By: Stephen King
Morris Bellamy’s interest in the retired author, John Rothstein, is nothing short of pure obsession. After an unsatisfying ending to The Runner Trilogy, Morris decides to break into Rothstein’s home to confront him. The encounter turns violent, and Bellamy murders Rothstein in cold blood.
Absconding with the contents of the old writer’s safe, Morris discovers the riches within were far more than he had hoped. The safe contains $20,000 in unmarked bills and over 100 moleskin notebooks possibly containing the redemption of Morris’ favorite character, Jimmy Gold.
However, before he can read them, Morris is arrested for a separate crime. Leaving the notebooks in an undisclosed location, he plans to return to them when he is freed from jail. His identify as Rothstein’s killer remains unknown.
About 40 years later, Pete Saubers’ family struggles with financial insecurity after the Mercedes killer ran over Pete’s father leaving him crippled and addicted to pain medication. His parents argue constantly since his mother is the only one able to bring in money with her low paying teaching position. Whilst escaping one of his parents’ arguments, Pete discovers the money and notebooks. He takes them in the hopes that they will help his family through a difficult time.
Little does he know that the murderous Morris Bellamy will come to collect his treasures and stop at nothing to get it.
Ah, yes. The obligatory book review of Finders Keepers has arrived. If you read my last book review, you know that I have dedicated myself to reading the entire Bill Hodges Trilogy before I can move on to another book.
After the last one, I was skeptical if this decision was a good idea. I am pleased to say that my faith in the series has been somewhat restored thanks to the second book.
If your initial thoughts were, “Huh, this kinda sounds like Misery” until the part I mentioned with the murder of the author…I had the exact same thought when I read the book’s original synopsis (which is different than what I wrote). Was a little worried King was trying to pass off an old idea as a new one, but Finder’s Keepers and Misery are blessedly different.
Additionally, reading this book was the first time I have ever experienced the main character in a series not making an appearance until page 157. The entire first part of the book is back and forth perspectives from Pete to Morris, which was honestly awesome. The time jumps from the 1970s to the early 2010s were engaging and set the tone of the story and characters well. Morris was a developed villain whose motivations could be understood, and Pete was just a kid who was trying to help his family. Most people probably would have done what he did at age 13.
Morris is, flat-out, a significantly better villain than Brady Hartsfield was in the first book. However, Brady makes his own appearance in the second book that leads me to believe he may be an even better villain in the finale of the trilogy…really strange. They are leap-frogging each other. Either way, I hope I’m right and the third book ends up being the best and also brings back the paranormal elements that have been sorely lacking in these last two books. King does paranormal horror better than realistic thriller based on what I’ve read so far of his works. I wanna go back to The Outsider level of creepy, the kind that makes me anxious to keep reading.
My main gripe about this book is that Hodges, Jerome, and Holly make almost no difference in the progression of the plot. I thought about the impact they actually had and realized it was minimal. If they had been removed completely from the story, aside from their contributions to the ending, the story would have been nearly unchanged. Personally, I don’t think that’s a great way to write main characters because the main cast is supposed to be whom the story relies on. Here, they barely mattered and that kept this book from being a 5. Improvements could be made.
In fact, I think the story could have been great on its own without being a part of this trilogy at all. Adjustments would just need to have been made to the ending. A tweak here or there would suffice.
Hey, at least Hodges isn’t such a prick anymore now that he’s grown as a character…you know…because 4 years have passed since the first book. Did I forget to mention that?
Overall rating: 4
P.S. I wouldn’t re-read it, but it was decent enough one time through.