End of Watch by Stephen King
End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) – Goodreads Best Mystery & Thriller 2016
The spectacular finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes (winner of the Edgar Award) and Finders Keepers—In End of Watch, the diabolical “Mercedes Killer” drives his enemies to suicide, and if Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don’t figure out a way to stop him, they’ll be victims themselves.
In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.
Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.
In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the heart-pounding, supernatural suspense that has been his bestselling trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and chilling suspense. No one does it better than King.
An Amazon Best Book of June 2016: It has been seven years since the Mercedes Killer, Brady Hartsfield, was knocked on the head and put into a catatonic state. But now he’s awake, even if people haven’t quite been clued into that fact, and he’s got a score to settle. His ultimate quarry is the detective Bill Hodges, and as Brady gains his faculties—as well as some new paranormal skills (telekinesis anyone?)—people start committing suicide at a mysterious and alarming rate. King hits his sweet spot in this final episode of the Bill Hodges Trilogy, introducing his talent for horror into a storyline that already has featured some great detective writing. The result is a book that mixes revenge, crime, and otherworldly powers, bringing the trilogy to a thrilling, satisfying close. –Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review
Praise for Finders Keepers
“Stephen King’s superb new stay-up-all-night thriller, Finders Keepers, is a sly,often poignant tale of literary obsession that recalls the themes of his classic 1987 novel Misery…a love letter to the joys of reading and to American literature… wonderful, scary, moving.” (Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post)
“As in Misery and TheShining, King swan dives into the looniness lurking at both ends of thewriter-reader transaction…the narrative hums and roars along like ahigh-performance vehicle…a rip-snortingentertainment; one that also works as a sneaky-smart satire of literarycriticism and how even the most attentive readers can often miss the wholepoint.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“The new book is so good, being at least mildly obsessed with it is understandable. The finest thing about it, however, is that the author has another story to tell before the finale of this excellent series.” (USA Today)
Praise for Mr. Mercedes
“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)
“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)
“A taut, suspenseful race-against-time book . . . [King is] in reliably fine form.” (The New York Times)
“No one can create a villain quite like King. . . . [A]ll the elements come together in a very public, potentially explosive finale (with a surprising post script). King fans may find themselves furiously turning pages long into the night.” (Seattle Times)
Praise for End of Watch
“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.” (Publishers Weekly, STARRED review)
“[A] tense, thrilling conclusion to King’s Bill Hodges trilogy…One would assume that a writer like King, who has been at the top of his game for decades, would eventually run out of ideas. Instead, he serves up one of the most original crime thrillers to come along in years…A spectacular, pulse-pounding, read-in-one-sitting wrap-up that will more than satisfy King’s Constant Readers.” (Library Journal, STARRED review)
“Few of King’s myriad terrors feel as visceral and close to home as the sense of human mortality that looms over his new book, End of Watch… an undeniable page-turner… Throughout his tale, King nimbly pulls together numerous plot threads and characters…and for good measure throws in a final nail-biting chase through a blizzard. One finishes this novel feeling great empathy for its resolute protagonist, and even greater trepidation about that next round of Candy Crush.” (Elizabeth Hand, The Washington Post)
“A deliciously savory conclusion to King’s phenomenal hard-boiled Mr. Mercedes trilogy…gripping… as strong a King series as The Dark Tower in terms of characterization and pure storytelling. When it comes to the gumshoe genre, though, fingers crossed King’s not yet closed for business.” (Brian Truitt, USA Today)
“King works his customary storytelling magic, unspooling the plot threads almost as quickly as readers can turn the pages… If you’re wrapping up the trilogy, enjoy. If you’re just getting started, you’re in for a thrilling ride.” (Rob Merrill, The Associated Press)
“Keeps readers on edge… King stitches together threads from these events to weave a taut conclusion to the tale of Brady Hartsfield. But — and with King you never know — he does leave open the chance that some of the characters will be back. Because in Stephen King’s world, is anyone ever really gone for good?” (Amanda St. Amand, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy has proved to be a welcome change of pace for the best-selling Maine author… The wintery, blood-soaked climax of the novel provides a fitting resolution not only to the action at hand but to the trilogy as a whole. King will always be best known for his tales of supernatural horror, but it’s great fun to watch him experiment with form, genre and subject matter. He has more than his fair share of laurels, but he never seems to rest on them. Here’s hoping King can maintain the creative momentum of the Bill Hodges Trilogy as he heads into the next uncharted literary territory.” (Michael Berry, The Portland Press Herald)
“A satisfying conclusion to this crackerjack detective series… As the book’s title suggests, there is finality and loss in the final pages. Readers may find themselves wiping away a few tears as this well-written, involving series comes to an end.” (Doug Knoop, The Seattle Times)
“Outstanding… ‘End of Watch’ gives us King at the height of his powers. Masterfully plotted, the novel is propelled toward its page-blurring conclusion by two deadly forces: Hodges’ advancing disease and Brady’s relentless murderous impulse.” (John Wilwol, Newsday)
“The book leaves a surprisingly deep, melancholy mark, crystallizing the themes that have become prevalent in King’s recent work…’End of Watch’ hurtles toward a conclusion you anticipate and dread in equal measure — that wonderful, terrible anxiety King’s constant readers have been relishing for more than four decades now. ‘He’s not done with you yet,’ reads an ominous message Hodges receives on his computer in End of Watch. We’re lucky. King isn’t done with us either.” (Rene Rodriguez, The Miami Herald)