by Stephen King
Published by Hodder & Stoughton, 2015.
What’s the point of reviewing a Stephen King novel? C’mon you’ve heard of the guy right and you’ve probably already decided that you either like or dislike his writing. You’ve probably already read something by him, or know someone who has. I mean 350 million of his books have been read by someone, that’s nearly as many as have read Dean Koontz!
But that’s the point, it’s easy to become complacent. I’m sure it would be easy for King to put his slippers on and produce a book every few years and it would be easy for us, as readers, to not really care. Those who like his books will carry on buying everything and those who don’t will keep on assuming that they know him as a writer and miss out on all the fun.
The good news is that Stephen King, does not appear to be a pipe and slippers kind of guy, so he keeps producing. The even better news is he keeps producing fantastic fiction. This book is a case in point and within these pages is the secret to King’s drive and, I suspect, that of many of his readers, the love of books.
Finders Keepers is the second part of a trilogy that King started last year with Mr Mercedes. It’s almost a standalone but some of the characters in this novel were also characters in that first book and the events from there have shaped them. I suspect some of them will also be turning up in book three (End of Watch) when it’s published.
In Finders Keepers we meet renowned author John Rothstein and his number one fan Morris Bellamy. Morris feels betrayed by Rothstein over the treatment of his main character Jimmy Gold and is desperate to get his hands on Rothsteins collection of notebooks which may reveal further tales of Jimmy. Sounds a bit like Misery? It’s not, it may have a similar theme but it’s a very different book.
So begins a rip-roaring plot with twists and turns aplenty. What could have been a fairly standard heist novel becomes a novel about obsession and the power of literature, “his work changed my heart” explains one of the characters. It also explores the dark places that lurk in all of us or as King describes the mind, “deep below that rational part is an underground ocean…where strange creatures swim.”
There are tiny hints of supernatural happenings but really the book is rooted in crime. Horror comes from the characters and their actions, there are no ghosts or even scary clowns but the book is still horrific in places. The last fifty or so pages shreds the reader’s nerves with cliffhangers and twists that have us shouting at the characters, “no don’t do that, can’t you see what will happen?”
So you may have already made your mind up about King. If you love his work you will love Finders Keepers, if you don’t then lay down your preconceptions, set aside your genre prejudices, read this and enjoy a good story because that’s why we are all here, author and readers, the love of a good story.
Rating 5 out of 5