Monday, June 15, 2015
You're my obsession
I really didn't expect there to be a sequel to Mr. Mercedes. I know there was a zinger at the end but it didn't percolate as anything other than a frustrating tease for me until I saw the cover of Finders Keepers and realized that Bill Hodges was getting a sequel. And then I found out that it's a fucking TRILOGY and I can't even tell you how excited I am about that.
I was very iffy about Mr. Mercedes but the problems that I saw with it weren't present in Finders Keepers - we don't spend as much time with Bill, Jerome, and Holly as we did in the first novel but that doesn't change the delightful depth with which this mystery is approached.
So we all know that King was an addict right? He's been in recovery for a long time but the man understands addiction and therefore he understands obsession and it's that understanding that is turning the Hodges Trilogy into something that I'm squealing over. My favorite King stories are the ones that delve into various flavors of suffering - the frustration of Rage, the sorrow and loss of Lisey's Story, and the mingled hope and horror of The Stand speak to me in a very intense way, and Hodges and Co are doing the same thing with obsession.
Actually, it's not so much Hodges as the people he keeps running into. The antagonist in Mr. Mercedes and both the pro- and antagonists in Finders Keepers have powerful, life-ruining obsessions, and boy do I ever get that. Bill's starting to get into the game too - he's beginning to lose himself in the pursuit of an answer to a question he probably shouldn't be asking.
But he'd hardly be a good private eye if he could keep himself from asking questions, now, would he? That's another thing that I like about these books - I get really frustrated with your traditional whodunnit mystery novels because they're usually either too predictable or they leave out vital information that makes for an unsatisfying ending - Hodges stories are not, thus far, traditional mysteries. They're mystery novels exploded and turned inside out; the reader has everything figured out long before anyone else but that doesn't matter because the tension and suspense are maintained by excellent characters instead of by the need to constantly solve puzzles and problems. You can enjoy the solution to the problem while the dramatic irony keeps you in agony for the characters that are so easy to care for and fuss over.
I made a mistake when I bought this book. I went to the store and grabbed it at around 10:00 pm, I started reading it at around 10:30 pm and couldn't make myself stop until I ran out of pages at around 4:30 the next morning, approximately 5 hours before I had to be at work. I have a bad habit of doing that with King novels, and by now I should probably just know to not start them until the weekend, but I can't help it. I'm a little obsessed.
King, Stephen. Finders Keepers. Scribner. New York: New York. 2015.