The Premise Bestselling, critically acclaimed author John Rothstein has retired from public life. He keeps his current work unpublished and3.5 Stars
The Premise Bestselling, critically acclaimed author John Rothstein has retired from public life. He keeps his current work unpublished and tucked in a safe in his house, along with twenty-thousand dollars cash. Enter Morris Bellamy, a troubled young man who's Rothstein's biggest fan until Rothstein, in Bellamy's opinion, 'sells out.' Normal fans bitch on Facebook. However, this is the late '70s, so Bellamy does the next logical thing: murder the author, steal his work and cash, and bury both treasures until the heat dies down.
Then Bellamy does some other stuff and winds up in jail for a different crime. Because he's a jerk.
Fast forward a few decades and Bellamy is released, only to find some punk kid named Peter has discovered the treasure, spent the money to protect his troubled family, and -- the worst crime of all -- has read Rothstein's notebooks. Bellamy doesn't take too kindly this. Havoc ensues.
Thoughts, Opinions, and Sundry Items I would like to say that "Bill Hodges returns in thrilling new mystery" but, as you can see from the above premise description, in which Hodges plays no part, Hodges is really peripheral to this story...and I think it would actually be a stronger novel without the recurring characters. Bellamy and Peter were both so engaging that having Bill, Jerome (whom I love), and Holly interfere in the exchange between the two was almost an irritating distraction.
For example, the thread pulling these three characters into the situation was tenuous at best: Peter's sister's old best friend is Jerome's sister. So Peter's sister gets concerned enough about Peter's behavior to go, not to her parents, but to a former best pal that she doesn't hang out with that much...and trusts the people that said former best pal says to trust.
Yeah, not really feeling it. It read forced to me. Especially when you have an even better, built-in opportunity to ask Hodges for help: Peter's father was injured in the Mercedes murders. Hodges caught that killer. Peter's sister (maybe even Peter himself) could have gone to Hodges directly because of newspaper articles, proven track records, etc. without the weird convulsions of sister's-best-friend's-cousin's-roommate.
Totally dug the exchanges between Peter and Bellamy though. At first, I wasn't too sure about Peter -- but I think it might've been an unfair expectation on my part. Because of the 'Hodges Mystery' series label, I really kept expecting Hodges to show up and be the central hero. By the time I figured out that Peter was a kid who could hold his own, I was almost two-thirds in and, when Hodges does come into play in the story, I was ready for Peter to do all the butt-kicking and thinking against our villain Bellamy...so I was actually disappointed that Hodges kinda turns into a deus-ex-machina hero. Don't get me wrong -- Peter starts out strong and doesn't give up. I like that kid.
Bellamy is an interesting villain. The dude is messed up in the head. His NEED is palpable.
Also found the bits of myth-making in regards to Rothstein's fictional work very entertaining. Throughout Finders Keepers King intersperses bits of 'wisdom' from the Rothstein books. Including such gems as "Shit don't mean shit." Most of it sounds whack-a-doo...which is terrifying considering that, if you think about it, most of the quotable material or plot lines of any given work sounds whack-a-doo when taken out of context. We build whole societies on what we find quotable. ...more
Had I just picked this up having never read Chelsea Cain before, I think I might've rated this one higher. However, I really love Gretchen Lowell (welHad I just picked this up having never read Chelsea Cain before, I think I might've rated this one higher. However, I really love Gretchen Lowell (well, not love in her case...more love to hate) and Archie. The characters -- Kick and Bishop -- in this new series aren't quite as get-behind for me.
Some of that has to be that I felt like Cain was keeping her cards too close to her chest in order to have something else to write about in the next book. By the end (this may be a spoiler?) we still don't know anything about Bishop that's real -- who his wife is (does he really have one?), who he works for, etc.
And, speaking of Bishop, I didn't like his introduction either. Cain presents him as someone who 'gets it' in an almost prescient sense. So, if he's someone who understands Kick and her situation and he's behaving the way he is...well, he's a dickhead. And I don't know if I'll like him, in spite of the fact that I feel like I'm supposed to like him.
I don't know if any of that made sense.
Cain's strength here is the same as always: how the hell does she make these crazy situations seem plausible? Sexy female serial killers? Incredibly wealthy hunters of sexual predators?
I think it's because the characters (most of them, but Kick especially) behave the way a normal person would in those extraordinary conditions. Kick's bond with her dog, with the FBI agent who rescued her, and even with her kidnappers is wrenching to watch/read. Here I am, reading this kinda unbelievable situation, and I'm tearing up.
