Continuing my binge of the Bill Hodges Trilogy, I think Finders Keepers had a lot of great points and quotes and characters. It didn’t quite hold up to Mr. Mercedes but I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the sequel, especially to literature and book lovers. Probably the thing that surprised me the most is how this could read as a standalone
Bookish Quick Facts:
- Title: Finders Keepers
- Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2
- Author: Stephen King
- Publisher & Release: Scriber, June 2015
- Length: 448 pgs
- Rate & Recommend: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ for the book itself, 5 for the audio experience
Here is the blurb:
A masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes.
“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.
Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.
Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.
Finders Keepers is a love letter to being a Reader. The way King describes that feeling of finding the book that made you realize you were a Reader. I will just quote it:
For readers, one of life’s most electrifying discoveries is that they are readers—not just capable of doing it (which Morris already knew), but in love with it. Hopelessly. Head over heels. The first book that does that is never forgotten, and each page seems to bring a fresh revelation, one that burns and exalts: Yes! That’s how it is! Yes! I saw that, too! And, of course, That’s what I think! That’s what I FEEL!
“Shit don’t mean shit” and the birthday f*cc quotes are obviously meant to be quotable too, and I loved the book for those one-liners. The Jerome and Holly scene at the end with the t-shirt was one of my favorites.
Another thing I really liked was how Morris and Peter were really quite a bit alike. Throughout the book King drew parallels between them. (Morris was a bit like Annie from Misery but he was a whole different take on the theme of obsession). The interesting part was seeing which direction Pete would go. At the end when Pete kind of broke away and realized that, thankfully, they weren’t alike at heart, it was a nice thought in stark contrast to the horror happening in the background at the end of the book.
Pacing and suspense wise – the first third was a little weird and slow for me since I expected to see Bill and the screw sooner, but it took until the second 3rd of the book. There was plenty of suspense, action, brutality, and gore, and of course the Happy Slapper is back. With that real sense of danger and suspense it was hard to put the book down. I feel like King has thoughts on people who’s butt fat you can carve with a hatchet 😂😂
Anyway, what I didn’t like so much was how long it took to get Hodges and the crew involved. Jerome and Holly having bigger roles was awesome, but leaving them out of the first third of the book seemed odd. It helped the book as a standalone though because even with all the Mercedes tie-ins, there was a new set of characters, new crime, new mystery, etc. Enough background to get by easily.
Also at least as of yet, I’m not into the tiny supernatural bit poking it’s head out at the end! This has been a pretty straightforward and amazing mystery / thriller series so far, it seems like bringing in a supernatural element is unnecessary? Maybe not. I think I’m just going to binge the series and start End of Watch next.
(P.S. I have already started it and the supernatural aspect is the crown ruler of WEIRD, but I’m on board)
I’m also going to guess that King doesn’t know anything about legal proceedings and doesn’t feel like researching it, because I would have really liked to know about Pete’s legal fallout at the end, if there was any. He kind of ignores that after book one as well.
My last random thought it about how not only did the book focus on literature affecting people differently, and how readers vary, but about discussing books too. Ricky the teacher and his whole “this is stupid” speech had me howling but he was so right
About the audio-
Will Patton obviously also rocked it again, although probably for the first time ever I didn’t like how he did a voice – Tina’s. It didn’t help that she was annoying anyway (oh stfu we get it, Pete might be mad), but WP sounded a lot lile Jim Dale trying to do a whiny teenage female. Besides that, the man could sell me a reading of the dictionary.
I say it again that you want the tone, the snark, the snide of the killer, even Holly’s clipped words, I think Patton stands alone at the top of male audio narrators. Finders Keepers earned him an Audie nominee for best solo male, and I *think* he won it for End of Watch finally. At 13 hours and change and with a 4.5 rating on Scribd, I’m glad to see others agree!
Long story short: love love love these characters and their story arc and this trilogy so far.