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This is an Instaread Summary of 'Mr. Mercedes' by Stephen King.
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Down-on-his-luck, Augie Odenkirk helps homeless Janice Cray care for her baby as they wait in the early morning fog for a job fair. A gray Mercedes plows into the crowd. Augie, Janice and the baby are among the victims.
About a year after the Mercedes crash, Retired Detective K. William Hodges watches more grubby reality shows, fails to enjoy his beer, and thinks, again, of shooting himself. The arrival of the mail distracts him. A letter, allegedly from the driver of the killer Mercedes, stuns him. The writer brags about killing eight and wounding many. He says that he got off sexually at he drove into the crowd. He wore a condom and used bleach to get rid of any DNA. He wore a hair net under a clown mask for the same reason. He knows Hodges is miserable and hopes the letter cheers him up. He gives Hodges a website where they can talk, including a username: kermitfrog19.
Hodges wonders if he should turn the letter over to his former partner, Pete Huntley. He believes the writer is the killer because he knows inside information about the condom and the bleach. The idea of using this letter, and chats on line, to catch the killer gives Hodges a reason to live.
Hodges analyzes the letter and sees that the writer has several identifying traits, including misusing perk for perp and peppering his words with an image of a smiley face. The same smiley face was glued onto the steering wheel of the Mercedes. Hodges calls Pete and makes a lunch date.