Review: Finders Keepers by Stephen King

“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.

Finders Keepers was an amazing adventure. On the dust jacket of the book, the synopsis unveils it as a revenge story; a reader’s obsession with a book series leads him to murder the author for the undoing of a beloved character. The suspense was great, the characters were incredible (as was expected), and the book was just a good all round crime/thriller. I recommend it to anyone looking for a slow but steady suspenseful read.

At first, I was skeptical about reading it. It was after the second time picking it up that I got through the first chapter. I’m not at all saying it isn’t interesting; definitely one of those books you read with goosebumps and furrowed brows. But be that as it may, I found the whole idea of a reader killing an author because he didn’t like the ending, ridiculous! And as such, I struggled to finish this book, taking a much longer time than I should have.

On a related note, I can recall so many times when literature moved me with such force, reality shattered. I know how much power words can hold. But this is an obsession, and it’s beyond a feeling or emotion. It didn’t merely change his perspective, or the way he thinks; changed his life. I can’t completely comprehend the actions of this particular killer, but that made it all the more fun.

I just love the characters in this series. I love seeing their personas unfold and unravel as we get deeper, and deeper into the story. It’s rather intricate, how King was able to connect all these characters, old and new.

Morris Bellamy, our obsessed-bordering-insane reader, was quite the eccentric. He had anger written all over him; a quiet yet deadly angry. Despite what he told himself, that “sh*t don’t mean sh*t,” I think he had a real shot at making something out of himself. He compared himself too directly with Jimmy Gold, the main protagonist of a series, created by John Rothstein. After all, if someone as great as Gold could sell out, what would that mean for Morris himself? He recruits two acquaintances to help him murder Rothstein and hides the stash of notebooks he finds; worth at least one or two never before seen Jimmy Gold novels. Later, he is arrested for another offence.

Fast forward many years later, and we have Peter Saubers, high school student and literature enthusiast. He discovers the notebooks, along with twenty thousand dollars. Being the twelve year old that he is, he’s dumbfounded and doesn’t know what to do with all of it. What he finally decides, regardless of his intentions, results in harsh consequences. And while Pete is clever and kindhearted, I didn’t find that his character captured my interest like Morris, or even Bradley (from Mr. Mercedes) did. He’s just kind of … boring.

Bill Hodges, Holly, Jerome Robinson all make appearances in the story, throwing me back to Mr. Mercedes. It was cool seeing their growth from the first book. Their trademark humour help relieve the tension comically. And BRADLEY makes an appearance as well!

As for the plot, I found it to be moving quite slowly. Not boring exactly, but the suspense building was super-slow, taking its sweet time too! Just a tad too long than I prefer. I like my suspense, but enough is enough! I do realize that some like to build the anticipation hot and heavy though.

Stephen King’s writing is so deviously haunting. It’s the kind of horror that settles under your skin.
This series, Bill Hodges Trilogy, is unlike King’s other books. At least not the writing people expect when they hear Stephen King. But I personally really liked the story of Mr. Mercedes, and the characters as well. I can’t wait for the third book! Hopefully we’ll find out more about Bradley.

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