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The cell rings twice, and then his old partner in his ear . . . 'I'm at the scene of what appears to be a murder-suicide . . . Come and take a look. Bring your sidekick with you.'
Bill Hodges, who now runs a two-person agency called Finders Keepers with partner Holly Gibney, is intrigued by the letter Z written with a marker at the scene of the crime.
As similar cases mount up, Hodges is stunned to discover the evidence points to Brady Hartsfield, the notorious 'Mercedes Killer' who they helped to convict. It should be impossible: Brady is confined to a hospital room in a seemingly unresponsive state.
But Brady Hartsfield has lethal new powers. And he's planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.
The clock is ticking in unexpected ways...
BRADY IS BACK. AND SO IS HODGES.
The extract above is abridged from End of Watch.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
With Mr Mercedes, Stephen King introduced us to Bill Hodges, a weathered policeman who comes out of retirement to catch maniacal killer Brady Hartsfield. In End of Watch the two men face off again—which is extremely odd, seeing as Brady’s now confined to a brain trauma centre in a mostly vegetative state. But this is King’s universe, where horrible nightmares come to life. What’s become so impressive about the mega-bestseller’s writing is that it’s just as bighearted and funny as it is hair-raisingly scary.
After two straightforward crime thrillers, MWA Grand Master King (Finders Keepers) torques this third and final novel featuring retired detective Bill Hodges into his trademark terror territory. Hodges has long suspected that Brady Hartsfield, the brain-damaged mass murderer captured at the end of Mr. Mercedes, has been faking his catatonia, and his suspicions are reinforced by rumors circulating in Brady's hospital ward (in what may be a Midwestern state) that he can move objects telekinetically. The truth is actually worse: with the help of secretly administered experimental drugs and skillfully hacked computer technology, Brady has found a way to project his personality into others and commandeer them as his "organic wheelchairs." The stage is set for Brady to compel mass suicide among users of a handheld gaming device whose interface he's hijacked, and to draw out Hodges to settle a personal score. King has dealt before with this novel's different themes endowment with dangerous supernatural powers, the zombifying effect of modern consumer electronics but he finds fresh approaches to them and inventive ways to introduce them in the lives of his recurring cast of sympathetic characters, whose pains and triumphs the reader feels. King's legion of fans will find this splice of mystery and horror a fitting finale to his Bill Hodges trilogy.