Bill Hodges is a retired policeman who has recently taken to watching daytime trash TV and playing with his father's revolver. As a lot of retirees fe...moreBill Hodges is a retired policeman who has recently taken to watching daytime trash TV and playing with his father's revolver. As a lot of retirees feel at first, he feels out of place and useless. But all that changes when he receives a letter in the mail.
Months earlier, a grey Mercedes drove into a crowd of people, killing eight including a woman and her baby. The driver was never caught. Hodges and his partner were the lead detectives on the case.
The letter Bill receives is from the driver of the grey Mercedes, a man they took to calling Mr Mercedes.
The first half of the book doesn't feel like Stephen King to me at all. His voice is different for this one and I'm not sure why. But when I went back to the book that evening, it turned around in a snap and I simply couldn't put it down.
So what changed?
For me, I think it was the fact that Hodges stopped reacting and actually started DOING something. He's not necessarily the most passive person in the first half; he just doesn't really DO anything that I found... interesting? It could also have been the way it was written -- which is what I'm thinking -- but again, I haven't had time to go back and reread it to see what the differences were.
The first half did not feel like a Stephen King novel. The second half did, albeit not as strongly as his other novels. It felt like a watered-down version of what King can actually crank out.
It wasn't until the ticking clock started that I really became interested. The characters felt... bland. Boring. There's nothing wrong with everyday people however there has to be something for your readers to connect with. Perhaps if I was a cop, I could connect more with Hodges. or if I were retired. You've got a black whiz kid who's good with computers. You've got the sister of the woman who owned the killer Mercedes falling in love with the cop who harassed her sister because he thought she was holding back. You've got an alcoholic abusive mother and a son with a desire for glory.
King didn't make me care enough about his characters to love them. Towards the end, yeah, I wanted to know what happened -- but that was the race against time, the ticking bomb that all suspense writers know and love. Whether the characters themselves survived, I didn't really care all that much. It didn't matter.
I love Stephen King's work -- well, most of it anyway. And I wish he had written this novel to be more of HIS voice rather than aiming for a tamer version, perhaps to appeal to more people. It's not that King can't write crime -- he can. He just needs to remember what it is that readers enjoy about his work and not lose the edge that makes his work so much more enjoyable.
As for me, I'm now ready for Revival which is out in September. Hopefully it will be more King-like. But I'm also hoping that King doesn't just give up on the crime genre. As I mentioned before, this has the feeling of a debut novel. I want to see what King does with what he's learned from writing it.(less)
I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Mr. Burke and his work, but this was the first time that I have read one of his novels.
His novel, The Tur...moreI’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Mr. Burke and his work, but this was the first time that I have read one of his novels.
His novel, The Turtle Boy, won a Bram Stoker Award in 2004 and you can get a copy of it at Amazon for FREE. After reading KIN, it is definitely going on my TBR shelf.
Burke’s newest novel, KIN, has been described as “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Deliverance.”
It’s the story of a girl who escapes from being kidnapped by a deranged family who tortured and brutally murdered the friends she had been traveling with.
It’s the story of a young man who wakes up to the realization that all is not always right with the world, that there are bad people, and that sometimes those bad people and good people cross paths.
And it’s the story of those bad people from their own perspective, where in their own world, they’re doing what they think is right: they live by their own rules and there are consequences for stepping outside of them.
It didn’t take me long to be drawn into the story and to that point of near obsession with what was going to happen next. But it wasn’t the story of the surviving girl that got me going. Nor was it the story of the young black man who assists her in her desire for retribution.
It’s the family themselves.
Hearing about Mama and her putrid room, her ginormous body riddled with fat and disease, Papa and his insistence that what they are doing, they are doing in the name of God and because God wills them to kill the nonbelievers.
That’s where Burke really excelled in this story. He brought me to care about one of the murderous family members and in doing so, he brings me into the family’s clutches where I want to know more about who they are, why they are the way they are, and ultimately, they are who I want to understand and to hear about. Everything else in the book feels as though it is there to bring me to find out more about this family.
Kealan, I loved this story. It’s one of the few books that have really caught my attention in the past few years. You know the books I mean — the ones that crawl under your skin and sit in the back of your conscious mind while you’re going about your day. The ones that make you pick the book back up because you know if you don’t, you’re going to be haunted by the characters and the story forever. I think this book is definitely one of those that — even if you DO read to the end — it’s still going to stick with you for a very long time. (less)