End of Watch – Stephen King

“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

In Mr Mercedes we met retired detective, Bill Hodges, and serial killer, Brady Hartfield. Then, in Finders Keepers, we follow the adventures of Bill and his new partners in anti-crime with a new case to solve. Right at the end, though, we get a glimpse of Mr Mercedes again, and a hint of the plot to this, the third and final installment in the trilogy.

To say it’s the strongest of the three, possibly, still isn’t saying too much. I rather get the impression that neither of the previous installments did so very well (in King terms; I imagine they still sold bucketloads), being somewhat pedestrian crime/mystery books and not the unsettling horror for which King better known. The solution? Throw a supernatural element into the final installment – and yup, it felt to me like the author was back on more familiar ground, a little more assured with the plot structure.

I was actually disappointed by the hint of this at the end of book 2, but actually it works well enough, with added ‘people drama’ from the lives of the main cast to round out the story. Classic King this is not, but it was an enjoyable enough read, albeit not one that’s going to linger with you for long.

Hardback: 354 pages (several subdivided parts, plus ‘interludes’)
First published: 2016
Series: Bill Hodges trilogy book 3
Read from 3rd-10th August 2016

My rating: 6.5/10 – disposable beach read


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