Bill Hodges Trilogy, Book 2
Synopsis: The genius is John Rothstein, an iconic author who created a famous character, Jimmy Gold, but who hasn’t published a book for decades. Morris Bellamy is livid, not just because Rothstein has stopped providing books, but because the nonconformist Jimmy Gold has sold out for a career in advertising. Morris kills Rothstein and empties his safe of cash, yes, but the real treasure is a trove of notebooks containing at least one more Gold novel.
Morris hides the money and the notebooks, and then he is locked away for another crime. Decades later, a boy named Pete Saubers finds the treasure, and now it is Pete and his family that Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson must rescue from the ever-more deranged and vengeful Morris when he’s released from prison after thirty-five years.
Review: Stephen King’s new book tells the story of a young boy Peter Saubers who accidentally discovers a trunk filled with money but mostly notebooks containing the notes of an author who died several years earlier, John Rothstein. Where do these black notebooks come from and why were they buried near his house? We discover it little by little by learning the details of Morris Bellamy’s life, an obsessive fan of the author, who killed him for several reasons. The main reason is that Morris was disappointed with the storyline described for Jimmy Gold, Morris’s absolute hero. He wants to take revenge and to know the future of his hero, since Rothstein has decided to retire and not to offer his books.
This new book offers both an interesting thriller and a vision pushed to the extreme of the notion of fan (or obsessional fan). The two heroes (Pete and Morris) of this book are a little alike but will not make the same choices and one of them will resist and survive. It should also be noted that this book is the sequel of Mr Mercedes since we find some characters from the previous story and that the chronology of Black Carnets happens after the one of Mr Mercedes. However, this book can be read independently.
I had a good time with this book, but nothing happen much in 600 pages. For me, not one of the best of Stephen King, although the author may be more concentrated on the psychological aspect of the obsessive fan who can kill for books for a story that does not please him. The book is interesting on this aspect and gives an overview of the descriptive power of the author to feel the sensations and atmosphere: we are clearly caught in the story. A little more action would have pleased me though.