End of Watch (2016) – Stephen King

The final novel in the Bill Hodges trilogy, End of Watch, adds a bit of the supernatural flavour that King is known for as Brady Hartsfield, the Mercedes Killer from Mr. Mercedes returns for a final confrontation with retired police detective Hodges, his partner Holly Gibney, and their friend Jerome.

The thread of material woven into the tapestry of the middle novel, Finders Keepers, pays off here as Brady, who has been stuck in a wheelchair, and supposedly in a diminished mental capacity, is revealed to have been experimented on by his doctor with unapproved drugs, and perhaps that combined with the blow Gibney delivered him has given him an unusual ability.

An ability he plans to use to continue his original plan, to kill as many people as he can by making them commit suicide.

Hodges and the gang aren’t quite sure they believe what is happening, but they are determined to stop Brady once and for all. But Hodges has a bit of a ticking clock, a biological one, as he gets some terrible news from the doctor.

King, as can be expected, keeps the story moving fast and furious, letting us spend time with each of the characters as they race toward an inescapable climax. King combines his police thriller with a hint of horror as Brady’s plan is revealed.

Hodges is a great character, but Holly proves herself to be the real favourite of the trilogy, something that King recognized as well, bringing her into The Outside, a great read, and If It Bleeds, a novella collection that I’ll have to dig into soon as King’s next novel, Holly, is all about her.

The supernatural aspects of the story combine nicely with the rest of the story, and the way King conjures them is almost as captivating and hypnotic as the thought fish that Brady uses to entrap his victims.

Scrolling back through the site, I’ve seen that I’ve read, and reviewed, thirty-nine books/short stories/novellas by King. That means I’ve read a huge chunk of what he’s written, and the list is getting shorter of material to dive into but I love and have enjoyed every single thing he’s written.

Yes some are better than others, but he’s still a fantastic author, and I will happily follow Uncle Steve down any storytelling rabbit hole he guides me to. Now, to figure out what book of his to dive into next, but I know that King will treat me right no matter what one I choose.

Thank you for everything Mr. King.


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