Thursday, June 4, 2015

Book Review: Finders Keepers

I do not like scary things and for some reason, I used to think Stephen King only wrote scary books, so I refused to read any of them. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES Stephen King; in fact, The Stand is one of his favorite books and he buys King's novels like I buy versions of Harry Potter. When 11/22/63 was published in November 2011, David kept telling me how awesome it was, continually mentioning that it was more of a historical/science fiction-esque novel and there was nothing scary in it. I was intrigued, mainly because I find the Kennedy's fascinating, so I decided to give it a try...and read it in three days. Since then, I have read more of King's novels, and even gave It a try (could not finish it--nightmare inducing!). 

Last summer, I bought Mr. Mercedes for David as a just because present and ended up reading it myself after not liking anything else I picked up. I really liked the storyline and that it included so many elements of the mystery/detective genre, so I was super excited to learn that it was the first book in a trilogy.

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Just like Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers opens with a grisly murder scene; however, that and the return of Hodges, Holly, and Jerome, the heroes from the first book, are really the only similarities between the two novels. Where Mr. Mercedes was more of a straightforward detective/murder mystery, Finders Keepers is a literary thriller.

Rather than picking up where Mr. Mercedes left off, we instead meet Morris, the terrifying villain, and Pete, the teenaged hero. The two characters are separated by more than four decades and are incredibly different from one another, but what causes their lives to intersect is their shared passion for the writings of John Rothstein, a reclusive JD Salinger-type author.

The first third of the novel is pure and powerful storytelling, something that I am beginning to see is what King is fantastic at as I read more of his work. This part of the novel spans four decades, from the murder of Rothstein in the 1970s to the economic downturn in the US in the early 2000s to the murders accounted for in Mr. Mercedes. With the scene set, the final two thirds of the novel are complete, white-knuckle thriller. It is a not a mystery or a "who-done-it," as the reader knows who the bad guy is from the first chapter, but regardless, you find yourself on the edge of your seat (or in  y case, awake at 2:00am) as Pete desperately tries to save his family from Morris, all while Hodges, Holly, and Jerome are trying to save Pete.

Interspersed throughout the latter half of the novel are some truly chilling scenes between Hodges and Brady, the psychopathic murder from Mr. Mercedes, that seem to be setting us up for a terrifying final novel.

I give Finders Keepers a 10 out of 10 and highly recommend it (especially to David who needs to get in gear and read Mr. Mercedes as well).
  On a completely unrelated side note, I literally had to stop reading about 100 pages in, go into the office to grab a highlighter, and mark this line: "For readers, one of life's most electrifying discoveries is that they are readers--not just capable of doing it, but in love with it." Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone did that for me in sixth grade, but never have I seen such a beautiful way of describing it. This line is definitely going to be prominently displayed on my book wall when school starts back up in September, so thank you, Mr. King. :)

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