Finders Keepers * Stephen King Book Review

From Simon and Schuster:

finders-keepers-9781501100079_hr-backA masterful, intensely suspenseful novel about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes far too far—a book about the power of storytelling, starring the same trio of unlikely and winning heroes King introduced in Mr. Mercedes.

“Wake up, genius.” So begins King’s instantly riveting story about a vengeful reader. The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.

Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.

Not since Misery has King played with the notion of a reader whose obsession with a writer gets dangerous. Finders Keepers is spectacular, heart-pounding suspense, but it is also King writing about how literature shapes a life—for good, for bad, forever.

“Finders Keepers” is book two of the Mr. Mercedes trilogy. However, it is unnecessary to read the first book to enjoy this one. Despite several cross-references and tie-ins, this novel tells its own stand-alone story. Think of this as a literary thriller, not as a horror or pulp novel. Don’t look for a repeat of other work by King. With these thrillers, he has ventured into a slightly different genre than many readers might expect.

In this novel, King explores the love of literature, the fascination of fans with their favorite authors, and the desperate search for lost works that authors never chose to have published. King gives us a reclusive, but wildly popular author, who continues to write, but chooses to no longer share his visions. King also gives us two young men, one a teenager and one only slightly older, who share a fascination with the author’s work and his life-changing series. What would you give to have your favorite author complete your favorite series, to have him finish the arc of character development so that your favorite character is no longer left as a sell-out. Would you steal? Would you kill? How many years would you wait to get your hands in such a treasure?

It would be a mistake to call this a suspense novel as the plot is obvious a mile away and you can feel the tension building as the characters all come together in one crazy climax. Most of the novel is a long setup for the end.

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