The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ Finders Keepers

Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub ~ Finders Keepers

A Book of the Week Review by Jocelyn

Finders Keepers – Stephen King

Our old friend Det Ret Bill Hodges is back, baby, and better than ever in part two of his planned trilogy, Finders Keepers. Unlike the first book, Mr. Mercedes (reviewed HERE), Bill comes into play here nearly halfway through the book, and while I know there will be some whiners on Goodreads who don’t like it that way, I felt it made the book even stronger.

We open in 1978, that time before iPhones that some of us dimly remember, and reclusive author John Rothstein (think Salinger) is the victim of a home invasion. When the contents of his safe are stolen and Rothstein is murdered, it becomes a notorious unsolved case for decades. Not to us, though, as we are quickly introduced to one Morris Bellamy, an obsessed fan who is intensely disappointed in the path of Rothstein’s central character, Jimmy Gold, an anti-hero who (as Morris sees it) sells out in book three and becomes part of the sheeple.

Morris has masterminded the robbery, and after he and his two idiot partners take off with dozens of handwritten notebooks (the continuation of the Jimmy Gold story??  Dare Morris dream??) and roughly $20,000 in case, Morris takes the time to stop off at a rest stop and brutally murder his two idiot partners. King has some fun here with one of his strengths, describing horrific deaths. That done, Morris buys a trunk and buries the money and notebooks nearby his house.  In short order, he is popped for an entirely different crime and sent off to prison – for a long, long time.  

Meanwhile, we jump to 2009 and meet the Saubers family – dad Tom, mom Linda and kids Pete and Tina.  Tom has lost his job and things are beyond tight.  Linda is even yelling at him about the money he spends on cigarettes down at Zoney’s (and there’s nothing I love more than a book Easter Egg, so the shoutout here to Kelly Braffet’s characters in the incredible Save Yourself had me jumping for joy!). Tom decides to line up with hundreds of others for a job fair, and here his story intersects with the events of Mr. Mercedes as he is badly injured when Brady Hartfield plows into the crowd.

When Pete is out walking one day and happens upon Morris’s treasure chest, it seems at first like a gift from God himself. But when Morris is finally granted parole and comes for what’s his, the treasure chest starts to seem more like a gift from the Devil.

About halfway through the book, Hodges & Co get involved, and that’s great, but they aren’t vital to the story, which is ultimately a cat and mouse (or wolf and kid if you prefer) story between Morris and Pete. To find out who triumphs, you’ll probably need to stay up late turning pages like I did.  I have to say, I’ve ready nearly every Stephen King book there is, and if I have ever had a complaint about his writing, it’s that his endings can sometimes be less strong than the lead-up. Not so with Mr. Mercedes and certainly not so with Finders Keepers either. I am loving this new iteration of King doing more procedural and hard-case stuff – he is having fun and it shows.

The verdict: 4 out of 5 handwritten Moleskine notebooks for this quick-paced yarn!