Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

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From cliche to a good read…..    ****

 

A retired cop, an old case never solved, a deranged killer still on the loose: all of which spells cliche, except in the hands of a master story teller like King. He creates characters that you can feel for and some you hate, but with both he weaves a plot that keeps you reading. King takes you on a ride of emotions, from laughter, sadness, to feeling just a little uncomfortable with his choices. A book like this makes you reflect on your own beliefs and prejudices.

In reading some of the negative reviews about this novel, King has obviously struck a nerve in many readers. His stretching of what is considered PC and his viewpoints on life have been met with quite a range of responses. My thought is if a book makes you think or makes you just a tad bit uncomfortable all the better. Reading is designed to expand our minds and expose ourselves to a variety of ideas.

If you are looking for a King story about the supernatural or horror this is not it. What we have here is a master using his skills to keep us entertained, to give us an insight on just how deranged some people can be, and to give us a mirror to reflect on the world we live in.

No, it is not as good as “The Stand” (his best), but far above “Under the Dome”. Thank you Mr. King for an enjoyable read!   Four stars on this one.

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Saints in the Shadows: A Mystery of the Mind (The Madame Budska Series)

 

thum         Madame Budska or Maud Strand………  ****

Wow. Sometimes one finds a diamond in the rough. Having been asked to review this book I bought it for my kindle as I was drawn to the description which said it “dabbles in provocative subjects such as psychic phenomena, economics, morality, masochism, color, jazz, history, and a bit of romance with an NYPD detective”.   I was not disappointed.

First, let me talk about the negative aspect of the book. The author would have made this even better with just a bit more editing and maybe one more pass with a copy editor. Each scene change has a heading which in the beginning was distracting but I will say as the story developed this was not as bothersome.

The story itself is gripping and I found it hard to put down. The writer draws you in quickly and at times I forgot I was reading a work of fiction. If you have ever seen a film with a famous actor who makes you forget that you are watching them act, then you know what I mean. The transition from past to present was easy to follow and never “pulled” me out of the story.

The character, Maud Strand, is one I would like to read more about. She seemed to me, to be more interesting than Madame Budska. Based on the title the author seems to disagree, hopefully she will change her mind.

The ending was slightly rushed and left me wondering about what was going to happen to Maud. Maybe it all wrapped up too fast. But I will say I look forward to more books by Alana Cash.  This gets a well earned four stars!

The Cry of the Fish Eagle by Peter Rimmer

41--IxOYqWL           This would be more like the cry for an editor.    *

I had been asked to review this book and a story about Africa sounded intriguing so I bought it for my kindle. Unfortunately I could not finish it. While the story is interesting the writing is so convoluted and disjointed it was almost impossible to follow who was who and exactly what was happening. The passion of the author for his subject does come through but gets overshadowed by the lack of editing. A rewrite with better transitions would make this a readable and enjoyable book.