Stephen King can really knock your socks off (like the dead kid in “The Body”). He knows how to write the dark vs light hero cycle and he can do it in his sleep. I think, though, it was a deep coma he was in while he crafted Mr. Mercedes.
A retired and overweight detective around Stephen King’s actual age is so bored with retirement he thinks about killing himself. Then a letter from a man who killed people in line at a job fair with a stolen Mercedes writes him a letter and just like that, he’s back on the case.
Here are things that make me hate this book;
- The fat old detective bags the hot 44-year-old. There is lots of “Why me? Why would you bang me, I’m an old fatty!” Turns out the hot chick is into old fattys. Fantasize much, Stevie?
- The bad guy is bad because he was raised by a single mother who also had to deal with a disabled brother. The tone is that everything was super great until dad died. Then it was hard. Then the brother became disabled which was so hard to deal with that she broke.
- The bad guy was the ice cream man. Really? It reeks of a story that was written by Google Storymaker which is not a thing yet but will be,
- He self references his own books and movies. This is the literary version of doing you-know-what in your own pants pocket.
It felt cranked out and full of tropes that have been overly explored elsewhere; very disappointing for a writer you like so much (Everything’s Eventual, The Stand, 11-22-63). It’s like seeing a boyfriend that you think the world of pick a booger and look at it with admiration. You still love him but it changes things to know he is capable of some not-good, weird stuff.
Actually, we know “The King” is capable of taking giant dumps and bookbinding them. “Christine” the killer car comes to mind. Or the other one about the car from a garage sale painting coming to life. Wait. Is there a theme here? Stop writing about cars, Mr. King. It’s not working out for you.
2 out of 5 stars