Friday, June 20, 2014

“Mr. Mercedes” by Stephen King – Armageddon Driver

Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King – Armageddon Driver (Front book cover)
One of the most fascinating aspects of the horror genre is the fact that so many different approaches to it can be taken, ranging from convoluted and ridiculous to simple and realistic ones; there will never be a shortage of things to fear in this world. It goes without saying that Stephen King is deservedly one of the best-known horror writers out there, and with Mr. Mercedes he seeks to impregnate his audience with fear stemming from incomprehensible madness.

Just to give a quick overview of the story, it follows a retired cop by the name of Bill Hodges who is haunted day and night by an unresolved case from many years back. In that case, an unknown assailant stole a Mercedes and drove it into a crowd of people killing eight and wounding fifteen. Suddenly though, Bill Hodges gets a rather bittersweet chance at redemption, and though he does not know it yet, Brady Hartsfield is the one he has to thank for it. That is because Brady is the mysterious assailant who evaded capture, and he recently sent Hodges a letter in which he identifies himself as “the perk” and threatens the city with an even more devastating attack.

Right off the bat, you are going to notice that this novel has two main venues: on one hand we have Bill Hodges racing against the clock and trying to find the man who escaped him for so many years, and on the other hand, we get to delve deep into the mind, life, past, present, and perhaps even the future of Brady.

Perhaps more than a thriller or a detective mystery, this novel is an exploration of human madness, how it comes to be, how it comes to make sense in the mind of the affected, how it can bring out the darkest of things inside of us. The terror here comes from the knowledge that such madness is more prevalent in the real world than we would like to believe, and perhaps all of us are only a hair away from meeting with it face-to-face.

All in all, this novel bears all the quality hallmarks we've become accustomed to from an “in-shape” (for lack of a better word) Stephen King, and it even goes in a different direction than usual. I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of his or are simply looking for some quality variety in your horror readings.

Stephen Edwin King, (September 21, 1947)

Stephen Edwin King

Personal site

Here is a man who probably needs no introduction. Stephen King is known by virtually everyone as being the master of horror, coming up with classics such as It and The Shining, but his literary talents to extend beyond that as he delivered plenty of memorable novels in other genres, including 11/22/63 and Under the Dome.

More of the Stephen King's book reviews:
Finders Keepers
The Green Mile
Doctor Sleep
The Dark Tower
Full Dark, No Stars
Under the Dome
The Stand by Stephen King
Bag of Bones
A Memoir of the Craft

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