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Mr. Mercedes is a novel by American writer Stephen King. He calls it his first hard-boiled detective book. It was published on June 3, 2014. It is the first volume in a trilogy, followed in 2015 by Finders Keepers, the first draft of which was finished around the time Mr. Mercedes was published, and End of Watch in 2016.

The novel won the 2015 Edgar Award for Best Novel from the Mystery Writers of America and Goodreads Choice Awards for 2014 in the "Mystery and Thriller" category.

During his Chancellor's Speaker Series talk at University of Massachusetts Lowell on December 7, 2012, King indicated that he was writing a crime novel about a retired policeman being taunted by a murderer. With a working title Mr. Mercedes and inspired by a true event about a woman driving her car into a McDonald's restaurant, it was originally meant to be a short story just a few pages long. Describing the novel for an interview with USA Today, published on September 18, 2013, King said that while it was started prior to the Boston Marathon bombings, Mr. Mercedes involves a terrorist plot which is "too creepily close for comfort". An excerpt was published in the May 16, 2014 issue of Entertainment Weekly.


The driver of a Mercedes S class plows into the crowd of people at a job fair, killing eight and severely injuring many. The Mercedes has been stolen from a woman named Olivia Trelawny, who later kills herself out of guilt. Bill Hodges, a recently retired detective from the local police department, receives a letter from an individual claiming to be the culprit, referring to himself as "Mr. Mercedes". Hodges is divorced, lonely and fed up with his life, occasionally considering suicide. The letter intrigues Hodges, who investigates the case instead of turning the letter over to his former police colleague, Pete Huntley.

Brady Hartsfield, the man behind the job fair massacre, is an emotionally disturbed psychopath who lost his father at age eight. When he was a young boy, he killed his mentally handicapped brother at the prompting of his alcoholic mother, with whom he has an incestuous relationship. Brady works in an electronics store and sells ice-cream from a truck as his second job. Riding in the truck enables him to observe Hodges and his neighbors, among them seventeen-year-old Jerome Robinson, who does small chores for Hodges.

Hodges meets Janey Trelawny, who is Olivia's sister, who hires him to investigate her suicide and the theft of the Mercedes. Hodges and Janey soon begin dating. Hodges finds out, with the help of computer-savvy Jerome, how Mr. Mercedes stole the car and drove Olivia (whom he made contact with through his job at the electronics shop) to suicide by leaving eerie sound files on her computer that were set to go off at unpredictable intervals, which escalated her feelings of guilt.

At the funeral of Janey and Olivia's recently deceased mother, Hodges meets Janey's unpleasant relatives, among them her emotionally unstable cousin Holly. After the funeral, Brady watches as Hodges' car rolls towards the church. He mistakenly thinks Hodges is behind the wheel, when in fact it is Janey. As the car approaches Holly and Hodges, Brady remotely blows up the car, killing Janey. Hodges feels remorse but becomes even more eager to solve the case without the help of the police. Holly joins Hodges and Jerome in the investigation.

Brady accidentally kills his mother with a poisoned hamburger, which he had prepared for Jerome's dog. With her rotting body in their house, he plans to commit suicide by blowing himself up at a concert using explosives hidden inside a wheelchair. Jerome, Hodges and Holly manage to uncover Brady's real identity and search his computer. They eventually deduce that Brady's plan and rush to the concert venue to stop him. Hodges begins to suffer a heart attack and is unable to venture into the concert, but urges Holly and Jerome to press on. Holly locates Brady and delivers several harsh blows to his head using Hodges's "Happy Slapper" – a sock filled with ball bearings. Brady is left bleeding and comatose.

Hodges (who had been saved by concert staff), Holly and Jerome have a picnic to discuss the recent events. Hodges has learned that he will not be criminally charged for his actions regarding the Mr. Mercedes investigation. Holly and Jerome have received medals from the city, congratulating them on their work. Meanwhile, Brady awakens from his coma and asks to see his mother.