Stephen King – End of Watch

First off, let me say how much of a fangirl I am of Stephen King’s writing.  I can’t say of the man because I have never actually met him, but his writing – OMG!!  I discovered Mr. King in the fall of 1984.  I was in school and found his book, IT, in the school library.  It was a hardcover without a dust jacket.  It was gray all over with IT in red letting that looked almost slashed into the cover.  I was intrigued as I had not read a horror story before – the book cover gave no clue what genre it was and I didn’t bother to look at the inside of the book.

Anyway, I started reading the book, and I couldn’t put it down.  I read it far past my bedtime, I read it during lunch at school and even in some of my classes when I got my work done early.  It took me three days to read the entire book and from then on, I was hooked.  My second book by him was Carrie as I wanted to start from the beginning.

Now, almost 34 years later, I am still a major fan of his work, and the most recent book of his I have read is called End of Watch.

From the moment I opened the book and began to read, I was hooked.  Just like with It, I couldn’t put the book down!  Unlike IT, it took me less than 24 hours to read it from cover to cover. I was disappointed not to see the Dear Reader missive I’ve gotten used to seeing at the end of the book – there was Author’s Note instead.  Ah well, things do change….

End of Watch is related to two other books written by Mr, King: Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers.  It brings the story thread full circle in fact, and the ending is one you should definitely get to.

The main bad guy in this book is Brady Hartsfield, a major psycho if ever there was one.  The good guys are Retired Detective Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney with some help from Jerome Robinson.  Mr. King has fleshed out these characters so well you loathe the bad guy and really dig the good guys.  I actually cried about one of them, and I don’t usually cry over fictional characters so kuddos to you Mr. King.

Brady is a mass murderer who killed 8 people with a car and injured quite a few more in the first book to introduce him.  Holly stops him from killing hundreds more using a bomb by smacking him in the head with a sock containing ball bearings – big ones.  In this book, Brady has learned how to leave his wasted body and “ride” along inside of other people’s brains.  He’s also learned a lot about mind control and hypnosis.  Combining all this, he plans to kill a whole lot more people – kids mostly – and not get blamed for it.  He is the “prince of suicide” after all.

Bill has retired from the police force since Brady was captured, survived a heart attack and opened up a detective agency with Holly.  Now, he’s been told he has pancreatic cancer, and it’s pretty bad.  Once people who survived Brady’s rampage with the car begin committing suicide, he thinks of Brady right away.  He puts off treatment of his condition until he finds a way to stop the once perceived brain dead man with the help of Holly and Jerome.

The story is often fast paced with heart pounding action Mr. King is wonderful at creating!  The feasibility of what he proposes could happen is what is more frightening than anything else in the book.  Violence is a bit graphic but not unduly so – be fair warned.  The book, as a whole, is happily fantastic and well worth reading!

As usual, don’t take my word for it.  Read it, or not, as you wish.  I know there are some people out there who don’t like Mr. King’s writing (oh say it isn’t so!!), and that’s their prerogative.  I’m not a literary expert or anything and even if I was, you should make up your own mind and not follow what everyone else thinks.  You can miss out on a lot of fun experiences that way.

Thus ends my review, I’ll see you all on the flipside.  Don’t forget your towels or your sonic screwdriver – someone may need a bureau made at them! 🙂

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