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End of Watch: A Novel (The Bill Hodges Trilogy) by Stephen King

Reviewed by Allen Hott

End of WatchYou have to enjoy his stories as they are always very intense and somewhat macabre. However you have to have an active imagination and accept some things even though you may have severe doubts.

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End of Watch is the third in a series about Brady Hartsfield who was the perpetrator in Mr. Mercedes. In that King novel Hartsfield drove a Mercedes into a line of folks lined up for job interviews. He not only ran over them but also backed over them. Later he planned a major massacre at a young folks show. However Bill Hodges, a retired police officer and now private investigator, with his associate, Holly Gilbney, brought down Hartsfield with a severe blow to the head. That blow put him in a hospital where he still resides and supposedly has no working mental capabilities. Bill has visited him often and does not believe that he is incapacitated to the extent the doctors do.

It turns out that Bill is correct but even he is baffled by the way that Brady is able to use his mind. Not only can he cause window blinds to go up and down, move the medicines around on the shelf, and even make the nurses feel like someone is touching them but it turns out he can do much, much more in the heads of those who visit him.

Throughout the city strange things begin happening as Zappit toys are turning up. These small computer-like instruments have games on them that appeal to young folks. It seems that as they turn up unpleasant things begin to happen. They appear to be in the hands of the attendees of the show where Brady was captured.

Both of the private investigators are scrambling to get to the bottom of the mystery when a young lady (part of their crew actually) is rushed to the hospital after being struck by a truck. A young bystander saved her but she tells the investigators that the game given to her by a stranger appeared to have controlled her brain!

Another quirk in this wild tale now has Hodges develop a life threatening illness which makes it even more difficult for him to work. King really does build a strange epistle as more and more weird things begin occurring. He holds the reader all the way to the ending, though perhaps not one that was expected or hoped for!!! Good job, King!

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