Finders Keepers tells the story of Morris Bellamy, a psychotic criminal obsessed with the writings of fictional literary author John Rothstein. Bellamy is creepy and dangerous, but he's never as convincing as Annie Wilkes and the apotheosizing of Rothstein's fictional fiction comes off as pretentious at times.
Still, as with most of King's work, Finders Keepers is a fun ride and hard to put down.
After the first hundred pages or so, the protagonists of Mr. Mercedes get involved and an epilogue sets up End of Watch (forthcoming), which adds a supernatural element that isn't really a part of the first two books in the series.
Revival tells the life story of a rock & roll musician named Jamie Morton from early childhood to his senior years. You get a strong feel for Jamie's first love, his aptitude for music, and his struggles with addiction. As a character study, Revival feels authentic but never really breaks new ground.
Jamie's childhood preacher Charles Jacobs wanders in and out of Jamie's story over the course of the novel. Reverend Jacobs loses faith early on in the story, but he never gives up his obsession with electricity, and each time Jamie meets up with Jacobs, he learns a little more about the mad scientist's latest experiments, non of which really ring true, despite King's huckstering and hand-waving.
And then there's the ending. The ending of Revival would have worked for a 30 minute episode of The Twilight Zone or Creepshow, but in a 400+ page novel, it feels ridiculous. If you really want to know what happens, this spoiler-filled customer review at Amazon sums it up nicely.
I "read" the audiobook, which is narrated by David Morse, who does a fantastic job. I enjoyed the storytelling, but I never felt any tension and I can't think about the ending without shaking my head.
Wow - I am thrilled to have discovered Blake Crouch.
Pines is a great mix of mystery, thriller, horror and sci-fi. If you enjoyed The Dinosaur Four and are looking for something else to read, do yourself a favor and check out Pines. It's a fast, fun thrill ride.
Secret Service agent Ethan Burke wakes up after a car accident in a small Idaho town and spends the next three hundred pages running for his life and learning that things are terribly wrong in the community.
Pines is being adapted for television later this year. If done right, it should feel like Twin Peaks + The Fugitive + The Twilight Zone.
I'm excited to pick up books 2 and 3 of this trilogy, both of which are already out.
Here's to the success of another Colorado author!
Stephen King tries his hand at the detective genre. Like most of his novels, it's an engaging, breezy read.
A psychopath commits a mass murder. The lead cop on the case retires before catching him. Neither one of them can leave things alone.
Mr. King has announced two more books with the same characters.
The Painter by Peter Heller
Heller's follow-up to The Dog Stars is much more of a character study. What makes an artist tic? How do we deal with grief? How do we control our anger, and what happens when it controls us? These questions are asked and explored when Jim Stegner, a reclusive painter with a violent streak, encounters a man beating a horse.
The novel has a slightly open ending and it works perfectly here. You know Jim Stegner so well that you know exactly what happens next.
Also lots of fly fishing. Recommended.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Wow, they drink a lot of coffee in Sweden.
Mikael and Lisbeth, the protagonsists, are compelling, the book does a great job of transporting you to Hedeby Island, and the moments of tension and action are great. However, the many details about the Vanger empire and Swedish financial journalism slow things down a bit.
Should I read the sequels?
My Beloved Brontosaurus by Brian Switek
A fun look at some of the latest science on dinosaurs, including dino sex, feathers, and classification.
Unfortunately, this book does not feature any dinosaur attacks on humans. Recommended nevertheless.
Horns by Joe Hill
The story has fun with the thematic elements, and the morse-coded message discovered near the end packs an emotional wallop.
I do wish that I had gotten a few more answers about how and why this all went down, but the characterization is strong and convincing. Recommended!
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Take McCarthy's The Road and dial back the nihilism by about a third. Add general aviation, Colorado, and a dog. Mix it all up to get The Dog Stars.
Geoff Jones is the author of the sci-fi thriller