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Critiquing the master… End of Watch by Stephen King

I was a reader before I was a writer. One can’t read as much as I do without being at least slightly familiar with the great Stephen King. For the record, my favorite of his fifty-five novels is his auto-biography, On Writing; A memoir of the craft. That book isn’t like his others as it is about his life, his struggles and successes (not as horrifying as the stories he creates, but truly sometimes facts are stranger than fiction). The story of his life changed my life, literally, but that’s not this review…

Stephen King’s most recent read is End of Watch. The third and final book of a series featuring Detective Bill Hodges (Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers.) Without creating a spoiler alert, I’m a suicide survivor. Anyone who has lived through losing a loved one in that way knows the pain. It’s as if a grenade exploded in your family, really, like no other grief. Oddly this novel was a comfort to me. The idea of a diabolical mastermind, (Brady AKA the Mercedes Killer) controlling the victims, tricking them into taking their lives is a nicer idea than my loved ones doing it themselves. The way the master of suspense sets up his scenes leaves the reader believing (as always). This has been a problem of mine when I listen to Stephen King’s books on audio, (one morning-listening to Cell if I remember right-I missed my exit by about twenty-five miles before I snapped back into the real world as asked myself, “where the hell am I?”) I think we come to expect that with Mr. King’s terror tales. Full immersion.

End of Watch is a classic Stephen King suspenseful thriller. It leaves the reader on the edge of their seats and wanting more. (And at the same time screaming silently, ‘make it stop’). The characters are likable and believable as ever. It’s a picture-perfect ending for the Hodges trilogy. Another home run, damn impressive Mr. King! Thumbs up. Highly recommend.