The first part of this book introduces us to one of our narrators and lead characters. Interestingly it doesn’t touch on ‘the institute’ at all. I’d read the backcover blurb and wondered what on earth disgraced-but-heroic cop Tim Jamieson had to do with gifted kids being kidnapped in Maine but Stephen King is such a masterful storyteller I didn’t really care. I was happy to read about Tim hitch-hiking to DuPray, South Carolina and the people he met along the way, as well as the way he settled into the local community on his arrival.
Stephen King is a very gifted writer. I suspect I – and many others – have been distracted over the years by his plots and quirky / endearing / just pure evil characters… that it’s easy to forget how effortlessly engaging his writing can be.
It was something that struck me most in his new novel, The Outsider, which is predominantly centred around new character and local cop Ralph Anderson, although King later introduces Holly Gibney – who regular readers met in the Mr Mercedes / Finders Keepers / End of Watch series.
I missed the first in this Stephen King trilogy. Mr Mercedes received great reviews which tempted me (after a long break from King’s fiction) to read the second in the series, Finders Keepers.
I mostly enjoyed Finders Keepers and you can check out my review here, but… without the Mr Mercedes backstory I failed to really engage with Bill Hodges and his cohorts – who entered the Finders Keepers plot when I was already well and truly settled in with its main protagonist, young Peter Saubers and his family.
End of Watch seems to return to where Mr Mercedes left off, but interestingly, provides a really good recap of the key points of the original. So I enjoyed it a lot.