Finders Keepers

     Finders Keepers - Stephen King 5/5


      I started reading Finders Keepers on a Saturday but I couldn't read a lot due to my kids visiting, but on Sunday I started reading it before I went to bed. It was one of those nights when I couldn't go to sleep no matter what I did so I went downstairs for a cigarette and a cup of decaf, and read for two hours. I can't tell you the last time I read a King novel like this. To find two back to back is quite rare. The one thing I kept seeing in reviews is that this is sort of like Misery and that is pure bullshit. Misery is utterly terrifying, and while Finders Keepers does have some terrifying moments these are some misleading comparisons. At its core Keepers is a book about obsession and as I read this I realized that while I kept waiting for King to return to horror that was never going to happen. Everyone changes and evolves. We can't stay in the same place or else we'll grow stagnant and eventually grow bored. While there have been a lot of questionable King releases King was doing what he wanted and if his fan base was willing they went along for the ride. King it seems is sending his critics a message and it's simple. Shit don't mean shit.

     The plot of Keepers seems simple enough and if you need a refresher just go to Goodreads or Amazon and pull the book up. We have two characters who have their own reasons for doing what they did. Pete is trying to keep his family apart while Morris just wants revenge for Rothstein making his favorite character sell out. These two as you can figure are on a collision course and half the fun is getting there. When he wants to, King knows how to tell a good story and the first half moves pretty slowly but King tightens the tension just enough to keep you reading. What is going to happen when Morris gets out of prison and finds that the money and notebooks are gone? King has surpassed Mr. Mercedes with the second half of the story and he has thankfully moved away from the thriller aspect and more into a detective novel, at least that's what I think it is due to the fact that I'm not a big fan of those types of novels.

     I loved how this evolved and if you haven't read Mr Mercedes fear not you don't have too because Finders Keepers is a stand alone novel but be warned there are spoilers that tell you what happened in the first book. You would think these moments would weigh the book down but surprisingly there isn't a lot of filler here. King pretty much stays on course and allows the story to evolve and allows you to connect to the characters. We see Morris as a terrible criminal with no moral compass whatsoever while Pete is just trying to keep his family together. His father was a survivor of the Center City Massacre and the trunk that Morris buries provides just the relief that his family needs. This is a tale of obsession pure and simple. That is what drives this book. We see Morris and Peter obsessed with two different aspects of the same thing and King shows us just how dangerous obsession can be and how it affects these two characters. Morris is a man on a mission and the strength of Finders Keepers is Morris. What lengths will this guy go to get his hands on the notebooks?

     The only aspect of the book that could be considered filler would be the Hodges scenes. Let's be clear here and state that while the book may say the Bill Hodges trilogy this is clearly the Pete and Morris show. Hodges and his crew don't even make an appearance until the second half of the book and it seems to slow the book down a little, but once the focus is back on Pete and Morris its most important characters the book once again picks up. The thing is that  King keeps the story going without boring the piss out of you. I loved Mr Mercedes, but Finders Keepers is a far better book. This is everything the first book could have and should have been had it been a stand alone novel, but being the first book in a trilogy there's a lot to set up and here we just have Morris, Pete, and those pesky notebooks. The fact is that now we find that when he puts his mind to it King can create a novel that creates a lot of tension but if you're not careful it'll snap back and hit you in the face.