Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy #2) – Book Review
I absolutely loved reading Mr. Mercedes. It wasn’t perfect for me, but an extremely tightly woven thriller. Usually, I’m not a fan of the genre unless there is a mystery that keeps me guessing till the end or sharp twist of events. However, Stephen King did a marvelous job in etching out the character of Brady Hartsfield, who won the show clearly for me. I was quite curious to read the sequel Finders Keepers especially because of the sinister note on which the book ended.
Finders Keepers is not really a direct sequel to the book.
In 1978, Morris Bellamy is obsessed with the work of a bestselling novelist John Rothstein and the protagonist of his books Jimmy Gold. However, Rothstein stooped writing after ending up abruptly in a trilogy according to Morris. Morris did not want Jimmy Gold to end up like he did in the third book. He breaks into Rothstein’s house and steals the cash as well as all his notebooks and kills him. He is sentenced to jail, but for another crime.
In 2009, Pete Saubers is a teenager whose dad was brutally injured in the Mercedes accident at the job fair. He discovers a buried trunk at their house that contains money and some notebooks and decided to help his family with the money.
In 2014, Morris is out on parole and seeks only one thing – the books. He can’t wait to know what Rothstein wrote about Jimmy Gold. His path clashes with Pete Saubers and this is when detective Bill Hodges is asked to investigate.
An excellent buildup makes Finders Keepers an interesting read right from the beginning.
Stephen King has utilized almost one third of the book in creating a plot that thinly relates with the first book. Except from him visiting Brady and Mr. Saubers being a victim of the Mercedes Killer, there is nothing that can link the first book with this one. In this section of the book, King has narrated how Morris is a dangerously obsessed reader. It reminded me of Misery. I personally enjoyed how King has developed his story.
On the other hand, we have Pete Saubers who is also an excellent character. The way he cares about his family and his sister feels real and that is because King has given him enough room to develop and sound believable in is thoughts. Even while he acts like a grown up, several sections points to the direction that he is still a 17-year-old guy who wanted his family to be a bit stable.
Bill Hodges has a very small part in the book.
Finders Keepers is not about Bill Hodges. He comes quite later in the scenario. The book is primarily about a psychotically obsessed reader who will go to any lengths to get back to the books his favorite writer wrote. And about a teenager who must sell the books to earn enough money for her sister’s college. Bill Hodges comes quite later in the story and it’s not exactly a rat mouse chase that I had loved in Mr. Mercedes. In fact, I enjoyed reading about Holly much more. She is the one who solves the mystery and leads Hodges to a meaningful chase.
Jerome has even lesser role to play, but the moment the three people unite again, it’s a terrific ride and brings back memories from the previous book.
Morris is a cruel person and King has shaped him well.
You might not feel so until you reach the final section of the book. That is the time when you see the true colors of the maniac inside his body. I must refrain myself from revealing anything major, but I can guarantee that the final section will be a thrilling ride for you. The best thing about Morris’ character in Finders Keepers is that he continues to grow into this fearsome being and there is no change of heart. He doesn’t care about anybody or anything except the books.
I often ponder upon how King develops his characters so beautifully that they don’t appear to fictional at all. Every action they take is believable and feels real. You can feel Morris’ anger, obsession and patience. It doesn’t appear made up.
Finders Keepers is a pretty good addition to the Bill Hodges Trilogy.
Even though I would have loved to read a direct sequel, I enjoyed reading it a lot. The book kept me hooked till the end and left me hanging on a cliff with its last chapter. I wonder what Mr. King has in store for us in the final installment, but the climax of Finders Keepers has generated a great level of anticipation.
If you liked the previous book, you will like this one as well; at least I did.
A good novelist does not lead his characters, he follows them. A good novelist does not create events, he watches them happen and then writes down what he sees.
Shit don’t mean shit.
Buy Finders Keepers