Reading part one of this new release from Mr King is a rather interesting experience. It is essentially about character introduction, and sets the story apart from itself rather cleverly with the use of a time line, which stretches (very un-obdurately) from 1978 through to 2009 and onto 2014 as the opening salvo reaches it climax. FKPO (Finders Keepers Part One) tells the reader of the existence of an acclaimed and under recognised writer, an Octogenarian, no less - who is the victim of a home invasion and is soon to suffer an untimely and violent death. The killer, Mr Morris Bellamy - and essentially the book’s central character - is a crazed fan of his works and one who holds the ultimate grudge against the man who robbed the world of his gift. His penalty? Death to the writer. The trio of baddies (led by Bellamy) escape with money, and some unpublished manuscripts, but three soon become one thanks to some well established lunacy and more traditional gore from Mr King on pages 36 and 37.
Please read this part of the book with an empty stomach.
The contrast in FKPO is provided by a young, struggling family, (the Saubers’) who spend a lot of early story time partaking in the delightful King-ism known as ’arky-barkies’ - or simply, ’arguments’ for the rest of us. Once more economic downturn has hit the United States and this family is a perfect example. The husband loses his job, the wife is left to support him and raise two bright young children (who both hope for college) on her own, but a twist of fate, or the story’s pivotal linch pin, if you will - saves the family from divorce, heart break and failure and brings short to mid-term reprieve for them all.
Life in this book is full of ironies.
Bellamy is a bad egg, we know that by know, and he spends most of his adult life in prison. The finale to part one of the book is genius. A perfect example of closure, leaving the reader with a gnawing pit of anticipation (bordering on terror) in their stomach, unable, and not wanting, to put the book down. Heck, it’s just started to get interesting!
But part one is more than just wonderful story telling. It reads like Mr King’s personal ode to the power and wonder of good literature. And any reader of this fine tome who fantasises about living the dream of becoming a writer one day, will find themselves in a state of ecstasy several times as we learn the depth of feeling (and talent) both Bellamy and young Pete Saubers have for their own literary hero. The Master speaks. We must listen.
FKPO was so good and the characters were so well developed, that it’s a fair bet the reader would have forgotten what - and who - the book is really about. Part two opens with the reintroduction of Ret Det Bill Hodges. And I’ll be damned if it doesn’t feel like the reunion with an old friend. The unofficial PI is about to catch a very affluent con man, who paid for a leer jet with a cheque that bounced up to the moon and back, but the reader can feel in their bones where the story is about to go. And despite the feelings of trepidation (and hysterical fear) that you might have for the Laubers, you know in your heart of hearts that with Hodges on the scene nothing really bad is going to happen to them. Or is it?
I have said enough of the book’s plot, I think. This book gifts us with Stephen King at the top of his game. The structure of the book becomes obvious by design, and its a testament to the mind of the man who wrote it that his writing has developed to such an extent at this stage of his career. Volume One of this series was a huge international success, and it recently won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Novel. This book is better. As a fan who has been reading (and loving) the works of Mr King for close to thirty five years, I feel that he has plenty of gas left in his tank for yet more success. And don’t be surprised if the next award he wins is the Nobel Prize.
- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; 1 edition (22 March 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1473698952
- ISBN-13: 978-1473698956
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 259 g
- Average Customer Review: 31 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)