I really enjoyed the bit about ‘If you can talk, then you can write’. I didn’t always agree with the late Christopher Hitchens and his views, especially his views on Muslims post 9/11, maybe I am wrong but I think he got swept up in the war fever that gripped America at the time, anyway, I always enjoyed his views on religion and atheism. He could be devastatingly witty and erudite at the same time.
I just finished reading Mr Mercedes by Stephen King. No paranormal or supernatural elements in Mr Mercedes. This is just an old-fashioned suspense thriller. A cat and mouse game between a retired detective thinking of suicide and a psychopath goading the detective over his inability to catch him before he retired.
This is a wonderfully fast paced novel. It gets straight to the point. This is not a Who Done It? murder mystery. Everything is revealed almost from the beginning. King builds the characters and explores the evil that resides in the killer.
I loved the premise from the Youtube clips above, where King goes into detail on the origins of the story and the real-life events which prompted him to write it. The idea of someone committing mass murder. Getting away with it. Not one single clue. Not one piece of evidence.
And then to top it all off, the killer just stops. Never commits another crime. Has no intention of doing it again, so the cops cannot simply wait for him to try to do something similar, hope he fucks up and leaves a clue of some description.
It doesn’t quite work out that way. However, it is still an interesting scenario, I think that King’s point, as he has spent his entire career exploring, is that evil is never a once off. In King’s work, a person does not do something evil and then stop, they will do it again and there are always other factors behind their actions, starting in childhood or early adolescence and leading up to the point where they lose control. King is great at trying to find the humane in the inhumane, while leaving it abundantly clear that in the end, it is a man’s own mind, not the people he hates or who hate him, that lures him down the self-destructive path of evil.