Friday 5 April 2019

The A-Z Blog Challenge, Letter E

Letter E of My Favourite Book by title
Two, both from Stephen King.  
But two different genres. first is End of Watch, the final part in a trilogy. Here's the blurb: 

The cell rings twice, and then his old partner in his ear . . . 'I'm at the scene of what appears to be a murder-suicide . . . Come and take a look. Bring your sidekick with you.'

Bill Hodges, who now runs a two-person agency called Finders Keepers with partner Holly Gibney, is intrigued by the letter Z written with a marker at the scene of the crime.

As similar cases mount up, Hodges is stunned to discover the evidence points to Brady Hartsfield, the notorious 'Mercedes Killer' who they helped to convict. It should be impossible: Brady is confined to a hospital room in a seemingly unresponsive state.
But Brady Hartsfield has lethal new powers. And he's planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.
The clock is ticking in unexpected ways...

This trilogy sits firmly in the crime thriller genre, which is not quite a first for Stephen King, he has dabbled before, but it is his first fully developed one where there is one main detective that runs through all three books - Bill Hodges. I think King pulls it off well; he's excellent at character development and with his darker, horror side and ability to craft great suspense, he is really able to keep the reader engaged and on the edge of their seat.

This is the final book of the three - you don't strictly have to read them all to enjoy this one, as he covers enough of the backstory for it to be a standalone novel - and the reason why I enjoyed this one the most is because Stephen gives this one a surreal edge, less believably, sort of pushing the boundaries. Is it really possible for someone with such a severe brain injury to be able to not only recover and function but in an extremely intelligent way and then telepathically?

This is not the first time Mr King dabbles in this possibility, we see it in Firestarter, Carrie, and many more, short and long stories. He loves to entertain the impossible. And End of Watch does that indeed with the altogether dislikeable character of Brady Hartsfield.

Just remember, with Stephen King there will always be an element of horror, and this series isn't lacking just because it's parading as a crime thriller.

Where does Stephen King get all his dark ideas? He asks the question 'what scares me?' He has said that most of his book ideas are based off things that he fears the most. He said that his wife put a linen chest at the end of their bed and he hates it. He has to make sure the sheets and blankets are tucked in on his side in case anything decides to crawl out! second is The Eyes of the Dragon. Here's the blurb:
A captivating tale of heroic adventure, of dragons and princes, of mysterious mice and magical men, as only Stephen King can tell it.

The king is dead, murdered by a strange and horrible poison. But while the land of Delain mourns, the magician Flagg, unscrupulous, greedy and powerful, plots. Soon the king's oldest son, Peter is imprisoned at the top of a high tower, the Needle, for his father's murder, while his younger brother Thomas inherits the throne.

Only Peter knows the truth of his own innocence, and the truth of the evil that is Flagg. And only Peter can save Delain from the horror Flagg has in store. He has a plan, but it is dangerous and desperate and if he fails there will be no second chance. And all the while, Flagg's words echo in his mind: "I'll carry your head on my saddle-horn for a thousand years. Here I come, Peter! Coming for your head!"

This has often been referred to as the only children's book in Stephen King's collection, as it is light enough for children to enjoy too. It is indeed a classic fantasy and I enjoyed it very much. It was my top favourite for a long time - well until I read The Talisman (but you'll have to wait until we get to the T's to hear about that one!😉).

It is also a novel where we get to know more about the character Randall Flagg, a mystic and mythic character who appears under a variety of guises in his many novels and short stories, starting in the Stand and also appearing in the Dark Tower series. Stephen King likes to tease his Constant Readers with this particular character and we love it!

Stephen King loves to connect his books, many of them are set in the same area of Maine, and Castle Rock is a common location. A character in one book might refer to an event from another book. It helps the reader feel more connected to the stories and want to keep reading more books. 

And the whole Dark Tower mythos is linked through many books; The Stand. The Talisman, The Black House, Hearts in Atlantis, including The Eyes of the Dragon, to name a few. But there are many more, and he lists them on his website.

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