Book Review: Mr. Mercedes

MR. MERCEDES | Stephen King
(Bill Hodges Trilogy #1)
06.03.2014 | Scribner
Rating: 5/5 stars


The impact of the recession has been felt all around the country as people have lost their jobs and watched their lives dramatically change overnight. In the freezing pre-dawn hours, many of those people have lined up for a chance at hope. There is a job fair being held, that promises jobs for those willing to stand in line for an opportunity. Without warning a masked driver behind the wheel of a Mercedes shows up and begins recklessly driving towards the crowd. They don’t stop there. They back up and plow through once more. Eight people are killed and fifteen are wounded. The driver disappears into the early hours and is never found.

Retired cop, Bill Hodges, is haunted by the cases he never solved before leaving the force. The Mercedes Killer is one that he will never let go of and perhaps he doesn’t have to. He has recently received  a crazed letter from someone claiming to be the “perk” who took those lives that fateful morning. The man behind the letter is Brady Hartsfield who lives at home with his alcoholic mother. He claims he doesn’t want to kill again, but he can’t seem to shake the exhilaration he felt behind the wheel of that Mercedes. Will Bill be able to catch Brady before he causes another tragedy?

Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.

MR. MERCEDES is the launch of Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy, which could end up with a coveted spot in my favorite series list. This book perfectly encompasses the battle of good versus evil with Bill Hodges and Brady Hartsfield facing off in a battle of wits. This book holds many of the plot and stylistic qualities readers have come to love and expect from Stephen King, simply shifted into a crime fiction genre. If you’re curious is this one will work for you I urge you to give it a shot!

One of my favorite aspects to any King book I have read are the characters he creates. They’re never flat or one-dimensional. Each character always has more to them than what lies on the surface. We get exactly that with Bill Hodges and Brady Hartsfield, as well as with two characters the reader will come to love, Holly Gibney and Jerome Robinson. In addition to these four main characters there are several secondary characters who will come through the story and intrigue the reader into wanting to know more. Some are simply there to move the story along, but others play a larger role and serve to motivate these main character’s actions. Despite the level of involvement in the story, there was not one person I felt didn’t play a part in me loving this book.

Never tell a lie when you can tell the truth.

The tension that King is able to craft between Hodges and Brady is meticulously plotted and unfolded to the reader in a way that will leave you frantically reading chapter after chapter. The story is told from the perspective of both men, which allows the reader not only a fully, well-rounded story, but also a look into what makes each of them tick. You’ll learn firsthand what drives the characters to make the choices they ultimately make. I can tell you I was beyond stressed several times while reading this book because of something I had learned from one narrator that the other did not know, which caused me to worry about their safety and those around them. I was fully invested and committed to both the story and the characters.

You truly cannot convince me of anything about this story that I didn’t love. I was sold that this book was a five star read for me within the first 50 pages. Once I started this book I instantly connected and couldn’t put it down. I’m so thankful to own the entire trilogy and am currently making my way through book two, FINDERS KEEPERS, which is nothing short of a fantastic follow-up!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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