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Mr. Mercedes

Cover of Mr. Mercedes

Mr. Mercedes

Bill Hodges Trilogy, Book 1

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.

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.

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes The Bill Hodges Trilogy—Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Finders Keepers, and End of Watch; the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams; Revival; Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic series, The Dark Tower, is the basis for a major motion picture from Sony. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 7, 2014
    In this suspenseful crime thriller from megaseller King (Doctor Sleep), ex-detective Bill Hodges is settling badly into his retirement. Then he receives a taunting letter from someone who claims to be the Mercedes Killer—the media’s name for the hit-and-run driver who, a year earlier, deliberately plowed a stolen car into a crowd at a job fair, killing eight and maiming 15. Hoping to wrap up the unsolved case, Hodges follows the letter writer to an anonymous social media chat site, inaugurating a game of cat and mouse with escalating stakes and potentially fatal consequences. Bill’s antagonist is Brady Hartsfield, a sociopath who is skilled in computers and electronics and who—with a touch of brilliant irony—also operates the neighborhood ice cream truck. Coincidence and luck figure significantly in the final outcome, but King excels in his disturbing portrait of Brady, a genuine monster in ordinary human form who gives new meaning to the phrase “the banality of evil.” Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agents.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 1, 2014
    King’s latest foray into suspense is a no-holds-barred cat-and-mouse contest between ex-cop Bill Hodges and Brady Hartsfield, a nerdy, mama’s boy who is also a mass murderer. The two combatants are connected by a homicidal hit-and-run that occurred months before, when Hartsfield purposely steered his stolen Mercedes sedan into a crowd of the unemployed waiting in line for the opening of a job fair. Hartsfield begins to stalk the ex-cop, and sends Hodges a taunting letter. Actor Patton (TNT’s Falling Skies) not only finds the right voices for protagonist and antagonist, but he matches their many mood swings. As Hodges undergoes the moments of elation and travail King has in store for him (the joy of an unexpected romance, the death of a close friend), Patton finds the perfect tone for him. As for Hartsfield, it’s a matter of making him sound like a normal, likeable fellow to his coworkers at an electronics store, but a passive-aggressive monster when conversing with the ex-detective and a full-out lunatic when thinking or talking to himself. Patton’s performing skills are equally impressive for the supporting cast, from Hodges’s elegant and bright new girlfriend to Hartsfield’s boozy, clueless mother. But it’s his compelling interpretations of the two male leads—King’s avatars of good and evil—that distinguish this riveting production. A Scribner hardcover.

  • AudioFile Magazine Mr. Mercedes, as he's been dubbed by the press, killed eight people by running them over in a large luxury car. He liked the feeling, and he wants more. Narrator Will Patton adds tension and a cinematic interpretation to this high-stakes race against time, featuring some of Stephen King's most memorable characters in his first attempt at the hard-boiled detective genre. Patton takes long, dramatic pauses to heighten the suspense and allow the fear to play in the mind's eye of the listener. King continues to document the horrors of everyday American life, and Patton brings those terrors to life as few narrators can. Here's a "can't miss" story in the best format available, the movie between your ears. R.O. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine
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Mr. Mercedes
Mr. Mercedes
Bill Hodges Trilogy, Book 1
Stephen King
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