There are fans, and then there are true fans. Finders Keepers deals with the second category: kind of fan who will re-read their favorite book seven times a year, who care more about fictional characters than they do about the real people in their lives, and who break into their favorite author’s house to execute them and steal their horde of unpublished work. That is how Morris Bellamy winds up with the unpublished work of the reclusive writer John Rothstein and over $20,000 in cash. Having killed the author and his accomplices, Morris literally buries his ill-gotten gains, intending to read them once news of the crime has receded from the headlines. But when he lands in jail on a separate charge, Morris must wait decades for his chance. Meanwhile, the Saubers family moves into Morris’ old house, and their teenaged son makes a discovery that will change all of their lives. Soon, he, too, is a John Rothstein fan, and just in time. Morris Bellamy is leaving jail and eager to discuss the details of his buried treasure…starting with where Peter has hidden it.
I’m already a heavy Stephen King reader, but Finders Keepers isn’t necessarily what I would have expected from the nominal “Master of Horror.” Mostly, this was because there wasn’t any significant supernatural presence. However, King’s trademark character development and constant themes of individual struggle, even struggle against addiction or an addict, were absolutely present. Pace-wise, it was also much tighter than some of my favorites, which meant that it didn’t eat up two weeks of my time but still managed to feel like a full, complete story. (After Revival, this was both refreshing and a relief. Whether or not he has another Stand in him, there’s life in the old boy yet.) Finders Keepers also incorporates a number of characters from Mr. Mercedes, King’s earlier crime fiction book, and even wraps the storylines together. King excels at world building and I thoroughly enjoyed how he has structured up his new series. (Whether this book ties into all his others, Dark Tower-style, is as yet unknown. However, King hints at the possibilities, which are exciting.) Anyone who enjoyed Mr. Mercedes will definitely want to continue with this latest addition to the King canon.