Title: Finders Keepers.
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #2.
Writer(s): Stephen King.
Narrator(s): Will Patton.
Genre(s): Horror, Thriller.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio.
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015.
Length: 13 Hours.
My Overall Rating:
Previously in the Bill Hodges Trilogy:
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.
Despair has a way of warping a person’s understanding of the world, their comprehension of good and evil, and their grasp on right and wrong. When drowning in despair, it comes as an inevitability for a person to latch onto the first buoy they find, no matter the consequences of their actions, to avoid losing their mind. On top of the darkness of this despair, a growing sense of obsession can turn a said person towards a path of self-destruction: their world becomes a playground where nothing but the source of their obsession is the purpose of their life. Read by the award-winning narrator Will Patton, this second novel in the Bill Hodges Trilogy, invites readers into critically-acclaimed author Stephen King’s exploration of madness and mayhem in whole new characters with retired detective Bill Hodges back in action to stop a madman from doing the unforgivable.
What is Finders Keepers about? In 1978, Morris Bellamy sets out to rob America’s most famous reclusive writer, John Rothstein. Veiled as an opportunity to steal money, he reveals that his interest lies rather in the author’s notebooks, where potential stories of a beloved series are up for grabs, stories that Morris Bellamy is ready to kill for. In 2010, young Pete Saubers discovers a buried trunk containing money and John Rothstein’s notebooks. With his parents struggling with poverty and his father suffering from the injuries sustained during the infamous Mercedes Massacre, he sees the means to save his family while trying to keep it all a secret. Unfortunately, in 2013, Morris Bellamy comes out of prison and is ready to recover the goods he once stole, no matter the costs.
“Shit don’t mean shit.”— Stephen King
It’s best not to imagine this as a strict sequel of Mr. Mercedes with author Stephen King introducing new characters, a new antagonist, and a new story direction. While the trio of heroes from the first book do make an appearance, with a couple of quintessential references to events in the first novel tossed in to justify this trilogy, the focus of the narrative revolves rather around the chain of events born from the deceased author’s notebooks and what everyone who has touched them does about them. This time around, the narrative around impressionable readers and their obsession with fictional characters make from an entertaining thriller, especially with Morris Bellamy’s own despair and descent into mania leading him to seek the only reward he ever wanted in his miserable life. The young Pete Saubers own impressionable self leads him to make numerous mistakes in his life, despite innocent and just intentions, that puts him in the crosshairs of Morris Bellamy’s madness. Both of their characters obtain an impressible amount of character development, unlike the rest of the characters, and make for interesting character studies, allowing readers to better grasp their individual turmoils, their motivation, and their willpower to do what they set out to achieve.
Despite hints of this novel’s little ties to the first book, it remains a suspenseful story that takes some time before it has its grip around your neck. In fact, the pacing is rough, with author Stephen King trying to juggle two different viewpoints until they can finally merge and allow action and mayhem to ensue. Once author Stephen King finally gets an opportunity to shed blood, he makes the most of it and depicts some wonderfully disturbing moments that fully capture the deranged nature of the antagonist. Despite some of these unpredictable twists, it often does feel like the author didn’t know if he wanted a more grounded and traditional detective story or a slow-burn thriller, making a lot of his Mr. Mercedes references feel superficial and shoehorned into this story. While this sequel subverts all expectations, it does so for the wrong reasons, making readers hope that the final book in the trilogy will go back to basic and offer a darker, more convincing finale to the Bill Hodges Trilogy.
Finders Keepers is a thrilling sequel exploring the power of fiction and the lengths one will go to for what they assume they have the right to possess.