2016: 108. End of Watch

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

End of Watch, Stephen King

This newest King wraps up the Bill Hodges trilogy, consisting of Mr. Mercedes, and Finders Keepers, both of which I really enjoyed, as it was enjoyable to read King's take on the mystery/thriller genre, and both books contained some very likable characters in Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney.  But, alas, I was let down by book three.  Vague spoilers abound below, so be warned.  If you’ve read books one and two and want to be completely surprised by book three, click through to the next review…

Anyway, unlike the first two books, End of Watch is a much more of a classic horror/supernatural novel.  Brady Hartsfield, the villain of Mr. Mercedes, who now lives as a brain dead vegetable in a local nursing facility, secretly wakes up and finds he can do things - spooky things.  (this isn’t much of a spoiler, as that information is obvious pretty early)  And the rest of the book is us watching Bill and Holly figure out that Brady, despite his outward appearance, is responsible for a series of deaths that are spreading across town.  Not only do we know what’s going on loooong before our heroes, but the crimes require Brady to have paranormal abilities.  What I liked about the first two books was that they were thriller/mysteries, and I didn’t think that turning the series into a more classic King horror story added much.  And lord was it dull waiting for Bill and Holly to catch up to where we, the readers, already were.  So while I liked revisiting the characters - I especially love how King writes Holly - if you haven’t read the first two in the series I wouldn’t recommend this, and if you have read the first two, you’ll likely be disappointed.  For Bill Hodges completists only - otherwise stick with Mercedes and Finders.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017