This week I was up late with Stephen King’s End of Watch, the third book in the Bill Hodges series.
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this book since there were hints about the topic in the last book, Finders Keepers. Bill Hodges returns with his partner in solving crimes, Holly Gibney. We even have a chance to see Jerome Robinson and his sister Barbara.
This book focuses on Brady Hartsfield, the Mercedes Killer from book 1, Mr. Mercedes. Although everyone thinks he’s a vegetable, he’s actually back, and his doctor has been using experimental drugs, which may or may not have enhanced some of his abilities. Now, Hodges has to contend with a psychotic who has special powers–and on top of that, Hodges is having some health problems.
As usual, King makes plenty of pop culture and classic references, like this nod to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein: “I wish you’d died before they brought you in,” Babineau says. His voice is rising, becoming a whine. “Or on the operating table. You’re a Frankenstein.”
“Don’t confuse the monster with the creator,” Brady says.There are even those expected observations about human nature: “Fads sweep through teenagers like a measles epidemic, and from time to time, one of those fads is suicide.”
At the end of the book, King writes: “End of Watch is fiction, but the high rate of suicides…is all too real. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number given in this book is also real. It’s 1-800-273-TALK. If you are feeling poopy (as Holly Gibney would say) give them a call. Because things can get better, and if you give them a chance, they usually do.” This is why King is a favorite writer. He uses his powerful influence for good. How can you not like this guy?