A 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.
I’m not usually a Stephen King book reader but I read the first in this series, Mr. Mercedes, and fell in love with the character of Bill Hodges, a retired detective. I waited impatiently for this second part of the trilogy to come out and I wasn’t disappointed.
In this part of the story, we meet Morris. He’s obsessed with a book character, Jimmy Gold. So much so, that he breaks into the authors house to try and find any manuscripts that will tell the rest of Jimmy Gold’s tale. In his obsessive state, and also his deranged state, Morris ends up killing the author and taking all the manuscripts and money. Morris is so obsessed he lives his life by Jimmy Gold’s words, “Shit don’t mean shit”. He buries his treasures in his back yard. Morris, who shouldn’t drink and knows it, goes out and gets plastered one night. He ends up beating and raping a woman from the bar and he is sentenced to prison for this heinous crime- no one knowing that it was him who killed the author. Karma is a bitch.
Years later, a young boy named Pete discovers the buried chest of money and manuscripts. He uses the money to help his parents get through a rough spot, which helps them also with their marriage. When the money runs out, his parents are still happy and they are okay- the roughest part of their monetary woes behind them. Pete’s little sister figures out he was the one who anonymously sent their parents the money she can’t keep it a secret and goes to her friend. Her friend happens to know Bill Hodges and takes her to him to let him hear this tale. This puts the Ret Det on a case he never thought he would be on. He helps Pete before it’s too late- although in a sense it is too late as Morris has his sister.
Bill and Pete find out where Morris is holding his sister- the same place where Pete has hidden the manuscripts; the community center behind his house. Bill and Pete get there in time…his sister is badly hurt but alive. Pete also accidentally burns the manuscripts (which again, is Karma for Morris). In the end, everyone is fine..well, except, Morris (which he deserves).
For those readers who are like me and don’t typically pick up a Stephen King novel to read, do it. Pick up Mr. Mercedes and read it first then read this one. I promise you, it’s not like his more gory, icky stuff that make you have nightmares at night. This trilogy is so good and it makes me crazy that I have to wait for the last book. Damn you, Stephen King. Even though the trilogy is full of awesome and awfulness, the whole story is so awesome that you can get past the awful (somewhat). The story King weaves is brilliant. His characters are believable- I mean, there is bound to be some teenage boy out there who gets himself into a major clusterf**k like Pete does. Right? Totally plausible. But the story, is good. The evil in the main character, Morris, is believable too- as a parent, I don’t want to think that there’s monsters out there like him, but I know there are and as scary as that is, it makes you appreciate that this is a book of fiction and not real life. And you hug and kiss your baby even if she says, “No mommy”.
5 out 5 for the series.
4 out 5 stars for Finders Keepers