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End of Watch: A Novel

End of Watch: A Novel

Written by Stephen King

Narrated by Will Patton


End of Watch: A Novel

Written by Stephen King

Narrated by Will Patton

ratings:
4.5/5 (395 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Released:
Jun 7, 2016
ISBN:
9781508211365
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

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.
Released:
Jun 7, 2016
ISBN:
9781508211365
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and an AT&T Audience Network original television series). His novel 11/22/63 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. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, and Doctor Sleep are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, 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.


Reviews

What people think about End of Watch

4.6
395 ratings / 71 Reviews
What did you think?
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    The third novel in Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy did not disappoint, as it wrapped up the story of a retired cop and his younger associates rather nicely and definitively. END OF WATCH truly lives up to its title, especially in the way it circles back to mass murderer Brady Hartsfield, the villain whose actions kicked off the series in MR. MERCEDES. In my reviews for that book, and the second novel in the series, FINDERS KEEPERS, I stated that King appeared to be channeling his inner Alfred Hitchcock in these books, as they were firmly set in the thriller genre, with nary a horror, or supernatural element to be found. Not so with END OF WATCH, which recalls not so much Hitchcock as the TV show THE OUTER LIMITS, specifically the 60’s version, the one that gave us “The Zanti Misfits,” “Sixth Finger,” and “The Man With the Power.” King is back on more familiar ground here, but also builds on the foundation of suspense laid out in the previous two books.END OF WATCH picks up a few years after the end of FINDERS KEEPERS, and we quickly learn that there is a lot going on the head of the near comatose Brady Hartsfield, something hinted at in the final pages of the previous book. Brady is a mass murderer, prevented from detonating a homemade bomb at a Boy Band concert and killing a lot of teenagers, when his skull was smashed in by Holly Gibney, the terminally introverted young woman who teamed up with Hodges in the first book. Permanently confined to a hospital room, Brady becomes the unwitting guinea pig for a wonder drug that can improve brain activity, a drug his doctor has invested in, one that is undergoing trials and awaiting FDA approval, but has the potential for a big return on investment down the road. This drug truly is a wonder, as it heals Brady’s mind, though not his body, which remains confined to a wheelchair. Not only that, but Brady develops mild telekinesis, and the ability to enter the minds of others if they are in a properly receptive state. He bides his time, honing his abilities, and plotting to pick up where he left off, and to take care of unfinished business. And the biggest piece of unfinished business is retired detective Bill Hodges, the man who has been on Brady’s tail ever since he ran down a crowd of applicants at a job fair. An attempt to strike at a member of Hodges’s close circle of friends leads the now ailing detective to suspect the truth, and put him on the path to a final confrontation. My paperback copy comes in right at 400 pages, which is just long enough for a story like this, the pacing is fast, and the God’s eye POV narration works well, creating the proper mood of suspense. These shorter, smaller focus novels might be King at his best, as some complain that his longer works read as if he has bitten off more than he can chew. While I will say this is true of books like IT, which would have worked much better as two separate novels, I will gladly defend THE STAND and 11-22-63 as among the best stuff King has ever written. There are certainly echoes of King’s earlier works in END OF WATCH, especially CARRIE and FIRESTARTER, and the ending, set in the country during a winter snowstorm, easily invokes THE SHINING. King has been criticized for going back to the same well to many times, but if this is a problem, I think it comes from is often stated fact that he does not outline his books, preferring the tried and true “seat of your pants” technique to writing, though this has worked well for him, I do think this leads King to default to certain tropes when a story needs to be done, and a certain amount of words need to be written per day.I will say that all three books of his Bill Hodges trilogy, he has clearly liked his characters, and treated them fairly, at least until END OF WATCH, where a favorite is stricken with a terminal illness. And as I have stated in other reviews of King’s work, nobody writes villains