Everything I said about Mr Mercedes applies to its two follow-ups: the characters are likeable, the story-lines are interesting. But, as with Mr Mercedes, there doesn’t seem to be much urgency. I finished them both because I was curious as to the outcome, not because I had to find out what happened next.
I kept feeling, reading them, that Stephen King was having fun writing and knocked all three out fairly quickly. All three could certainly do with tightening up. Often he spends time describing his characters discovering something the reader already knows. This is really apparent with the climax of Finders Keepers, where one person doesn’t stay where he said he would stay – and then we read as his friends find out that… he hasn’t stayed where he said he would. In a film, you could convey that information in a few quick shots. In the book, it takes pages and pages and I’m sorry to say I began skimming them because I knew what had already happened
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think these are bad books. (For me, the low points in his work are The Tommyknockers and Dreamcatcher.) They’re just not Stephen King at his best.