So I'm gonna pick up the next book when it comes out...just so I can see those cards Cain is holding so close. ...more
First, a brief low-down: A young man drives a Mercedes into crowd of job-seekers at a job fair. He kills eight people, wounds a bunch of others, and tFirst, a brief low-down: A young man drives a Mercedes into crowd of job-seekers at a job fair. He kills eight people, wounds a bunch of others, and then seems to drop off the face of the earth. Then we jump a year later and meet retired Detective Kermit William Hodges, a.k.a. Bill, who was the lead investigator on the case. Bill is depressed and considering suicide when the Mercedes Killer sends him a letter telling him to go ahead and off himself, unwittingly giving Bill a reason to live: namely, to hunt down the bastard who ran through a mass of people with a stolen Mercedes.
For those who may be looking for a horror fix...this isn't it. (Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.) Mr. Mercedes has more in common with Sue Grafton and J.K. Rowling's alter-ego Robert Galbraith than it does with The Shining or It. As a reader, I don't mind that at all. The bad guy is definitely bad and the good guy has enough questionable motives to make it a quick, interesting read.
There are definitely some plot holes and leaps of faith that the reader has to make, but if you read it quick enough (like I did) you won't think about the problems long enough to truly distract you.
My biggest issue (not counting plot holes and leaps of faith) with the novel related to a more basic issue -- it felt like the beginning of a series. I felt only marginally introduced to the main character (strange, right?) and his former partners. I was only gonna give this book two stars...then, lo, I arrive at Goodreads and find this is the first part of a trilogy? I have rounded my star rating up in hopes that the next couple novels will fix the distance-y issues I was experiencing.
An example of a 'distance-y' issue (a term I have coined my own self): The sidekicks. Jerome and Holly. First off, the sidekicks don't come into the story in any measurable way until almost the end, which was a bummer because they were great foils for Hodges that were massively under-utilized -- they could have presented the arguments and counter-arguments to Hodges thought process...rather than the reader going "What the hell, dude?" And considering the pivotal roles they play, it's kinda disappointing to not spend more time with them.
But, I mean, dudes, it's still King. Plenty of attitude and spark through the pages to keep 'em turning. I especially love the emails between hero and villain. Snarky. Good times. ...more
Liam Neeson was born to play Titus -- Taken has nothing on the revenge porn that this is.
The plot boils down to an escalation between Titus, who starLiam Neeson was born to play Titus -- Taken has nothing on the revenge porn that this is.
The plot boils down to an escalation between Titus, who starts off the whole thing by conquering the Goths and capturing Tamora, their queen. To prove a point, he kills her eldest son. Tamora, not one to be outdone, wriggles her way into the cozy position of Roman Empress and proceeds to f*** up everything Titus loves.
It just gets worse from there.
What I love about this is that no one is likable, with the possible exception of Lavinia who bears way more than a human being should. The fact that everyone is a punk makes the (very, very) extreme violence of this particular piece more bearable. Seriously, you're cheering on the death and dismemberment because these people are JERKS.
But my favorite bit about this is Tamora. She's a supervillain who makes me think of a more human Iago. She's passionate and hateful. It's mind-boggling how hateful she is. Though...considering the good guys are complete monsters...I don't know how she could be anything but. ...more
Gah! This one is tough -- just reading it, you really wanna slap Shakespeare across the face and scream, "Tame this, beyotch!"
However, there's a lotGah! This one is tough -- just reading it, you really wanna slap Shakespeare across the face and scream, "Tame this, beyotch!"
However, there's a lot of room for actors to interpret things throughout, which possibly makes it less about 'taming' and more about creating a crazed team of madness between Petruccio and Katherine -- together they inflict more damage on the world than either of them singly. But it's all in how the performers choose to play it. The text is less forgiving if you take it at face value.
I mean, the title gives it all away. It's not "Learning to Get Along as Equals with the Shrew."
It's tough for me, because both of the main characters in the central plot are abusive punks (Kate, for example, ties her sister up and slaps her around)...but Petruccio, as the man of the times, has all of the cards. There's nothing for Katherine to defend herself with -- he's in charge of all the servants, the money, the food, everything. You know how they say the strongest tool of a abuser is isolation? Well, this is the perfect example of that. At the first opportunity, Petruccio pulls Katherine away from her family (first opportunity = right before the wedding feast). He even takes away her name:
Petruccio: Good morrow, Kate, for that's your name I hear.
Katherine: Well have you heard, but something hard of hearing. They call me Katherine that do speak of me.
Petruccio: You lie, in faith, for you are called plain Kate, And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst, But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom...
Ain't no one else calls her "Kate."
But it's still hilarious.
And her sister, Bianca, never gives up her autonomy. So the 'shrew' isn't the stand-up woman, it's her sister, who does it quietly but with just as much fervor. Soooo...does that mean there is a balance?!