End of Watch (novel)
First edition cover
|Series||Bill Hodges Trilogy|
|Published||June 7, 2016 (Scribner)|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover)|
|Preceded by||Finders Keepers|
|Followed by||The Outsider|
End of Watch is a crime novel by American writer Stephen King, the third volume of a trilogy focusing on Detective Bill Hodges, following Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers. The book was first announced at an event at St. Francis College on April 21, 2015 under the title The Suicide Prince. On June 10, the new title End of Watch was announced. At the 2015 Edgar Awards, while accepting the award for Best Novel for Mr. Mercedes, King announced that the novel's antagonist, Brady Hartsfield, would be making a return in this book.
The novel was released on June 7, 2016.
Retired detective Bill Hodges, who now with his sidekick Holly runs the private investigation agency Finders Keepers, is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Given only months to live, he finds himself drawn into a recent spree of suicides. All the dead are connected by a common thread: each of them has, in the past, been in contact with mass murderer Brady Hartsfield, the notorious Mr. Mercedes who, six years ago, plotted a follow up mass murder of blowing up a rock concert venue packed with teenagers. Hodges and Holly thwarted Brady's plans and left the killer in a vegetative state from which he never regained consciousness. However, many of the staff in the hospital where Brady now resides believe that he is recovering at an impossible rate, and that he may be faking his injuries to avoid facing charges for his crimes. Meanwhile, all those who have gotten too close to proving this suspicion seem to have committed suicide.
After his head injury, Brady found himself gaining new abilities, including the power to move small objects with his mind and the ability to enter the bodies of certain people susceptible to his mental domination. Still confined to his hospital bed, Brady has used his power to finish his murderous work by creating a hypnotic video game app that heightens the user's susceptibility. Once the users are in Brady's control, he uses the app to dominate their minds and persuade them to commit suicide. The targets are the very teenagers who escaped death when Brady's plan to destroy the concert venue failed. Brady's ultimate goal, however, is to lure Hodges into the game and exact revenge. Brady uses the bodies of both a corrupt neurosurgeon and a hospital librarian as puppets and red herrings to do his dirty work and to misdirect the police while he makes his final move to destroy Hodges, all the while unaware that Hodges is already racing the clock against his own death.
The book received generally positive reviews. The review aggregator website Book Marks reported that 38% of critics gave the book a "rave" review, whilst 54% of the critics expressed "positive" impressions, based on a sample of 13 reviews.
On October 10, 2017, Audience announced that the TV series based on the first Bill Hodges novel, Mr. Mercedes, was renewed for season 2, based on the original Mr. Mercedes novel, Finders Keepers and End of Watch.
- "StephenKing.com - End of Watch". Retrieved 20 January 2017.
- McClurg, Jocelyn (2015-06-10). "Stephen King Rules at No. 1." USAToday.com. USA Today. Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
- Mystery Writers of America (13 May 2015). "2015 Edgar Awards Best Novel". Retrieved 20 January 2017 – via YouTube.
- "End of Watch". Book Marks. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
- Erik, Pedersen (October 10, 2017). "'Mr. Mercedes' Renewed For Season 2 On Audience Network". Deadline. Retrieved November 6, 2017.