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End of Watch (2016)

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,1571105,191 (3.95)124
"The spectacular finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes (winner of the Edgar Award) and Finders Keepers--In End of Watch, the diabolical "Mercedes Killer" drives his enemies to suicide, and if Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don't figure out a way to stop him, they'll be victims themselves. In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room. Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney--the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill's heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city. In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the heart-pounding, supernatural suspense that has been his bestselling trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and chilling suspense. No one does it better than King"-- "A fabulously suspenseful closing volume--Brady Hartsfield, the Mercedes killer Stephen King introduced in his Edgar award winning first book in the trilogy, returns to diabolically drive his victims to suicide in this last, masterful installment starring the ever more winning Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney"--… (more)
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English (101)  Italian (2)  French (1)  Piratical (1)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (109)
Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
Holly Gibney, will we ever see you (or hear from you) again? ( )
  Mona07452 | Oct 23, 2020 |
King has written a lot of books. But compared to Dean Koontz he's a slowpoke. Koontz has written some 90-100 novels compared to lazybones King's 60. Does King need to pull his finger out? Dickens was as popular, with all classes, during his lifetime as King is now. Among the poor and illiterate, they would all chip in get someone who could read to read aloud to them from his serialized novels. He went on tours to the U.S. where he was popular and did public readings to the point that it damaged his health.

We could start with - what is 'serious' literature when it's at home? Can anyone actually give a definitive answer? As a reader of hundred thousand of books of all kinds, I can honestly say that some of the more 'earnest' and lauded classics I have tried have turned out to be turkeys, whilst others are treasures. I guess it's all in the eyes of the beholders? And - I can't help wondering - if 'serious' literature is as serious and important as it apparently is to you, how could a populist writer like King be any kind of threat to it, which is what you seem to be saying? Answers on a postcard please.

So many wonderful days and nights spent in this author's labyrinthine imagination, unable to put the blasted book down. Fuck the pseudo intellects decrying his urge to attempt impress us with verbiage, or clunky flourishes from a thesaurus stolen from the Uni they flunked out of. King honoured that timeless tradition of storytellers who weave out an opening line, set the stage, draw you closer to the campfire and by god, you're theirs till the dawn breaks. Too bad this installment of the Bill Hodges is really crap. No “clunky flourishes”; just plain clunky prose...

I’m glad Stephen King hasn’t gone down the James Patterson road. I have read two Patterson’s books, and I finally stopped when in several books the bad guy was always super rich, super handsome with a beautiful wife two great kids and a family dog. Just a penchant for killing folk...If King ever does this I’ll stop reading his stuff altogether. ( )
  antao | Aug 20, 2020 |
Well this was a great conclusion to the trilogy. I really enjoyed book one, see Death Comes in a Car... Again and felt underwhelmed by book two, see If Misery and Carrie Had a Baby. The final book found it's footing and I was happy to see that the fabulous trio of Bill, Holly, and Jerome rode off into battle once again. That said, the reason why I only gave this four stars was the pacing problems of the book. Anytime the book transitioned over to Brady Hartsfield (still hate him, he's up there with It for me for most loathed villain in the Stephen King book) the book slowed down. I also felt like King took way too much time to show what happened to Brady and what he did. I wanted to get back to Bill, Holly, and Jerome.

This book begins with another perspective of what happened when the Mercedes Killer drove and killed several people at a job fair. The perspectives that we get are of the emergency responders to the scene. I have to say that my stomach turned all over again. We then transition to the present time with Bill going to the doctor's waiting on an appointment. Bill is happy with his investigation agency (Finders Keepers) and with his new partner Holly. Though he still thinks about Brady Hartsfield, he has put him behind him for the most part. Brady rushes back into the forefront though when Bill and Holly are called to a scene of a murder suicide by Bill's ex-partner Pete.

I liked Bill a lot more in this one. Probably because he was pretty much absent for book #2 since that one chose to focus more on Pete and his family. We have Bill in the driver's seat for most of this except when we transition to secondary characters and to Brady Hartsfield. I think Bill is content, happy with where he is, and glad to have Holly and Jerome. There is also something also going on with Bill, and I am glad that King didn't feel the need to drag that out at all. It gave more poignancy to the story and honestly, I thought that King was going to end the book differently, but was thrilled with how he chose to end it.

I do like Holly as a character, but her need to say "fracking" and "fracking poopy" started to wear thin on me about halfway through. I started having flashbacks to "The Stand" and Tom Cullen and that was not a place I wanted to think too hard about at this point. Holly is still the smartest person in the room, and I loved how her and Bill's relationship has grown. I also love that King didn't have them be a couple, they are just a true partnership/friendship.

