Novels often reawaken memories and offer a bridge from our personal experiences straight into the lives of fictional characters and plots. This recently happened to Missourian proofreader Kathryn Branson, a former funeral director and embalmer. Today she offers her take on “Mr. Mercedes,” the newest release by the ever-popular and prolific Stephen King. (Editor's note, Chris Stuckenschneider)
I had just finished backing the hearse into the garage. It was very, very early in the morning, and my mother would say I had “no wind in my sails.” My sails were furled, not even ready for the wind.
It was my own fault. I had read late into the night and the phone that clamored for my attention at 1:15 a.m. was, to say the least, a rude awakening.
Trying to shake off my fatigue, I climbed out of the driver's seat and closed the garage door.
In the overhead lights, the hearse's windshield was black and the cooling engine was making its “click-click, click-click” sound. The novel from last night became real. My hearse had the look, sound and malevolence of “Christine.”
That one early morning sealed in my mind what I already thought about Stephen King's writing. He has the sort of genius that can turn the ordinary into the macabre.
In “Mr. Mercedes” readers will meet Retired Detective Bill Hodges, Jerome, Olivia, Janey and Brady under the blue umbrella.
This is no whodunit. We know that. It's the inner demons, the behind-the-scenes look into the lives and circumstances of the characters, the seemingly ordinary people caught up in the lives of all affected by one madman whose own history is full of twisted experiences.
This book is about our current world with all of its bad news. It keeps the reader full of anticipation, at times full of dread, for what could happen next.
Get behind the wheel, but be sure to fasten your seat belt. “Mr. Mercedes” is one hell of a ride.