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review 2016-12-19 17:25
End of Watch by Stephen King (SWE/ENG)
End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) - Stephen King

SWEDISH REVIEW


Mercedesmördaren är tillbaka

För sju år sedan körde den ökände "Mercedesmördaren" Brady Hartsfield rakt in i en folkmassa. Åtta människor dog och långt fler fick men för livet. Den pensionerade kriminalpolisen Bill Hodges har inte kunnat lägga vansinnesdådet bakom sig, och när han nås av den oroande nyheten att en efter en av de överlevande efter Mercedesmassakern försökt ta sina liv under mystiska omständigheter, inser han att mardrömmen är långt ifrån över.

Hodges blir allt mer övertygad om att Brady Hartsfield har ett finger med i spelet i det som börjar likna en självmordsepidemi. Men hur kan det vara möjligt, när Hartsfield som är dömd till psykiatrisk vård, sitter i rullstol och knappt kan prata? Vad döljer sig bakom Mercedesmördarens tomma blick?

Sista vakten avslutar Stephen Kings hyllade thrillertrilogi om Bill Hodges och hans ständiga medhjälpare Holly och Jerome. Den första boken i serien, Mr Mercedes, tilldelades 2015 års Edgar Award för bästa spänningsroman. 

 
**********

Innan jag recenserar denna bok vill jag bara säga att det har varit en intressant trilogi att läsa. det har inte varit min favorit trilogi för att vara ärlig, men ändå har den varit tillfredsställande. Mr. Mercedes, den första boken i series, var för mig den svagaste. Jag föll varken för story eller dess karaktärer. Men, Den som finner, uppföljaren funkade mycket bättre, även om stora delen av boken kändes som att läsa en bok som inte alls var del av denna serie. Slutligen har vi Sista vakten, och i och med denna bok så fann jag mig äntligen fängslade medan jag läste. 

I Den som finner får vi en titt in i Bradys liv efter att han stoppades i boken Mr. Mercedes, men i Sista vakten får vi äntligen den fulla berättelsen och äntligen en slutlig konfrontation mellan Brady och Bill Hodges. Men hur, undrar du säkert? Brady är ju hjärnskadad och kan knappt gå och prata. Låt oss säga att han fann en väg och eftersom detta är en King roman så är inte allting rationellt. Och det är en av orsakerna till att jag verkligen gillade boken. Sammansmältningen av thriller och paranormalt, Jag bara älskar det. 

Sista vakten är mycket bra och jag är överraskad över hur mycket jag gillade boken med tanke på att jag inte var jätteimponerad över de föregående böckerna. Men, trilogin blev helt klart bättre och bättre med varje bok och den slutade starkt. Jag gillade verkligen att King inte lät allting sluta helt lyckligt, det passade bra att avrunda serien på den sättet som hade gjorde. I slutändan kom jag att gilla Bill, Holly och Jerome väldigt mycket, vilket jag inte trodde jag skulle göra efter att ha läst Mr. Mercedes.
 
 
Tack till Albert Bonniers Förlag för recensionsexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW
 
Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.


**********

Before I start to review this book, do I want to say that this has been a very interesting trilogy to read. Not, my favorite trilogy, to be honest, but still a nice one. Mr. Mercedes, the first book in the series did not sit well with me. To be honest, the story and its characters were not my cup of tea. However, Finders Keepers, the sequel turned out to be much better, even though it felt for much time while reading the book like it was not part of this series. Then, we have End of Watch, the final book. Here, I finally found myself quite engrossed with the story.

In Finders Keepers, we get some glimpse of Brady's life after he was stopped in Mr. Mercedes. and, in End of Watch, we really pick up the story and finally get to see Brady and Bill Hodges confront each other. But, how can that be you wonder? Brady is brain damaged and can hardly move and talk. Well, let's say he discovers a way. And, as this is a King novel is not everything rational. And, that's what I love about this book. The blend of thriller and paranormal. And, that's probably one of the reason for me liking the book so much.

