Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Book Review: End of Watch by Stephen King

This book is the third in a trilogy following the exploits of retired detective Bill Hodges. The upshot is that this is a well-plotted, functional little detective story. More than the previous two books, this one verges into more typical Stephen King territory what with telekinesis, hypnosis, and even possession. The plot also involves suicide, and it all comes together with an almost audible snap. Yet, in other Stephen King books, there's something more going on. This could've had genuine insights into suicide or old age, but I feel like it's less than the sum of its parts relative to other insightful works like King's Joyland or 11-22-63. The first book in the trilogy, Mr. Mercedes, had some of these insights about the nature of evil, but nothing new on that really comes out here, possibly because the plot gives the villain too much power over his victims. I'd prefer if the victims actually had to be convinced but they are more controlled here. Regardless, King moves the plot along, has enough character moments to keep you invested, and surprises you just enough in the right ways at the right time. If you're pressed for time, I recommend just the first of the three novels here rather than sticking it through to the end, but it's still hard for me to find fault with something so cunningly crafted that it's difficult to find the seams in the story.

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