After an underwhelming outing with his son Owen with the last novel, Sleeping Beauties, The King Of Horror is back in rare form.
It was 19 years ago yesterday when Stephen King was hit by a van and we almost lost him. Luckily Ka wasn’t done with him yet, and King continues to scare the pants off of us to this day. His last effort Sleeping Beauties, which was co written with his son Owen King, wasn’t quite up to snuff for constant readers.
That was then, this is now. One of the hardest working writers in the business gives us The Outsider. Just don’t confuse with S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders,another excellent book, however much different. The Outsider is King’s best work in the last decade. That is not an exaggeration. The novel has everything King’s readers have come to expect from the prolific writer. The seemingly natural becomes supernatural, and there are more twists than a contortionist playing Twister.
In the story, the evidence all points to upstanding English teacher and youth baseball coach Terry Maitland. However there is also strong evidence he didn’t do it. It’s part crime mystery and part things that go bump in the night. You know that feeling you get that starts somewhere near the middle of your back and spreads out to tingle all through your body? I can’t count how many times this happened to me while reading this book.
In this novel there are some details from the Bill Hodges trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, and End Of Watch). However you don’t need to read those books before diving head first into this one. Personally I think this one is better any way. Set predominantly in Oklahoma, and Texas and uses Southwestern folk lore. However I wish King would skip the crime drama stuff and go straight back to the classic good vs. evil.
Have you read this novel yet? Will you be picking it up? Tell us how you feel about The Outsider in the comments below.