End of Watch was frankly quite good and it surprised me how much I liked it since I did not love the previous two books that much. For me, this trilogy just got better and better and it ended with a bang. I love the fact that King didn't let it all end totally happy, it felt like a good ending. I even came to really enjoy Bill, Holly, and Jerome very much in this book, which I didn't think I would when I read Mr. Mercedes.


Thanks to Albert Bonniers Förlag for the review copy!

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text 2016-07-02 02:04
Joyous July
Finders Keepers: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) - Stephen King
The Reverend's Wife - Kimberla Lawson Roby
Forty Acres: A Thriller - Dwayne Alexander Smith
Hidden Bodies - Caroline Kepnes
That Mean Old Yesterday - Stacey Patton

This will be my month of peace and joy.  I have picked a pretty difficult selection of books to get through in next 30 days, but I'm determined.

 

Music and books have always been a safe haven for me.  With that being said, all negativity is out the door.  Bring it and I'll slap a book in your face. Haha!!!

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review 2016-06-30 00:00
End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy)
End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) - Stephen King Well this was a great conclusion to the trilogy. I really enjoyed book one, see Death Comes in a Car... Again and felt underwhelmed by book two, see If Misery and Carrie Had a Baby. The final book found it's footing and I was happy to see that the fabulous trio of Bill, Holly, and Jerome rode off into battle once again. That said, the reason why I only gave this four stars was the pacing problems of the book. Anytime the book transitioned over to Brady Hartsfield (still hate him, he's up there with It for me for most loathed villain in the Stephen King book) the book slowed down. I also felt like King took way too much time to show what happened to Brady and what he did. I wanted to get back to Bill, Holly, and Jerome.

This book begins with another perspective of what happened when the Mercedes Killer drove and killed several people at a job fair. The perspectives that we get are of the emergency responders to the scene. I have to say that my stomach turned all over again. We then transition to the present time with Bill going to the doctor's waiting on an appointment. Bill is happy with his investigation agency (Finders Keepers) and with his new partner Holly. Though he still thinks about Brady Hartsfield, he has put him behind him for the most part. Brady rushes back into the forefront though when Bill and Holly are called to a scene of a murder suicide by Bill's ex-partner Pete.

I liked Bill a lot more in this one. Probably because he was pretty much absent for book #2 since that one chose to focus more on Pete and his family. We have Bill in the driver's seat for most of this except when we transition to secondary characters and to Brady Hartsfield. I think Bill is content, happy with where he is, and glad to have Holly and Jerome. There is also something also going on with Bill, and I am glad that King didn't feel the need to drag that out at all. It gave more poignancy to the story and honestly, I thought that King was going to end the book differently, but was thrilled with how he chose to end it.

I do like Holly as a character, but her need to say "fracking" and "fracking poopy" started to wear thin on me about halfway through. I started having flashbacks to "The Stand" and Tom Cullen and that was not a place I wanted to think too hard about at this point. Holly is still the smartest person in the room, and I loved how her and Bill's relationship has grown. I also love that King didn't have them be a couple, they are just a true partnership/friendship.

Jerome comes in late to the story, but still an integral piece and I love the way that he worked seamlessly with Holly and Bill. Though Jerome is off to college, he's still a core member of the group and he and his family were the ones I was most worried about while reading.

Brady Hartsfield still can go kick a lot of rocks. I think one of the reasons why I hate this character so much is because he feels so familiar in this day in age in America. We are dealing with daily reminders of Brady Hartsfield stand-ins who think like Brady that all black people are disgusting, are awful, are "n" the fact that he started that talk up again made me grind my teeth. He is also the most entitled character I can recall coming across in a King book since the Crimson King. Hartsfield shows no remorse for anything he has done and wants to cause more havoc because how dare some shitty cop and some black boy be behind taking him down. I have never rooted so hard for a bad end to a fictional character before.

King is a master at getting you to care about his characters and also feeling leery cause you know he loves making you weep like a lost child when a bad end comes there way (looking at you The Dark Tower),

The secondary characters introduced or revisited in this one are done well too. I wish that we hadn't spent as much time with some like Doctor Babineau and Library Al because I really didn't like how much time they were taking away from the fabulous trio (what I call Bill, Holly, and Jerome in my head). It was great though to see how King worked in Jerome's sister Barbara and others like Bill's ex-partner. This whole book circles back in a lovely way to book #1.

