End of Watch (Bill Hodges Series #3)

End of Watch (Bill Hodges Series #3)

4.4 34
by Stephen King

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

B&N Reads
Back in 2002, frustrated by his slow recovery from injuries sustained in a horrific accident, Stephen King informally announced his retirement from writing. That quickly proved to be a symptom of depression, and thank goodness, because some of King’s most interesting work has been produced in the last decade and a half—including his Bill Hodges Trilogy, beginning with Mr. Mercedes (which won the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Novel) and followed by Finders Keepers and End of Watch. Read More
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
…the smashing finale of his "Mr. Mercedes" trilogy…[King] just can't help writing like a stone-cold pro…This is his best book since the vastly ambitious Under the Dome (2009), and it's part of a newly incisive, reality-based part of his career. At some point, the phantasmagorical became less central to him than the frightening prospects to be found in the real world. And he uses his ever-powerful intimacy with readers to convey the damage life can wreak.
The New York Times Book Review - Denise Mina
A Stephen King novel is thrilling to read; he's never bound by the parameters of one genre…There are many stereotypical themes and devices in crime fiction: righteous cops shooting a criminal at the novel's end, gender constructs salvaged from another age, invincible heroes and so on. End of Watch is burdened by none of them. It's a great big genre-busting romp, a gloriously fitting end to the Bill Hodges trilogy.
Publishers Weekly
★ 04/25/2016
After two straightforward crime thrillers, MWA Grand Master King (Finders Keepers) torques this third and final novel featuring retired detective Bill Hodges into his trademark terror territory. Hodges has long suspected that Brady Hartsfield, the brain-damaged mass murderer captured at the end of Mr. Mercedes, has been faking his catatonia, and his suspicions are reinforced by rumors circulating in Brady’s hospital ward (in what may be a Midwestern state) that he can move objects telekinetically. The truth is actually worse: with the help of secretly administered experimental drugs and skillfully hacked computer technology, Brady has found a way to project his personality into others and commandeer them as his “organic wheelchairs.” The stage is set for Brady to compel mass suicide among users of a handheld gaming device whose interface he’s hijacked, and to draw out Hodges to settle a personal score. King has dealt before with this novel’s different themes—endowment with dangerous supernatural powers, the zombifying effect of modern consumer electronics—but he finds fresh approaches to them and inventive ways to introduce them in the lives of his recurring cast of sympathetic characters, whose pains and triumphs the reader feels. King’s legion of fans will find this splice of mystery and horror a fitting finale to his Bill Hodges trilogy. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill Literary Agents. (June)
Michael Berry
Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy has proved to be a welcome change of pace for the best-selling Maine author... The wintery, blood-soaked climax of the novel provides a fitting resolution not only to the action at hand but to the trilogy as a whole. King will always be best known for his tales of supernatural horror, but it’s great fun to watch him experiment with form, genre and subject matter. He has more than his fair share of laurels, but he never seems to rest on them. Here’s hoping King can maintain the creative momentum of the Bill Hodges Trilogy as he heads into the next uncharted literary territory.”
USA Today Brian Truitt
“A deliciously savory conclusion to King’s phenomenal hard-boiled Mr. Mercedes trilogy…gripping… as strong a King series as The Dark Tower in terms of characterization and pure storytelling. When it comes to the gumshoe genre, though, fingers crossed King’s not yet closed for business.
The Associated Press Rob Merrill
King works his customary storytelling magic, unspooling the plot threads almost as quickly as readers can turn the pages… If you're wrapping up the trilogy, enjoy. If you're just getting started, you're in for a thrilling ride.”
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Amanda St. Amand
“Keeps readers on edge... King stitches together threads from these events to weave a taut conclusion to the tale of Brady Hartsfield. But — and with King you never know — he does leave open the chance that some of the characters will be back. Because in Stephen King’s world, is anyone ever really gone for good?”
The Seattle Times Doug Knoop
A satisfying conclusion to this crackerjack detective series… As the book’s title suggests, there is finality and loss in the final pages. Readers may find themselves wiping away a few tears as this well-written, involving series comes to an end.”
Newsday John Wilwol
“Outstanding… ‘End of Watch’ gives us King at the height of his powers. Masterfully plotted, the novel is propelled toward its page-blurring conclusion by two deadly forces: Hodges’ advancing disease and Brady’s relentless murderous impulse.”
The Miami Herald Rene Rodriguez
“The book leaves a surprisingly deep, melancholy mark, crystallizing the themes that have become prevalent in King’s recent work...’End of Watch’ hurtles toward a conclusion you anticipate and dread in equal measure — that wonderful, terrible anxiety King’s constant readers have been relishing for more than four decades now. ‘He’s not done with you yet,’ reads an ominous message Hodges receives on his computer in End of Watch. We’re lucky. King isn’t done with us either.”
Associated Press Staff
Praise for Mr. Mercedes

"Classic Stephen King. Creepy, yet realistic characters that get under your skin and stay there, a compelling story that twists and turns at breakneck speed, and delightful prose that, once again, proves that one of America’s greatest natural storytellers is also one of its finest writers."

Christian Science Monitor
“Think of Mr. Mercedes as an AC/DC song: uncluttered, chugging with momentum, and a lot harder to pull off than it looks. . . . King has written a hot rod of a novel,perfect for a few summer days at the pool. Mercedes-Benz commands drivers to demand ‘the best or nothing.’ In pop-fiction terms, that motto still applies to Stephen King, too. With apologies to AC/DC, the highway to hell never felt so fun.”
The Washington Post Elizabeth Hand
Praise for Finders Keepers

“Stephen King’s superb new stay-up-all-night thriller, Finders Keepers, is a sly,often poignant tale of literary obsession that recalls the themes of his classic 1987 novel Misery…a love letter to the joys of reading and to American literature… wonderful, scary, moving.”

