Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Posted January 21, 2021 by Amber in Reviews / 0 Comments

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Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers

by Stephen King

Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #2
Publisher: Scribner on June 2, 2015
Genre: Crime, Suspense, Thriller
Target Age Group: Adult
Representation: BIPOC, Black
Content Warnings: Blood, Child Abuse, Cursing, Death, Gore, Gun Violence, Kidnapping, Misogyny, Panic Attacks, Physical Abuse, Violence, Vomit

Rating: ★★

Check out this book on Goodreads or buy the book at Bookshop.org

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.

 

For a book that promised me buried treasure, Finders Keepers was extremely disappointing.

One of the things that made Mr. Mercedes so interesting was the villain.  While I was never keen on Bill Hodges, Brady Hartsfield was twisted and interesting.  A strong King villain. Morris Bellamy… is… not.  His motive was weak and tired.  And while our young POV Pete Saubers had potential to be interesting, I found King’s other young protagonists (Jake Chambers!) to be much more compelling.

Basically, Finders Keepers is tired.  The story offers nothing that other King novels don’t already do better.  There’s a little The Body (Stand By Me, for movie fans) and a lot of Misery in the plot, but without the suspense or intrigue of either.  Bill Hodges, our series lead, doesn’t even appear until at least 70% of the way through the book, and even then, he’s just another one of King’s nondescript cantankerous old white men characters without anything to make him appeal to the reader.  King’s written better villains and better protagonists.

What’s more, for a seasoned writer, it’s disappointing how apparent the second-book-blues are in Finders Keepers.  This book feels very much like a bridge between Mr. Mercedes and End of Watch.  For me, Mr. Mercedes was an average-to-interesting book… and the sheer boredom of Finders Keepers really has me in a place where even Brady Hartsfield’s return in End of Watch can’t tempt me back to finish the series.

The pacing is really rough.  This is a common attribute of King’s books.  We spend the first third of the book getting to know Morris and Pete’s individual histories.  At about 50%, the plot starts moving forward.  A little.  At 70% we have Bill, Holly, and Jerome enter.  All the real action happens in the last 15% of the book, pushed through quickly and tied up in a not particularly satisfying way.  I’m left with a feeling that everyone suffered – myself and the characters alike – for no real purpose here.

And yet, somehow, this is one of King’s short novels.

I suppose King fans should check this one out, and those who really enjoy crime novels.  Personally, I can think of a dozen better recommendations if you’re looking to pick up a Stephen King novel.  And while I don’t read a lot of crime thrillers, I’m sure there are more compelling recommendations out there for those as well.  Finders Keepers is a hard pass.

Ratings Breakdown

Setting: ★★★
Plot: ★★ 1/2
Characters: ★★ 1/2
Writing: ★★ 1/2
Pacing:
Narrator: ★★★
Personal Enjoyment:

2 Star rating

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Code Orange Problematic Author History

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Do you read crime novels?  If so, which are your favorite ones?  What do you like best about the genre?  Let me know in the comments!

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