It’s very early morning and hundreds of unemployed people are quietly waiting in line talking to each other or trying to sleep as they wait to get a job application. Women have little babies with them, men hoping to be able to support their families quietly praying to get a job, anything to pay the bills. Out of nowhere a Mercedes Benz come roaring into the crowd, purposely running over as many people as possible. People were killed, severely injured, burned, maimed while the Mercedes driver, Brady Hartsfield, gleefully drives off. Retired detective, Bill Hodges, was determined to find this psychopath after all of this especially when Hartsfield tried to get Bill to kill himself.
But Brady was hard to capture and a year or so after the slaughter at the job fair he tried to blow up the venue where thousands of young teens were listening to their favorite boy band. Bill Hodges and his team were able to stop him. Hartsfield wasn’t killed but was hit over the head and ended up in a hospital in a Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for people who couldn’t move, or talk, or feed themselves because of a brain injury. But Hodges was sure that Brady knew what was going on around him and visited him weekly trying to get Hartsfield angry enough to talk, or better, yet attack the retired police detective but that never happened. Hodges is sure that Hartsfield is planning something and is just biding time. But for what?
The nurses in the ward are experiencing some strange things when they go into Brady’s room to care for him. Water in the bathroom goes on by itself, picture frames start moving, and some of the staff find themselves in some sort of stupor losing themselves while just looking out a window.
Bill Hodges now runs his own detective agency called Finders Keepers and he and the co owner, Holly Gibney, is still focusing in on Brady Hartsfield. Bill kind of believes that Brady is responsible for all the telekinesis activity but it’s hard for him to really believe that Brady has the ability to do this.
And then the suicides begin.
Suddenly teens start killing themselves, nothing all that odd here since teens do commit suicide but not the daughter of his close friend. This young lady has everything to live for and yet she became so depressed and felt so guilty that she attempted suicide. Then Hodges notices that some adults are also killing themselves and all of them had some kind of relationship with Hartsfield. Some were nurses in the hospital and some were people who were injured during the Mercedes Massacre. And the teens that were committing suicide were the kids who were at the venue for the concert when they were younger.
Bill tried to get the police to help him figure this out but they don’t believe him so it’s up to Bill and his Finders Keepers team to figure out what’s going on.
“End of Watch” by Stephen King is the third in the Bill Hodges trilogy, the third of one of the best horror trilogies I’ve read in awhile. These books have to be read in order, “Mr. Mercedes” then “Finders Keepers” and then “End of Watch.”
The story is really good if not a little hard to swallow at times but it’s a Stephen King book. But what makes this an outstanding trilogy are the characters. Bill Hodges is the kind of man that anyone would be proud to call “friend.” He is truly loyal to people and it’s in his nature to try to help. Holly Gibney, the co owner of Finders Keepers, is a complex, troubled person who is making great strides in turning herself a more confident person. There are others here who the reader becomes attached to and really cares about.
Brady Hartsfield is a well thought out evil genius. He has no qualms in killing anyone for any reason especially if it’s for revenge and he’s out to kill Bill and others just for revenge.
I’m secretly hoping that King kind of goes on with this series by introducing more books about the Finders Keepers investigation agency.
It’s hard to say exactly what goes on because I don’t want to ruin it for others. But I will say that it is violent, a little nerve wracking, and it will get you thinking.
This last book of the trilogy is the best of the three but I recommend all of them to Stephen King lovers.