"Although dazed and still wrapped in a fraying curtain of sleep,
Rothstein knew he was in trouble here. Two words surfaced in his
mind: home invasion. He looked up at the trio that had materialized
in his bedroom, his old head aching (there was going to be a huge
bruise on the right side, thanks to the blood thinners he took), his
heart with its perilously thin walls banging against the left side of
his ribcage. They loomed over him, three men with gloves on their
hands, wearing fall plaid jackets under those terrifying balaclavas.
Home invaders, and here he was, five miles from town."
In the late summer of 2015 I read and reviewed Stephen King's
Mr. Mercedes, the first book in a horror trilogy. I only just got
around to reading the second volume. Believe me when I say it
beautifully lives up to its scary potential.
Author John Rothstein had retired into a reclusive life style
after the response of the world to his Jimmy Gold trilogy was not what
he'd wish for. One night he is awakened abruptly by a trio of masked
men. Two of them are along for what money they can score. For the
third guy it's personal. He resents Rothstein's quitting writing
after having Gold sell out in the third volume.
In addition to money the miscreants discover over a hundred
moleskin notebooks filled in Rothstein's handwriting. Evidently the
author hadn't stopped writing--just sharing his work with the public.
Morris Bellamy, the more literary of the theives, is going to read the
notebooks when they are no longer hot. Only he's a dumbass who does
not let the fact that alcohol gets him in trouble stop hmm from
drinking. He finds himself in prison for a long time.
While he's doing time a boy, Pete Saubers, finds his stash. He
uses the money to help bail his family out of financial crisis mode.
He falls in love with Rothstein's work, well aware he's the only one
besides the author to have read two additional Jimmy Gold novels,
totally unaware that he and his family are in dire danger...
...because Bellamy has been unexpectedly released. He'll do
anything to get back those notebooks he'd waited 26 years to read.
As in Mr. Mercedes, the deepest horror comes not from gore and
guns, but from psychological insight: the laying bare of the rot
behind facades of "normalcy". For me the most chilling paragraph was
a speech by honor student, class vice president, family protector Pete
"That's all true, but Halliday threatening me wasn't the only
reason I wouldn't talk to you. I still thought I had a chance to keep
the notebooks, see? That's why I wouldn't talk to you. And why I ran
away. I wanted to keep them. It wasn't the top thing in my mind, but
it was there underneath, all right. Those notebooks...well...and I
have to say this in the piece I write for The New Yorker...they cast a
spell over me. I need to apologize because I really wasn't so
different from Morris Bellamy."
Readers, you hopefully will be pleased to know that I scored the
third volume in the trilogy (End Of Watch) and plan to read and review
it over Christmas break...
...unless it gets too scary for me to finish, always a
possibility with the offerings of Maine's own master of horror.
On a personal note, I've sent in for the last needed documents for
applying for grad school. I also had the wonderful chance to meet
with Elizabeth Allan to talk to her about the program. I'm even more
determined to get in. I know how to make sure no one will regret
A great big shout out goes out to all who are helping and encouraging
me to follow my dream.
Sent from my iPod