedes Posts
  2. BookCupidity’s Mr Mercedes Posts

18 thoughts on “Mr Mercedes (Bill Hodges #1) ★★★☆☆

  1. hehe welcome to the “done with King” club- it’s not a big club, but our members are (dis)loyal and have been known to fall off the wagon from time to time 😉 (okay, basically just referring to how I keep saying that after every book of his I’ve picked up… 😉 )

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ladies and gentleman, what we have here is what we refer to as a focused, non-terminal repeating would-be iconoclast, or a Class-5 full-roaming BORE. Real nasty one, too.

    While King does have a problem with endings in his longer novels, the novellas and shorts are usually pretty well concluded (often with a satisfyingly unsatisfactory cliff edge).

    I remember reading the 1922 story and it was very much one of King’s ‘self tests’ where the rats and the final scene are part of his set up to fit a story to (much like his occasional haunted room stories – more like literary exercises he sets for himself being teacher and student).
    This story’s ending isn’t bad at all, but it would actually have been more of a cliche if the rats were just a metaphor for madness. Oh well…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh nooo! We’ve lost a member! Although the whole “I don’t want to be desensitized to this for the sake of entertainment” bit was pretty interesting. Rarely do I ever hear anyone have that much self-control nowadays. What if the 2 other books in this series has the supernatural elements you were hoping for? 😛 Will we see a potential return to the fandom? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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