Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

mistermercedes_cvr

Sorry for the late post. It has been a wee bit crazy this month at my library. I now hate teachers … you get summer off and we get the privilege of running around the stacks hunting the TONS of books that you so casually compiled for your pupils. For some reason I can hear Q Lazarus’ Goodbye Horses playing in my ear the more I think of this. Don’t worry, I won’t be doing the Buffalo Bill dance routine to it. But enough about the bollocks and no let’s head off the matter at hand (if I haven’t creeped you out at this point).
It is clear to me that there is NOTHING out there that Stephen King can’t take and into suspenseful, horrifying prose. Absolutely nothing. So taking a cue from the current state of employment in this country, the book starts out with a bunch of people lining up in the pre-dawn hours at a site for job interviews. Yes, apparently there are things more important that iPhones and other such bollocks worth waiting for in line. It is a scene that reads like a near-dismal modern day version of Grapes of Wrath minus the billowing tumbleweeds and complete dark looming clouds of despair. A young woman, with a baby, befriends a gentleman on the line. He in turn gives her a sleeping bag for her to rest in with her infant. It is touching, and just as the warm cockles of your heart start warming up along comes some wanker in a Mercedes-Benz car and plows through the entire crowd … intentionally. And this is all within the first chapter.
Bill Hodges is a retired detective who lives a very simple – retired – life. His usual daily regimen involves watching some self-righteous, indignant female judge verbally pummel unsuspecting litigants and a certain show involving people, screaming audience and DNA tests. He’s had quite an accomplished career closing many great cases … all except one. I guessing you can guess which one. Then one day, Hodges receives a letter from a certain Mr. Mercedes. Though seemingly apologetic, the letter is a thinly veiled taunt at Hodges’ inability to close the case.
Meet Brady Hartsfield, by day he works at a discount electronics store and is part of Cyber Squad (or something like that), a team that drives around in lime green Volkswagons fixing people’s computers. On the side, Mr. Hartsfield also drives an ice cream truck which allows him to dispense ice cream to sugar-starved kids whilst keeping an eye on Bill Hodges. After a grueling day of fixing computers and selling ice cream, Mr. Hartsfield goes home to his mother. This is where it gets cringeworthy for Brady has very unusual fascination with mum (as in incestual with a capital I), though not as sexy as anything you might see on Game of Thrones. And for the record, I’m not implying that incest is – sexy. Allow me a moment to deal with the slight vomit burped into my throat and is slow being re-digested. Oh the things I must endure for my blog and readers. So aside from planning psychotic bollocks and taunting retired detectives, Mr. Hartsfield is an avowed racist as is seen in his hatred that is directed towards Jerome Robinson; a young black man that is befriended by Hodges and is brilliant beyond his age. He is also quite the adoring wiseass.
So there is Brady Hartsfield in a nutshell: racist, a bit psychotic and lives with his mum that he’s sexually fascinated with. Hmmm … sounds like a good percentage of the trolls that hang out on Yahoo and other news site messageboards. Now I know what some might be thinking that I’ve tossered up and decided to reveal the killer to you. Sorry mates, hate to break it to you, but King beat me to that within the first three chapters.

As Hodges pulls himself back into the case he encounters Lauren Trelawney, whose sister was driven to suicide by Mr. Mercedes since it was her stolen Mercedes that was used in the crime. He is hired by her, as a private eye, to investigate her suicide. Of course, Lauren is a hot 40-something and yes their relationship becomes more than professional. Awww, older folks having hot sex. It is only a matter of time before things go awry (I’m not going to say what -) and before you know it Hodges is joined with a strange motley crew (Olivia Trelawney and Jerome) as they pursue Bray in what turns out to be a terrifying race against the clock where there is a lot at stake … to lose

King’s Mr. Mercedes, though not your typical preternatural horrifying tale, is more of psychological crime thriller that nevertheless scares you breathless. Especially when you realize, based on current events, that there are tons of Brady Hartsfields out there – minus the incest factor. Maybe. I hope. Please.
All in all, it is premium King that, as always, never skimps on the excitement and throat-grabbing suspense, and leaves you waiting for the next book.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

brotherhood

When Priya, a young woman with a promising future, is found dead in front of her dormitory building at NYU, everyone assumes it was suicide. But there are a few that fear differently. Niral Solanke, one of Priya’s childhood friends, is a down-on-his-luck type, just drifting through life after living a life filled with decadent appetites and really crummy choices (oh I ‘m sure some of us can identify … well .. minus that whole bit about sex parties and other such naughtiness … didn’t have too many “artistic friends”). His limited experience with the law leads to him being recruited the Brotherhood, a Hindu religious organization, to investigate the Priya’s death. Along the way he finds himself being drawn back to his Hindu roots, and not so-convenient crossings with an ex-flame (Lauren) turned artist/turned stripper/turned prostitute/turned artist (hmm, sounds like your average pop singer … yes, I did go there) and a quick talking, sleazoid named Vishal. Vishal is quite the wank. He’s seemingly made some good dosh and is living the good life (or so it seems)… and on occasion tends throw it in Niral’s face. Oh, did I mention that these two blokes were childhood friends also? But everything and everyone and anything aren’t what they seem, and even as you adjust your logic to keep up Brotherhood keeps you guessing all the way … to the nerve-wracking conclusion. A conclusion that is so abrupt that I found myself shaking my fist to the sky and demanding “why does cruel fate mocketh me?” as the author teased us with a glimpse of the second part of this trilogy. Yes, it is trilogy. The best way to describe Brotherhood is simply this: a Mickey Spillane novel with a Bombay (or is it Mumbai … bloody hell) flavour … set in New York City. Betrayal, religious hypocrisy, greed, and sexual nastiness … it is nice warm cuddly pulp fiction with a nice global marinade. The book contains a lot exotic jargon that is dispersed throughout the writing but is easily appreciated thanks to the glossary that is, thoughtfully, provided by the author. And yes, there is more to the Indian culture than “namaste”, curry and yoga. Feel free to indulge. It is also one of the few self-published books that I’ve read out there and I just happen to know the author. Great chap. Does a mean Garth Brooks and Tupac at karaoke (yes, I’m probably breaking our Karaoke Krew rule: whatever happens at karaoke STAYS at karaoke). Um … sorry, mates.

Read Full Post »