Guest Post – Caroline Mitchell: Serial Heroes
In a feature I have named Serial Heroes have been asking authors to join me to talk about the books they love to read. I have been looking to learn which books my favourite authors turn to, the characters they love to follow or the series of books that they revisit time and time again.
Yesterday Steven Dunne kicked off this week of guest features and discussed serial killers (one of my favourite topics) and gave special mention to Thomas Harris and Hannibal.
Today I am joined by Caroline Mitchell who has picked out books by the undisputed King of fiction writing:
It may sound like an unusual thing for a crime writer to say, but crime thrillers aren’t my favourite books in the world. Why? Because as a serving police officer, working, writing and reading crime is a bit of a busman’s holiday – so I turn to an author who takes me far away from my everyday life into a world of escapism. I adore Stephen King. He is the master of his craft, and when I reach the end of his novels, I’m quite dazed for a day or two, feeling as if a very good friend has walked out of my life.
I was thrilled to discover one of my favourite books, ‘Mr Mercedes’ is proposed to be a trilogy, and after finishing the second in the series, ‘Finders Keepers,’ I cannot wait for the third.
I was immediately captivated by this series, which is as near as you can come to a crime thriller, without any of the usual supernatural / horror I’ve come to expect from King. But it’s so much more than your normal crime thriller. From his idiosyncrasies to convincing dialogue, King’s characterisations are the best I’ve ever read.
In Mr Mercedes, retired cop Bill Hodges has lost all purpose in life, and contemplates ending his life, until he receives a letter from someone purporting to be the driver of a Mercedes, which has taken the lives of eight people as it ploughed through them as they queued at a job fair. It is a crime that was never solved, and Hodges takes it upon himself (with a little help from his friends) to catch the killer, who taunts him in a cat and mouse game.
We are introduced to villain Brady Hartsfield from the start; a psychotic young man with a very troubled past. King offers us glimpses into his life, and the strange relationship he has with his alcoholic mother. Hodges must race to catch Hartsfield, but in true King style, it is an adrenalin fuelled race to stop the killer determined to take more innocent lives before he is finished.
The next book in the series features Bill Hodges investigating another case, with Holly Gibney and Jerome Robinson, characters we became invested in while reading book one. It was great spending time with them again, although we are focused on an entirely different crime, it is every bit as dangerous, featuring Morris Bellamy, a man fresh from prison, with nothing to lose. It’s a great novel, which I couldn’t put down.
As a writer myself, I sometimes shake my head in awe at King’s work, as he draws me into his stories. He captures humanity like an art form, leaving me completely engrossed. Stephen King has something for everyone, and there’s no better place to start than hopping on board with Mr Mercedes.
Caroline Mitchell’s Amazon page is here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Caroline-Mitchell/e/B00GUUATPU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1462226394&sr=8-2-ent where you can order copies of all her books.
Caroline’s latest book is The Silent Twin (which I scored 5/5 in my recent review), you can order a copy here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silent-Twin-gripping-detective-Detective-ebook/dp/B01BLU0U6G/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
You can find Caroline on Twitter @Caroline_writes or at her own website: caroline-writes.com