Mr. Mercedes: A Novel

By Stephen King
Read by Will Patton

The Bill Hodges Trilogy: Book 1

14.37 Hours 06/03/2014 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781442369795

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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 Hartsfield 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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Summary

Summary

A #1 Wall Street Journal bestseller

A #1 New York Times bestseller

A #1 Washington Post bestseller

A USA Today bestseller

A #1 Chicago Tribune bestseller

A Los Angeles Times bestseller

A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller

Finalist for the 2014 Hammett Prize

Longlisted for the 2015 CWA Gold Dagger Award

One of Audible’s Best Audiobooks of 2014

An AudioFile Best Audiobook of the Year for 2014

One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014

Finalist for the 2015 Audie Award

An iTunes Top Seller

One of Barnes & Noble's Biggest Books for June 2014

A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week iin June 2014

An AudioFile Editors’ Pick, June 2014

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

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 Hartsfield 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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A trimmer than usual King, but that doesn’t mean he skimps on the suspense and spine-tingling chills.” People magazine
“King deftly takes elements of hard-boiled mysteries and puts a fresh spin on them.” USA Today
“Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes pits two malcontented men with nowhere lives who are both determined to regenerate themselves—but in radically different ways.” Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review
“A fast-paced whodunit.” Esquire
“Pays off exuberantly…Surprising and invigorating.” New York Times
“Classic Stephen King. Creepy, yet realistic characters that get under your skin and stay there, a compelling story that twists and turns at breakneck speed, and delightful prose that, once again, proves that one of America’s greatest natural storytellers is also one of its finest writers.” Associated Press
“King is clearly having fun, and so are we…For the first half of the novel, King tickles our anxieties, his detective engaging in a classic cat-and-mouse game with the killer. But you can feel him wriggling against the hard-boiled tradition, shaking the hinges. Soon enough, in ways large and small, he rejects and replaces the genre’s creakiest devices… Mr. Mercedes is a universe both ruled by a playful, occasionally cruel god and populated by characters all of whom have their reasons. One man can do only so much.” New York Times Book Review
“On one level, Mr. Mercedes is an expertly crafted example of the classic race-against-the-clock thriller. On another, it is a novel of depth and character enriched throughout by the grace notes King provides in such seemingly effortless profusion. It is a rich, resonant, exceptionally readable accomplishment by a man who can write in whatever genre he chooses.” Washington Post
“Hartfield is sensitive, sympathetic, and one of King’s most realistic characters. He is a lot like Norman Bates from Psycho, in the worst ways imaginable. You can add Hartfield to the list of great King villains, alongside the shape-shifting monster Pennywise from It and the hypnotic vampire Kurt Barlow from Salem’s Lot.” Boston Herald
“A taut, calibrated thriller…The majority of the book is merciless and unforgiving, and the scariest thing about it is how plausible the whole scenario is.” Miami Herald
“Think of Mr. Mercedes as an AC/DC song: uncluttered, chugging with momentum, and a lot harder to pull off than it looks….King has written a hot rod of a novel, perfect for a few summer days at the pool. Mercedes-Benz commands drivers to demand ‘the best or nothing.’ In pop-fiction terms, that motto still applies to Stephen King, too. With apologies to AC/DC, the highway to hell never felt so fun.” Christian Science Monitor
“In this suspenseful crime thriller from megaseller King, 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 fifteen…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.’” Publishers Weekly
“King returns to the theme of the scary car—except this one has a scary driver who’s as loony but logical unto himself as old Jack Torrance from The Shining…Nicely dark, never predictable, and altogether entertaining.” Kirkus Reviews
“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. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

by Michael1 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Not Your Conventional Stephen King Story

To put it frankly, had someone else had written this, I would have given it the time of day. My long term status of a faithful reader is what made me buy this book. I'm more used to the creepy crawly King book, not this, but it was still enjoyable. In fact, the further along it gets better it gets. Not saying it's bad. I just had to adjust to the story, and I enjoyed it. Quality production, decent story . . . glad I read it. Hell, I honestly didn't have a choice. Well I did but . . . yeah, that whole faithful reader thing. I do recommend this book.

Author

Author Bio: Stephen King

Stephen King lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. He has written more than forty books and two hundred short stories. He has won the World Fantasy Award, several Bram Stoker Awards, and the O. Henry Award for his story “The Man in the Black Suit.” He is the 2003 recipient of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Fiction/Thrillers/Suspense
Runtime: 14.37
Audience: Adult
Language: English