End of Watch (The Bill Hodges Trilogy Book 3) – Stephen King

It seemed to him that whoever thought that one up really got hold of something, because it was darker than a woodchuck’s asshole this morning, and dawn wasn’t far away.

You gotta give it to Mr. King. He can definitely write a good horror novel. If you have liked these lovely books involving Finders Keepers, you might have run across “End of Watch” – the last story involving Bill Hodges before he finds his untimely death.

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The cell rings twice, and then his old partner in his ear… ‘I’m at the scene of what appears to be a murder-suicide. I’d like you to come and take a look. Bring your sidekick with you, if she’s available…’

Retired Detective Bill Hodges now runs a two-person firm called Finders Keepers with his partner Holly Gibney. They met in the wake of the ‘Mercedes Massacre’ when a queue of people was run down by the diabolical killer Brady Hartsfield.

On a foggy morning in 2009, a maniac named Brady Hartsfield drove a stolen Mercedes-Benz into a crowd of job-seekers at City Center, downtown. He killed eight and seriously injured fifteen.

Brady is now confined to Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, in an unresponsive state. But all is not what it seems: the evidence suggests that Brady is somehow awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

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.

The clock is ticking in unexpected ways …

Both a stand-alone novel of heart-pounding suspense and a sublimely terrifying final episode in the Hodges trilogy, End of Watch takes the series into a powerful new dimension.

I liked this book, even if it was a little more slow-going than all the others. The suicides give no inkling about the killer until very late on and are considered just depressed people putting an end to life.

Bottom line, shit happens. You can’t even call it a coincidence. Badly hurt people get depressed, and sometimes depressed people kill themselves.’

The Killer passages are quite spooky – as he returns from a vegetative state to an enhanced version of himself (think telekinesis) and he starts killing again.

For this Halloween, it might be exactly what the doctor ordered:

Brady raises Library Al’s foot and carefully brings Library Al’s heavy black workshoe down on the straining tendons of Cora Babineau’s scrawny throat. More blood bursts from her mouth; her sun-cured cheeks are now stippled with it. He steps down hard. There’s a crackling sound as stuff breaks inside her. Her eyes bulge … bulge … and then they glaze over. ‘You were a tough one,’ Brady remarks, almost affectionately.

And you will definitely like the climax of the book (when it eventually comes at page 326/350) when Holly and Brady and Hodges are in the same room and one of them has the upper hand (no spoilers)

‘You used to ask me if I was fucking my mother, remember? All those visits you made to my room, asking if I was fucking the only person who ever cared a damn for me. Talking about how hot she looked, and was she a hoochie mama. Asking if I was faking. Telling me how much you hoped I was suffering. And I just had to sit there and take it.’

Overall Rating.

This series overall is really good, but if we’re talking about this novel alone, then it can be considered a disappointment. The plot didn’t deliver the way I wanted it to, in fact, the only really exciting parts of this novel are the ending and I faintly remember some good parts along the middle of the book. Aside from those though, the novel was dreadful.

Brady is one of the reasons why I really enjoyed the first two books, but unfortunately he didn’t deliver the same way he did in this third novel. He is not the same Brady that I enjoyed before. He’s not that badass and interesting. I know Stephen King wanted to incorporate some paranormal aspects to this crime trilogy, but for me it didn’t work out that well. I loved Stephen King’s other paranormal/horror novels, but this trilogy was supposed to be his crime series. It wasn’t supposed to be different, in a good way.

However, and this is the “ish” part for me, author Stephen King went deep into the supernatural realm with this story and that is what turned me away from the novel. I liked how King was writing a detective novel about a horrible crime. How he had some entertaining secondary characters to help carry the story. I just did not feel he needed to overwhelm the story with the supernatural – a little supernatural would have been okay (and more believable) but this left me wanting just a good detective ending.


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