I thought the writing was great per usual. I loved the dialogue between characters. I was not thrilled with the repetitiveness with Holly's language though (see above). I will say that I thought the whole way that King tied technology with Brady just didn't quite pass the smell test for me. The same issue that I had with that is the same issue I had while reading "Cell", meaning I don't think that works the way that you think it works. For the purposes of the story I just hand-waved it away because I wasn't in the mood to work out why what King was proposing could never happen. It was easier to just go with it.

The flow as I already said wasn't great. It only got wonky (don't care if it's not a word) when we revisited what happened to Brady or shifted the focus over to him to present day doings. He's also a repugnant little shit so there was some distaste happening for me that had me rushing through his scenes as much as possible.

The setting of "End of Watch" doesn't really have one core place. The book goes from place to place and back again. I think since King focused so much on the technology aspect something was bound to give and it was that for this book. King is a master of describing places and setting the scene for readers. So I wish we had more of that in this book.

The ending. Man oh man, let's just say I cried. Like bawled like a baby around 2 a.m. I sniffed and went and read some Tom Hardy and decided I didn't hate myself quite that much and went to bed. King guts you and if you are a Constant Reader like me, you keep coming back for it, even though you know it's not going to end well for you. I really hope that we get to see more of these characters in future King books. What am I saying, of course we will. King is great about that. All in all, what a great conclusion to this trilogy.
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review 2016-06-09 22:55
END OF WATCH Review
End of Watch: A Novel - Stephen King

Synopsis: The spectacular finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes (winner of the Edgar Award) and Finders Keepers—In End of Watch, the diabolical “Mercedes Killer” drives his enemies to suicide, and if Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don’t figure out a way to stop him, they’ll be victims themselves.

In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney—the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield’s head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the heart-pounding, supernatural suspense that has been his bestselling trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and chilling suspense. No one does it better than King.

 

*****

 

Stephen King's latest novel, End of Watch, is out now. The third book in the Bill Hodges trilogy (the previous books in the cycle are Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers), this fast-paced thriller aptly wraps everything up, tying all loose ends and answering any remaining questions. Like the first two books in the series, this is a crime novel at its core — however, unlike the two books that came before it, this one features King adding a generous helping of psi abilities, thus giving the villain an extra boost. This book features King returning to his wheelhouse, and dealing in strengths that made his earlier novels so gripping. Think Carrie and Firestarter, but with the special talents being used for evil instead of good. It's some scary stuff.

 

I must say the scenes in which Brady Hartsfield began wielding his new powers (thanks to a serious head injury dealt to him in the first novel) reminded me of old-school King which was delightful. The idea of Brady, this psychopath bent on revenge, taking control of a person's cognitive abilities and driving him or her to suicide (as he does many times throughout, each time more gleeful than the last) is one of King's wackier — and more brilliant — concepts. The magnitude of the writing skill displayed here is what sells the idea. It was nice to see some good, old-fashioned horror added to the mix here, but it never gets in the way of what End of Watch truly is: a suspense story, with a small, but lovely cast: an aging former detective quickly running out of time, his neurotic partner, and the guy they've been trying to catch for seven years — who now has new, frightening mental abilities. Needless to say, this is one of King's most gripping tales yet, and I had to force myself to take it slowly so I wouldn't rush through it all on release day.

 

While I'm sad this trilogy is now over, I'm glad it was given such an epic, frightening, beautiful, and fitting 'end'. End of Watch is a compact tale that grapples with a lot of big ideas — letting go and moving on, growing old, closure, hope, and redemption. It's a capable, quick, and smart story that fires on all cylinders, never letting the reader down. While Finders Keepers is probably my favorite novel to emerge from this cycle, this one certainly comes in a close second. Highly recommended to all King fans, and/or fans of excellent thrillers.

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text 2016-06-07 19:16
End of Watch release day!

It's my favorite time of the year — the day a new King novel is released. Happy reading! 

 

 

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