Jerome comes in late to the story, but still an integral piece and I love the way that he worked seamlessly with Holly and Bill. Though Jerome is off to college, he's still a core member of the group and he and his family were the ones I was most worried about while reading.

Brady Hartsfield still can go kick a lot of rocks. I think one of the reasons why I hate this character so much is because he feels so familiar in this day in age in America. We are dealing with daily reminders of Brady Hartsfield stand-ins who think like Brady that all black people are disgusting, are awful, are "n" the fact that he started that talk up again made me grind my teeth. He is also the most entitled character I can recall coming across in a King book since the Crimson King. Hartsfield shows no remorse for anything he has done and wants to cause more havoc because how dare some shitty cop and some black boy be behind taking him down. I have never rooted so hard for a bad end to a fictional character before.

King is a master at getting you to care about his characters and also feeling leery cause you know he loves making you weep like a lost child when a bad end comes there way (looking at you The Dark Tower),

The secondary characters introduced or revisited in this one are done well too. I wish that we hadn't spent as much time with some like Doctor Babineau and Library Al because I really didn't like how much time they were taking away from the fabulous trio (what I call Bill, Holly, and Jerome in my head). It was great though to see how King worked in Jerome's sister Barbara and others like Bill's ex-partner. This whole book circles back in a lovely way to book #1.

I thought the writing was great per usual. I loved the dialogue between characters. I was not thrilled with the repetitiveness with Holly's language though (see above). I will say that I thought the whole way that King tied technology with Brady just didn't quite pass the smell test for me. The same issue that I had with that is the same issue I had while reading "Cell", meaning I don't think that works the way that you think it works. For the purposes of the story I just hand-waved it away because I wasn't in the mood to work out why what King was proposing could never happen. It was easier to just go with it.

The flow as I already said wasn't great. It only got wonky (don't care if it's not a word) when we revisited what happened to Brady or shifted the focus over to him to present day doings. He's also a repugnant little shit so there was some distaste happening for me that had me rushing through his scenes as much as possible.

The setting of "End of Watch" doesn't really have one core place. The book goes from place to place and back again. I think since King focused so much on the technology aspect something was bound to give and it was that for this book. King is a master of describing places and setting the scene for readers. So I wish we had more of that in this book.

The ending. Man oh man, let's just say I cried. Like bawled like a baby around 2 a.m. I sniffed and went and read some Tom Hardy and decided I didn't hate myself quite that much and went to bed. King guts you and if you are a Constant Reader like me, you keep coming back for it, even though you know it's not going to end well for you. I really hope that we get to see more of these characters in future King books. What am I saying, of course we will. King is great about that. All in all, what a great conclusion to this trilogy. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Computer whiz kid
now a psychic hypnotist
not bad for a gork. ( )
  Eggpants | Jun 25, 2020 |
Well, it looks like SK has gone back to his roots in this one, and far from complaining, I had a great time.

Mind you, it wasn't the plot or the supernatural element that I loved, although the development and the execution were interesting, very Shocker-like.

Instead, I liked the characters. If you don't like the characters, you won't like these books. Bill, the Ret-Det, and Holly, his Lisbeth Salander partner make up the bulk of this one, making a full circle back to the first book and firmly casting these as a solid and non-continuing series, not only continuing the story of the Mercedes Killer but following Bill to his natural end.

BUT, lest this review devolve into a "I like it, damnit," gonzo thing, I should bring up that it does some really solid justice to a really big issue.

Suicide.

Oddly enough, what felt like a cliche in the first book turned into something a lot more complicated and terrifying in the third. Let's take it supernatural. Let's make it a bit sick. This is King, after all. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Get me a gun
Go back into my room
I'm gonna get me a gun
One with a barrel or two
You know I'm better off dead than
Singing these suicide blues.
--Cross Canadian Ragweed
Dedication
For Thomas Harris
First words
It's always darkest before the dawn.
Quotations
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Et savoir que quelqu'un a besoin de nous est une chose merveilleuse. Peut-être la chose la plus merveilleuse.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

"The spectacular finale to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Mr. Mercedes (winner of the Edgar Award) and Finders Keepers--In End of Watch, the diabolical "Mercedes Killer" drives his enemies to suicide, and if Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don't figure out a way to stop him, they'll be victims themselves. In Room 217 of the Lakes Region Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, something has awakened. Something evil. Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room. Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney--the woman who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill's heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city. In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the heart-pounding, supernatural suspense that has been his bestselling trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and chilling suspense. No one does it better than King"-- "A fabulously suspenseful closing volume--Brady Hartsfield, the Mercedes killer Stephen King introduced in his Edgar award winning first book in the trilogy, returns to diabolically drive his victims to suicide in this last, masterful installment starring the ever more winning Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney"--

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