Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges #2) by Stephen King
Don’t worry: This review doesn’t contain any spoilers for this book or the first one in the series.
The only reason I picked up this book was because I heard it was much better and much different from the first book in the series. If you’re interested in what I thought of Mr. Mercedes (spoiler alert I didn’t like it) then you can check out my review here.
I don’t really care for detective novels, and that’s essentially what Mr. Mercedes is. So, I didn’t have high hopes for this one. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by Finders Keepers.
The story follows two main characters: our villain Morris Bellamy, and our hero (of sorts) Pete Saubers. Our villain is one jackass of a psychopath. He is obsessed with the Johnny Gold book trilogy by John Rothstein, and is pissed about how it ends. Not only so, but Rothstien hasn’t published anything in eighteen years.
As an obsessed psycho-fan, Bellamy breaks into Rothstein’s home, robs him, and kills him. He not only gets money from the old man, but he get dozens of notebooks of unpublished works. Maybe Johnny Gold’s story isn’t over yet after all…
Bellamy manages to hide the money and the notebooks before he gets put in jail for an unrelated crime. He’s behind bars for 35 years with only the thought of those notebooks keeping him going. When he is released, it turns out the notebooks weren’t exactly waiting for him.
In steps our hero. Pete Saubers’ family is going through a rough patch. He stumbles across a buried trunk filled with money and mysterious notebooks. Perhaps he can solve his family’s troubles and keep them together.
The “main character” Bill Hodges is barely in this book at all. It’s not about him. It’s about Pete and Bellamy and obsession. And honestly, I think that’s why I liked it so much.
Morris Bellamy is a disgusting person, but a really interesting character. He takes fanboying to the next level, thinking that Rothstein owes him and that he failed Johnny Gold. He is clearly a psychopath. It’s great. It really makes me want to finally check out King’s other obsessive fan in Misery.
Peter is just an innocent kid who stumbles upon a buried treasure. He wanted to help his family and he did the best he could. Unfortunately, that puts him (and his family) in the crosshairs of a murderous psychopath.
You don’t need to read Mr. Mercedes to enjoy this one. I didn’t think I would read this whole “trilogy” but I think I might pick up The End of the Watch to see how King ties it all together. Maybe I’ll hate it like the first. Or, maybe (hopefully) it will be another pleasant surprise.