Stephen King is arguably one the best writers in the world today, entertaining and frightening generations of readers with his numerous works, many of which have found their way into successful film and TV adaptations. His thrillers keep us on tenterhooks, be it about girls with amazing powers, haunted hotels or a very dangerous dog. His status as a prolific author and his ongoing support for aspiring writers continue to inspire us.
One of King’s latest books, Finders Keepers, is the sequel to the acclaimed Mr Mercedes – the first book in Stephen’s new crime series. This novel deals with the possible implications of fame, obsession and desire. Some authors, including King, have experienced stalking and even assault from crazed fans.
John Rothstein is a famous writer. He’s up there in the American literary canon with the likes of Salinger, O’Connor and Vonnegut. But fame has its downsides: John Rothstein is also a murdered writer. Morris Bellamy kills him out of obsession with Rothstein’s Jimmy Gold novels. He is even more attached to the hero Jimmy Gold himself, whose story is a rather dull one in Rothstein’s third novel The Runner Slows Down. Bellamy steals the unpublished Jimmy Gold manuscripts along with Rothstein’s money and hides them. But while Bellamy is in prison for committing another crime, young Peter Saubers discovers the concealed articles.
Peter is an English whiz at high school, with hopes to become an academic in the field of literature. His parents Tom and Linda Saubers are struggling to make ends meet after the unemployed Tom is injured in a job fair. After Peter finds Bellamy’s hidden stash, he makes use of the money to help his family. As he delves into Rothstein’s notebooks, his enthusiasm for literature grows.
The time comes when Bellamy enters the world after decades of imprisonment. He’s even more determined to get his hands on his hoard of Rothstein’s paraphernalia. With Bellamy on the prowl, the retired detective Bill Hodges and his colleagues Holly Gibney and young Jerome Robinson must work together to save Peter, his sister Tina, and the Saubers family from danger.
This novel, written in third person omniscient, comprises three parts; the last two are set in the present. King’s writing is to the point, with contemporary pop culture references and interesting novel snippets. It isn’t exactly a Richard Montanari or Patricia Highsmith novel, but it bears enough tension and action for a satisfying read. Any bibliophile would enjoy this book about books written by the literary king himself.
Reviewed by Azariah Alfante.
by Stephen King
Published by Hachette New Zealand