End of Watch is the third book in Stephen King’s trilogy about retired detective Bill Hodges, his partner Holly Gibney, and college student Jerome Robbins. In Mr. Mercedes, Hodges and his friends stop Brady Hartsfield from committing another mass murder when Holly brains him with a sock filled with ball bearings, leaving Brady in a coma and ostensibly a vegetable. Finders Keepers doesn’t feature much of Brady, as Hodges, Holly, and Jerome solve a mystery involving rare books and a teenage boy. Brady is back front-and-center in End of Watch, finding new ways to get back at Hodges for preventing him from carrying out his plans and leaving him in his current state.
Hodges has never believed Brady is a incapacitated as he claims to be, but agrees to stop visiting him in the hospital and move on with his life. But when the surviving victims of the Mercedes killer begin committing suicide, Hodges is pretty sure Brady is involved. Hodges also gets some news about his health that makes him realize his own future is in question, and relies even more heavily on Holly and Jerome to help him stop Brady.
The first two books in the series, Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers (linked to my reviews), are the latest in King’s new territory of crime stories, and End of Watch brings back his more well-known genre of the supernatural, with Brady’s ability to control both people and objects from his hospital bed without moving a muscle. This is absolutely a trilogy and reading the first two books is a requirement for understanding and enjoying the concluding novel.
End of Watch drags a bit at times, and I felt Mr. Mercedes was by far the best of the three books, but this is an enjoyable and satisfying conclusion to the Bill Hodges Trilogy.
Notes on the audiobook: Will Patton narrates this book, as he did the other two in the series. I enjoy especially his depiction of Holly’s voice and mannerisms and he does a great job of keeping the suspense level high.