Mr Mercedes (Jun 2014)

n the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes. Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

Common King themes:

  • Excessive use of the word "insouciant"
  • The number 19 (Det. Hodges' home address is 63 Harper Road. 6+3=9, and Harper Road has 10 letters. Also, the Under Debbie's Blue Umbrella username: "kermitfrog19".)
  • Youth, middle age, and you look fucking terrific (Hodges tells Pete the joke about the three Ages of Man.)

Mr Mercedes has connections to the following books:

Part 1: Det.-Ret. / Chapter 14 : Pennywise

Pete peered through the droplets of rain on the driver’s side window, not touching the glass. Lying on the leather driver’s seat was a rubber mask, the kind you pulled over your head. Tufts of orange Bozo-ish hair stuck up above the temples like horns. The nose was a red rubber bulb. Without a head to stretch it, the red-lipped smile had become a sneer. “Creepy as hell. You ever see that TV movie about the clown in the sewer?” Hodges shook his head. Later—only weeks before his retirement—he bought a DVD copy of the film, and Pete was right. The mask-face was very close to the face of Pennywise, the clown in the movie.

Part 1: Det.-Ret. / Chapter 14 : 1958 Plymouth Fury

Christine is mentioned as a fictional story.

The huge paved yard was filled with rusty container boxes that stood around like Easter Island monoliths. The gray Mercedes was parked carelessly askew between two of them. By the time Hodges and Huntley arrived, five police cars were parked in the yard, two drawn up nose-to-nose behind the car’s back bumper, as if the cops expected the big gray sedan to start up by itself, like that old Plymouth in the horror movie, and make a run for it. The fog had thickened into a light rain. The patrol car roofracks lit the droplets in conflicting pulses of blue light.

Part 1: Det.-Ret. / Chapter 2 : Randall Flagg

Brady Hartsfield uses a smiley face as his trademark, just like Flagg.

The last thing appears to be an actual letter—a fairly thick one, by the feel—in a business-sized envelope. It is addressed to Det. K. William Hodges (Ret.) at 63 Harper Road. There is no return address. In the upper lefthand corner, where one usually goes, is his second smile-face of the day’s mail delivery. Only this one’s not the winking Walmart Rollback Smiley but rather the email emoticon of Smiley wearing dark glasses and showing his teeth.

Part 1: Det.-Ret. / Chapter 2 : Yellow Smiley Face

The Mercedes Killer's signature (which he leaves in the car, in his notes, etc) is a yellow smiley face sticker.

The last thing appears to be an actual letter—a fairly thick one, by the feel—in a business-sized envelope. It is addressed to Det. K. William Hodges (Ret.) at 63 Harper Road. There is no return address. In the upper lefthand corner, where one usually goes, is his second smile-face of the day’s mail delivery. Only this one’s not the winking Walmart Rollback Smiley but rather the email emoticon of Smiley wearing dark glasses and showing his teeth.

References will be here!