Review of Finders Keepers by Stephen King
Finders Keepers by Stephen King
(synopsis from Goodreads)
“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.
King knows how it’s done. He does it every time. He does it again with Finders Keepers, the second installment in his crime series.
Mr. Mercedes, the first book in the Bill Hodges series (there are a planned 3 books so far, but I don’t know if there will be more), was a fast, tense and gripping crime novel. King delivered his usual cast of awesome (and crazy) characters and the pace didn’t let up until the climax.
Finders Keepers is a little slower paced than Mr. Mercedes. The timeline is divided, to start with, and there a more perspectives than in the first book. Hodges doesn’t make a reappearance until well into the book. King uses that time to develop his villain. And like usual the villain is a nut.
King has a lot of gifts, but characters are what he’s best at, and like in all of his books they are developed to the point of being fully believable in Finders Keepers. Even if some of them are nuts, it’s hard not to imagine these people exist somewhere. Holly and Jerome are back, and despite everything else that’s happening with the supporting cast, King spends plenty of time developing them.
This isn’t horror, but King manages to create some pretty scary moments. The final scene made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. It is the tension that makes this book more gripping than most crime novels. King builds it slowly from the start and then kicks it into gear and keeps notching it up until the ending.
Finders Keepers isn’t as fast-paced as Mr. Mercedes, but the pages still flip by fast on account of King’s unparalleled writing style. He gets into characters heads, then gets into yours.
King is the type of writer writers want to be and readers want to read more of. Nobody can emulate his writing–it’s hard to think of a writer with a more distinct or unique style. I read a King book and I’m itching to write myself, to try and get better.
King may have been writing for decades, but he still delivers punch-in-the-gut books and quality writing. King is the boss–there’s no other way to say it.