“In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.”
That could have been ripped from the headlines of a horrifying news event. As it happens, that’s the premise behind “Mr. Mercedes,” Stephen King’s latest novel from Scribner, set to hit shelves in June.
Art, as they say, mimics life.
King fans will have much to celebrate this year. In addition to “Mr. Mercedes,” King is working on another book, “Revival,” set for release in November by Scribner.
“Revival” will focus on death and the afterlife as well as the sometimes tragic influence of addiction, religion, and fanaticism.
According to the released synopsis, “Revival” follows the life of Jamie, a little boy living in a small, picturesque New England town more than half a century ago. Addictions and family tragedies plague Jamie as he grows up and, “in a pact beyond even the Devil’s devising,” reunites with his small town preacher who was banished from the town when he cursed God.
“Revival” follows the “great American tradition of Frank Norris, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Edgar Allan Poe,” according to the synopsis.
As for "Mr. Mercedes," the book follows in King’s legendary thriller tradition, providing a chilling insight into the mind of an obsessed killer, Brady Hartfield, the man behind the Mercedes mission, and the son of an alcoholic mother. Hartfield’s crime spurs a retired cop back to action before the Mercedes murderer plans another killing spree.
Thanks to the well-received “Joyland,” a film adaptation of “Cell”, the horror writer’s Twitter debut, and now two promising new novels on the horizon, there’s no doubt King is America’s king of horror.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.