“Finders Keepers” by Stephen King

Star Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars ☆☆

I honestly do not know why I chose to read this book.  In my review of the previous installment, Mr. Mercedes, I was reasonably certain I would not waste my time reading book two.  Instead, I read it anyway.  I should have listened to my instinctual reaction.

Synopsis:  Okay, so let’s get started.  Finders Keepers is a story about an obsessive man named Morris Bellamy.  Bellamy is a book addict (aren’t we all?) who is obsessed with a particular trilogy called “The Runner Trilogy”, written by author John Rothstein.  The novel picks up in 1978, years after Rothstein’s retirement from writing.  Bellamy, over the years, had become angrier and angrier over the fate of his favorite character in The Runner, Jimmy Gold.  Bellamy is livid that a vagrant such as Gold chooses to settle down with a job and a wife at the end of the published series.  He recruits two petty criminals to help him and goes after Rothstein in order to find out why hiSelect Filess favorite character “sold out”.  It’s very Misery-esque.

Due to bringing petty criminals, this kidnap and questioning turns into a robbery.  Over $20,000 in cash is stolen from the author’s safe as well as many manuscripts written in moleskin notebooks.  Bellamy murders the author before leaving, and then eliminates his conspirators as well at the nearest rest stop. When he returns home, he buys a trunk and buries his findings until he can decide what to do with the treasure.

He doesn’t get the chance. That evening, he becomes so drunk that he assaults a woman, sending him to prison for 25 to life – his treasure left behind.

Years later, in present day, a teenage boy named Pete Saubers finds the trunk with the cash and the notebooks.   His family is struggling financially and his parents’ relationships are strained.  The money is a miracle that can save the Saubers family from completely falling apart.  It is at this time that Morris Bellamy is finally paroled in his mid-60’s.  Bellamy will do anything to find the treasure he buried.  Young Peter Saubers has no idea what he is truly in for while he still is in possession of Bellamy’s stolen “blood” goods.  This is the primary set-up to the novel.

Opinion: It sounds like a great concept for a novel.  It’s not.  I was sorely disappointed with this book.  I had a difficult time even reading it.  Approximately halfway through the story, the novel reintroduces the characters of Bill Hodges, Jerome Robinson, and Holly Gibney.  Unfortunately, Hodges is still obsessed with an incapacitated and hospitalized Brady Hartsfield.  He is also still just as dull of a character as he ever was.

I was hoping that, as in Mr. Mercedes, the lively nature of Robinson and Gibney would save some of the story.  Alas, it didn’t.  Their parts were so insignificant in this second book that their fascinating personalities did not have the opportunity to save this novel from it dull descent into the trash bin or the incinerator.

I would not recommend this book.  I don’t understand why King is making a trilogy out of these terrible characters.  He is a much more talented writer than these particular novels suggest.  I am highly disappointed.  I definitely will not be indulging in book three.