Stephen King has no reason to weep. He has another winner with the 2nd book in the Bill Hodges trilogy.
John Rothstein, an author, is killed by a fan who isn’t happy with the direction he took with his most famous character. The killer steals money along with a lot of handwritten manuscripts for future novels. He is arrested for a different crime shortly after hiding the stolen goods and goes away for a long time. When a young man finds the hidden trunk years later, it turns his world upside down.
I actually liked Finders Keepers a good bit better than the first book, Mr. Mercedes. The bad guy seemed more realistic and, honestly, isn’t that what should scare us? A bad guy that COULD be out there in the real world. I was reminded of some of the comments you would see on author pages, twitter and blogs threatening writers for the direction of their stories. Serious, literal threats of physical violence because you didn’t like what the character did or did not do. Really? But, it happens. And, that makes it scary.
Bill Hodges, retired policeman and current PI, doesn’t show up until over 1/3 through the book. That was okay. He isn’t a showy character and Pete Saubers, the young man who found the stolen money/books, does just fine as the lead character.
The story is more reminiscent of a crime novel than most of King’s works. I had heard comparisons to Misery; those seem overly simplistic. Yes, a crazy fan attacks a writer but any likenesses end there. King always writes interesting teenage male characters and that was the most recognizable thing about this book.
Overall, a strong addition to the King library and highly recommended. You do need to read Mr. Mercedes first as there are some ties that bind the two stories together. 5/5 stars.