better. In many ways, the best parts of END OF WATCH is when we are inside the fetid mind of Brady Hartsfield, as he spins his spider’s web and ensnares the unsuspecting. Some might complain that King gives away too much, but it is another case of the reader being given vital information the protagonists lack, and the suspense comes from wondering how Bill, Holly, and the returning Jerome Robinson will escape the fate being setup for them. An important theme of END OF WATCH is the fragility of the human psyche, and how easily a downward emotional path can lead to suicide. It is Brady’s plan to cause the mass self murders of as many young adults as possible, and in several scenes, the most terrifying and heartbreaking of the book, we see how easily he accomplishes his heinous mission. King wisely ends his afterward with the 1-800 number for the national suicide prevention hotline.Though the Bill Hodges trilogy is done, it is my hope that Stephen King will revisit this genre again; he really has a knack for the Hitchcockian suspense thriller.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 starsThis is the third in the “Mr. Mercedes” trilogy. Possible spoilers for the first book: Brady Hartzfield (Mr. Mercedes) has been in the hospital, pretty much brain-dead. Retired Det. Hodges visits him and thinks there is more going on in Brady’s head than Brady is letting on. And he’s right! Meanwhile, people (many, teenagers) are committing suicide, but it turns out many of them have been playing a game on an older, now-defunct tablet. What is going on? Holly and Jerome also return in this 3rd book in the series. Holly still grates on me some (I reread my other reviews, and in the first book Holly did “grow on me”), but at other times, I found her amusing. I listened to the audio, and it’s possible it’s the way the narrator “plays” Holly that, at least plays a part in my irritation with her. Apparently, I didn’t like this one quite as much as the first two (each rated 4 stars), but overall it was still good. And, I think, a good conclusion to the series.
  • (4/5)
    As a Stephen King fan who has been reading his books for the last 40 years, I admit that nowadays I’m less captivated by his monsters. So I enjoyed the first two books in his MR. MERCEDES trilogy and expected END OF WATCH, the final book in the trilogy, to be the same (no monsters). WRONGBrady is back. Yes, in MR. MERCEDES he was a monstrOUS bad guy. But in END OF WATCH he is literally a monster with awful supernatural powers. And the entire book involves the threesome, Bill Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson, trying to find Brady and put an end to his destruction of vulnerable lives. But they first have to accept that he is doing it and then figure out how he does it from his hospital room, where he is in a semicomatose state as a result of the head injury he received when Holly whacked him in MR. MERCEDES.I didn’t like END OF WATCH as well as I did the first two books ( MR. MERCEDES and FINDERS KEEPERS) in the trilogy. That is not to say that I didn’t like it at all. I just wish Bill could have had his “end of watch” with a monstrous bad guy rather than a monster.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't like this as much as the other two books in the series but it was still a good read. Although the villain is the same, his powers are now supernatural and so the book moves more into the usual Stephen King territory. I did like the fact that the plot was very relevant in today's world of online access and mobile devices. King again demonstrates his power to write horror that unsettles and makes food for thought.
  • (5/5)
    This is how you end a series.I was sucked in from the start and couldn’t stop... absolutely consuming, and so very good. Stephen King is a master storyteller, and the Bill Hodges series is more evidence of that. Excellent narration throughout the whole audio series: Will Patton has a different sound for each character, and all of them are great.
  • (4/5)
    Spree killer Brady Hartsfield has been confined to a hospital bed for years after head trauma involved in his capture, but the nurses and other staff speak of spooky incidents happening around him. Now, victims of his previous crimes are involved in murder-suicide plots and detective Bill Hodges senses something is very, very wrong.This book starts by re-visiting some of the events of King's novel Mr. Mercedes, the first book in this trilogy. I liked the addition of some supernatural twists in this title, even if King was sometimes a little vague on the details of how this worked. The story does go back and forth in time quite a bit, but it is generally easy to follow. Like the first novel, the sort of 'cat-and-mouse' interplay between the two leads is rather compelling.For the audiobook reader, Will Patton is a phenomenonal narrator who breathes additional life into the characters and story.