Author: Stephen King
Rating: 4 Stars
Review By: Shana
âKing ties up this trilogy well, with most loose ends taken care of but not in too pat or too convenient a way. The trilogy began as somewhat standard mystery fare, with retired police detective Bill Hodges unable to fully walk away from an unsolved case. Over the course of the trilogy this became more than just a game of cat and mouse between Hodges and the main antagonist (of course, at any given point the reader was unsure who exactly was the cat). The cast of characters expanded and gradually a supernatural aspect was introduced. In this third book, the inexplicable mixes with the classic mystery/private investigator mold, with just a tinge of the horror King is well known for.
King paces this final novel (and the other two) well. There were moments of suspense and held breath, wondering if a beloved character would survive. There were other moments of poignancy, with such a foundation of honesty about the human condition that emotion wells up in the reader.
Over the course of these books I came to love the characters (well, not the villain, but definitely the protagonists). King has a wonderful eye for character and gives each of them enough nuance and depth to bring them to life. He does this while avoiding the pratfall of describing every last detail. Instead, he sketches them and adds in mannerisms here, habits there, and you come to feel like you know them.
I don't know how he does it, but King makes believable and all too human characters who are nothing like himself. He has achieved this most beautifully with the characters of Holly Gibney (a middle-aged neural atypical woman with past depression issues and extreme problems with social interaction) and Barbara Robinson (a teenager of African-American descent dealing with all the complicated feelings of being upper middle-class and one of the few minorities at her tony private school). He sees these people as more than a sum of stereotypes and gives them heart and soul.
In the end, the plot is interesting, the villain's plan suitably horrifying, and the climax satisfying. But it is the character study and character interaction that really made this trilogy worthwhile.
Click the link to read Shana's review of Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, Book 1)
Click the link to read Shana's review of Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy, Book 2)
My love of reading was sparked in 3rd grade by the promise of personal pan pizzas via the BOOK IT! Program. Hmmmm... any chance that someone might give adults free food for reading? Asking for a friend...