In Mr. Mercedes (linked to my review), Stephen King continues moving away from horror and into the crime/mystery genre with a story about a rag-tag group of unlikely friends who track down the man who ran over a crowd of job-seekers with a stolen Mercedes. Finders Keepers is the second in a trilogy about Bill Hodges, retired detective turned bounty hunter, his assistant, Holly Gibney, who has come a long way in her interpersonal skills, and neighbor Jerome Robinson, home for the summer from college.
In the year 1978, reclusive author John Rothstein is woken from sleep by 3 intruders. The men, lead by Morris Bellamy, are after the money Rothstein keeps in his safe, but also find another treasure — notebooks that continue the series about Jimmy Gold that made Rothstein famous. Morris buries the notebooks, planning to dig them up when things have calmed down, but lands in jail for an unrelated crime.
Decades later, Pete Sauber finds the buried notebooks and the money. His family has been struggling since his father was hurt in the Mercedes massacre, and the money is just what they need. But when Morris finally gets out of prison, he’s determined to track down his treasure, and it doesn’t take long for the trail to lead to Pete.
Finders Keepers is a little slower than Mr. Mercedes, and the big confrontation felt a little lacking. It also was a bit of a stretch the way Hodges and crew get involved with Pete’s situation. But I liked how the main characters have developed since the end of the first book, and Hodges’ visits to Brady Hartsfield (the driver of the Mercedes) leave me curious as to what will happen in the third book.
Sometimes books in a series can be read stand-alone, without having read prior books. I would not recommend reading Finders Keepers without first reading Mr. Mercedes. The story of how Bill, Holly, and Jerome come together is important, as are the details of the capture of Brady Hartsfield.
Notes on the audiobook: Will Patton continues narrating the series and I continue to enjoy his style. To hear an excerpt from the book, visit the Finders Keepers page at Simon & Schuster.