Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.
That quote should give you an idea of how dark this book gets. The book jacket tells how it starts: a random act of violence by a killer who is never caught. The massacre happens in the first chapter, and in true Stephen King fashion he foreshadows what’s going to happen, introduces you to the victims, makes them very sympathetic and likable, and then kills them.
The first murder then becomes the background noise for the rest of the book. Don’t expect a play-by-play of the event, with flashbacks from the survivors and all the blood and gore described in loving details. Mr. Mercedes is all about the chase, with the two main characters using the original murder in their own way to inject some kind of meaning in their lives.