I had no plans to pick this book up because I was so disappointed in Mr. Mercedes, the first book in the trilogy. (You can read my Goodreads review of that book here.) My major complaint with that book was its blandness; it just felt incredibly forgettable to me. Not so with Finders Keepers. In this story we have a much more multifaceted plot and, even better, a plot that revolves around books!
I’m a huge sucker for books about books. Even though Finders Keepers is at its core a suspense and a crime drama, fiction played a huge role in the story. A Salinger-esque author has hidden himself from the world, but continues to handwrite more stories and poems and essays, locking the notebooks away in his safe instead of sharing them with the public. When he’s murdered and the notebooks go missing, the author becomes even more cloaked in mystery.
These missing notebooks mean radically different things to our two main perspective characters. For Pete, they’re a godsend during a massive rough patch in his family’s life. They found within him a passionate love for literature and alter the course of his life in more ways than one. For Morris, these notebooks are an obsession, and he has no qualms about killing whoever stands between him and the objects of that obsession. I think King did a great job of drawing a line between a healthy passion for books and an unhealthy obsession. I love books, but I’ve never for a moment actually thought they were more important than real people. That knowledge is what separates Pete’s views of the books from Morris’s.
I even enjoyed Hodges and his little team more in this book than I did in Mr. Mercedes. But Pete was definitely my favorite character. He was very multifaceted and sympathetic, and I rooted for him through the entirety of the novel.
My only real complaint with this book is that some of the twists were blatantly obvious far before their reveal. It seems to me that when King writes a story without supernatural elements it often falls a bit flat compared to his other stuff. There was a hint of supernatural in the very last chapter of this book, which I’m sure was to pave the way for the final book in the trilogy. While I did enjoy Finders Keepers much more than Mr. Mercedes, it still just didn’t resonate with me as much as many of his other books. This trilogy feels more like a popular suspense series written by another author than it does a work from King. That being said, I will definitely still be reading End of Watch.
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