The second standalone novel in Stephen King's Bill Hodges trilogy (Mr Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End of Watch) - and the basis of the third season of Mr Mercedes, an AT&T Audience Original Series (10 September 2019).
Morris Bellamy is a reader so obsessed by America's iconic author John Rothstein that he is prepared to kill for a trove of notebooks containing at least one more unpublished novel.
Pete Saubers, a boy whose father was brutally injured by a stolen Mercedes, discovers a buried trunk containing cash and Rothstein's notebooks.
After thirty-five years in prison, Morris is up for parole. And he's hell-bent on recovering his treasure.
Now it's up to retired detective Bill Hodges - running an investigative company called 'Finders Keepers' - to rescue Pete from an ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris...
Not since Misery has King written with such visceral power about a reader with such a dangerous obsession. Finders Keepers is spectacular suspense, and it is King writing about how literature shapes a life for good, for bad, for ever.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An unrivalled storyteller, Stephen King made our pulse race with this crime thriller. A violent assailant steals dozens of secret notebooks from a reclusive writer. Decades later, a teenager discovers them buried in a trunk, along with enough cash to help his struggling family—unwittingly endangering them all. As he did with his bestseller Misery, King probes the relationships between readers and writers, charting the line between admiration and obsession. Ex-detective Bill Hodges—the charming hero of Mr Mercedes—again leads a winning pack of underdog investigators. The menace and surprises come fast and hard in Finders Keepers.
Bill Hodges, the retired detective hero of King's Mr. Mercedes (2014), stars in this taut thriller about the thin line separating fandom from fanaticism. In 1978, Morris Bellamy murders his literary idol, John Rothstein (clearly modeled on J.D. Salinger), and pilfers more than 100 notebooks filled with Rothstein's unpublished writing. After serving 35 years in the clink for another crime, Bellamy returns to the Midwestern everyville of Northfield to reclaim the stashed notebooks only to discover that they've fallen into the hands of teenage Rothstein fan Pete Saubers, who's in dire need of Hodges's protective services when the murder-minded Bellamy comes after him. Bellamy is one of King's creepiest creations a literate and intelligent character whom any passionate reader will both identify with and be repelled by. His relentless pursuit of a treasure that his twisted thinking has determined is rightfully his generates the nail-biting suspense that's the hallmark of King's best work. A sharp closing twist suggests Hodges will be back.
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It's Stephen King. You can't put it down.
Not a lot more to add- it's awesome. Read it.
THE WORK OF A LIVING LEGEND!!!!!
Reading part one of this new release from Mr King is a rather interesting experience. It is essentially about character introduction, and sets the story apart from itself rather cleverly with the use of a time line, which stretches (very un-obdurately) from 1978 through to 2009 and onto 2014 as the opening salvo reaches it climax. FKPO (Finders Keepers Part One) tells the reader of the existence of an acclaimed and under recognised writer, an Octogenarian, no less - who is the victim of a home invasion and is soon to suffer an untimely and violent death. The killer, Mr Morris Bellamy - and essentially the book’s central character - is a crazed fan of his works and one who holds the ultimate grudge against the man who robbed the world of his gift. His penalty? Death to the writer. The trio of baddies (led by Bellamy) escape with money, and some unpublished manuscripts, but three soon become one thanks to some well established lunacy and more traditional gore from Mr King on pages 36 and 37.
Please read this part of the book with an empty stomach.
The contrast in FKPO is provided by a young, struggling family, (the Saubers’) who spend a lot of early story time partaking in the delightful King-ism known as ’arky-barkies’ - or simply, ’arguments’ for the rest of us. Once more economic downturn has hit the United States and this family is a perfect example. The husband loses his job, the wife is left to support him and raise two bright young children (who both hope for college) on her own, but a twist of fate, or the story’s pivotal linch pin, if you will - saves the family from divorce, heart break and failure and brings short to mid-term reprieve for them all.
Life in this book is full of ironies.
Bellamy is a bad egg, we know that by know, and he spends most of his adult life in prison. The finale to part one of the book is genius. A perfect example of closure, leaving the reader with a gnawing pit of anticipation (bordering on terror) in their stomach, unable, and not wanting, to put the book down. Heck, it’s just started to get interesting!
But part one is more than just wonderful story telling. It reads like Mr King’s personal ode to the power and wonder of good literature. And any reader of this fine tome who fantasises about living the dream of becoming a writer one day, will find themselves in a state of ecstasy several times as we learn the depth of feeling (and talent) both Bellamy and young Pete Saubers have for their own literary hero. The Master speaks. We must listen.
FKPO was so good and the characters were so well developed, that it’s a fair bet the reader would have forgotten what - and who - the book is really about. Part two opens with the reintroduction of Ret Det Bill Hodges. And I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like the reunion with an old friend. The unofficial PI is about to catch a very affluent con man, who paid for a leer jet with a cheque that bounced up to the moon and back, but the reader can feel in their bones where the story is about to go. And despite the feelings of trepidation (and hysterical fear) that you might have for the Laubers, you know in your heart of hearts that with Hodges on the scene nothing really bad is going to happen to them. Or is it?
I have said enough of the book’s plot, I think. This book gifts us with Stephen King at the top of his game. The structure of the book becomes obvious by design, and its a testament to the mind of the man who wrote it that his writing has developed to such an extent at this stage of his career. Volume One of this series was a huge international success, and it recently won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Novel. This book is better. As a fan who has been reading (and loving) the works of Mr King for close to thirty five years, I feel that he has plenty of gas left in his tank for yet more success. And don’t be surprised if the next award he wins is the Nobel Prize.