USA Today
"The new book is so good, being at least mildly obsessed with it is understandable. The finest thing about it, however, is that the author has another story to tell before the finale of this excellent series.”
The New York Times
“A taut, suspenseful race-against-time book . . . [King is] in reliably fine form.”
Seattle Times
“No one can create a villain quite like King. . . . [A]ll the elements come together in a very public, potentially explosive finale (with a surprising post script). King fans may find themselves furiously turning pages long into the night.”
Library Journal
★ 05/15/2016
Brady Hartsfield awakens from a coma with terrible new powers, and the stage is set for the tense, thrilling conclusion to King's Bill Hodges trilogy (after Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers). After being put in the city's brain trauma center by Hodges and his partner, Holly Gibney, and condemned to a life as an invalid at the conclusion of Mr. Mercedes, the newly conscious Hartsfield discovers he can manipulate things—and people—with his mind. When people connected to the massacre in the first book start committing suicide, Hodges races against time to find out why. One would assume that a writer like King, who has been on top of his game for decades, would eventually run out of ideas. Instead, he serves up one of the most original crime thrillers to come along in years, thanks to his trademark supernatural flair. However, the paranormal takes a backseat to a story that is essentially about human weakness, how easily one can be exploited, and the strength it takes simply to live. VERDICT A spectacular, pulse-pounding, read-in-one-sitting wrap-up that will more than satisfy King's Constant Readers (as he addresses his fans before and after almost every book). [See Prepub Alert, 12/7/15.]—Tyler Hixson, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
You know it's a politicized time when the bad guy in a King novel loses points not strictly for being evil but for "living like Donald Trump." "It's always darkest before the dawn," King cheerfully reminds us at the very outset of this work of mayhem and murder, closing a trilogy devoted to retired detective Bill Hodges and investigative partner Holly Gibney. Yes, it is, and "darker than a woodchuck's asshole," too, reminding us that we're in King's New England, where weird things are always happening. Bill—well, his real first name is Kermit—has a doozy of a case from the very start: those weird things leapfrog back to the first volume, to a time, seven years before the present, when the perp of the so-called Mercedes Massacre drifted off into comaland. Throughout the trilogy, King has both honored and toyed with the conventions of hard-boiled crime fiction, and it seemed as if he'd be staking out that genre as his own; now, though, he steers back into the realm of horror that for sure belongs to him, for the baddie, Brady Hartsfield, who had merely been an incest-committing mass murderer before, has now acquired psychic powers and is experimenting merrily with ways to convince the innocent to kill themselves—and perhaps worse. Having lost some mobility, Brady is deeply ticked off—and, as King writes, "Being in a situation like that, who wouldn't want to kill a bunch of people?" Right, and it's up to Kermit/Bill and Holly to stop "Z-Boy," as he's now calling himself, from further mischief, very much more easily said than done. Suffice it to say that heavy machinery—having been run over, King hates cars, and having grown up when he did, he doesn't have much use for gizmo technology, either—figures into both the crime and its cure, and suffice it to say that both are exceedingly messy. Gleefully gross. And a few of the principals even outlive the tale, meaning there's hope for a sequel, assuming King wants to play with the definition of trilogy, too....

Product Details

Publication date:
Bill Hodges Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.60(d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes End of Watch, the short story collection The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, Finders Keepers, Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel), Doctor Sleep, and Under the Dome. His novel 11/22/63—now a Hulu original television series event—was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Medal of Arts and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

Brief Biography

Bangor, Maine
Date of Birth:
September 21, 1947
Place of Birth:
Portland, Maine
B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970

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End of Watch 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bonechilling. STEPHEN you did it again.
Anonymous 9 months ago
King has finally learned how to make his endings as good as his beginnings!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Mr. King is a great writer I love his book's
Anonymous 8 months ago
I have read Stephen King's books since 1975, I'm a Hugh fsn, but this novel just didn't thrill me, The last 60 pages are really good
Anonymous 9 months ago
Enjoyed it, couldn't put it down!
Anonymous 7 months ago
Gritty and fast paced.
Anonymous 8 months ago
Stephen King always gives me the words to describe exactly what I'm feeling. I felt Bill's pain, Holly's anxiety and Izzy's disbelief. Brady Hartsfield is a completely original villain. I couldn't wait for this book to come out and now I'm sad it's over !!
Anonymous 8 months ago
Thank you Mr King! Goes down as one of you best .
Anonymous 8 months ago
This is one of King's best books since "Duma Key". The only con was waiting for the next book.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous 24 days ago
From Mercedes man to this book left me wanting more. King is the best of the best To
Anonymous 24 days ago
This was very good at times and at other times, boring. It got a little to technical for me. The story at times jumped back in time which I found a little annoying how King did this. Overall it kept me turning the pages wanting to find out what happens next.
Anonymous 24 days ago
I love Stephen King and loved the first two books in this series. I have to say that I did not love this book. It was very slow until the last 60 pages. I almost didn't finish it.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 4 months ago
Great read. Typical King. A lot of fun. Enjoy.
Anonymous 4 months ago
For me, the book was not new or intesting, it was a struggle, I made it to page 108 but just didn't care. Stephen King is one of my favorites, but this book wasn't
Anonymous 4 months ago
I loved this series ! Please write about Holly now n then
Anonymous 4 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
I loved the whole series. Great chatecters
Anonymous 5 months ago
You will totally enjoy this end of the trilogy. Action packed and hard to put down.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I love all of Stephen Kings books. I own in print or on my tablet, most of his writings. Keep writing !!
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
Pretty good.
Anonymous 6 months ago
As always, King's writing is great. I did not want this series to end, but he did it so masterfully. One of the few times he's brought me to tears,