Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King. A suprb thriller.

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

 

The Sunday Express said that this novel, Mr Mercedes by Stephen King, was’the best thriller of the year’.

Stephen King has written over fifty worldwide best-selling books. Mr Mercedes was the first novel of his to feature the character, Bill Hodges.

Several of Stephen Kings books have been made into films such The Shawshank Redemption.

King was shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Mr Mercedes and won the prestigious Edgar Award for best novel for it. Mr Mercedes was also awarded the Goodreads Choice Award for the Best Mystery and Thriller of 2014.

Stephen King has also been awarded the National Book Foundation Medal, the National Medal of Arts and the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

No doubt, like many police officers Bill Hodges, cannot forget the cases that he couldn’t close. One particularly unpleasant case remains at the forefront of his mind. Early one morning at the opening of a jobs fair, eight people in the line-up of hundreds were killed.

They were killed by a madman who drove a stolen Mercedes into them. The deceased just wanted to improve their lives and the lives of their families on that morning and yet, their lives would cease that fateful day.

The horror of that day and the killer at large haunts Hodges. Then one day the fire is re-ignited in him. He receives a letter from someone claiming to be the killer. He says he will kill again.

Bill Hodges had never liked to see a criminal get away with a crime. He was intent that this killer would not repeat his crime, retirement or no retirement, he was going to get him!

Brady Hartsfield is intent on killing again, taunting Hodges just adds some spice to the event.  This time he is intent on killing many more.

Hodges and his buddies will do everything they can to catch the killer before it is too late.

This is a beautifully crafted novel with three dimensional characters and a fast paced, page turning plot from one of the masters of the craft.

Take the time to read this novel, Mr Mercedes, you will not be disappointed.

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King is available at World of Books.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown, is a 2003 mystery-detective novel. It tells the story of Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu who investigate a gruesome murder in the Louvre Museum in Paris. It relates to a supposed battle between Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion. The title of the novel relates to the murder victim being found in the Louvre in the Grand Gallery. His body was naked and artificially posed to resemble Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing called, the Vitruvian Man. A pentacle is drawn on the victims chest in his own blood and a cryptic message scrawled beside his body.

The fictional book has been very successful though, it has come in for criticism on many levels.

In a 2008 issue of The Paris Review Umberto Eco said , “Dan Brown is a character from Foucault’s Pendulum! I invented him. He shares my characters’ fascinations—the world conspiracy of Rosicrucians, Masons, and Jesuits. The role of the Knights Templar. The hermetic secret. The principle that everything is connected. I suspect Dan Brown might not even exist.”

During a lecture, the writer Salman Rushdie said, “Do not start me on ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ A novel so bad that it gives bad novels a bad name.”

Stephen Fry has been more vitriolic saying of Dan Brown’s work, “complete loose stool-water” and “arse gravy of the worst kind.” He went on to say, “I just loathe all those books about the Holy Grail and Masons and Catholic conspiracies and all that botty-dribble. I mean, there’s so much more that’s interesting and exciting in art and in history. It plays to the worst and laziest in humanity, the desire to think the worst of the past and the desire to feel superior to it in some fatuous way.”

Stephen King said of Dan Brown’s work that it was like, “Jokes for the John,” calling this level of work the “intellectual equivalent of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.”

The New York Times said the book was “Dan Brown’s best-selling primer on how not to write an English sentence”.

The New Yorker reviewer Anthony Lane said its “unmitigated junk” and described “the crumbling coarseness of the style.”

Among others, linguist Geoffrey Pullum called Brown one of the “worst prose stylists in the history of literature” and saying Brown’s “writing is not just bad; it is staggeringly, clumsily, thoughtlessly, almost ingeniously bad.”

Roger Ebert described it as a “potboiler written with little grace and style,” and then went on to say “I should read a potboiler like The Da Vinci Code every once in a while, just to remind myself that life is too short to read books like The Da Vinci Code.”

The author has also been embroiled in legal battles over alleged plagiarism in two of his novels.

I thought Tom Hanks who played Robert Langdon, Audrey Tautou and Sir Ian McKellen were very impressive in the film and that managed to transform the written work into something quite acceptable.

However, I have to agree with the other detractors as I did feel that the book was surprisingly purile, badly written and I found it quite turgid. Not what I expected. I wouldn’t personally bother reading any others that he writes.

He said of The Bourne Trilogy by Robert Ludlum that, ‘Ludlum’s early books are complex, smart, and yet still move at a lightning pace. This series got me interested in the genre of big-concept, international thrillers.’

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The Da Vinci Code (2 Disc Special Edition) [DVD]


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