Thursday 31 May 2018

THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King

When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably point to the town's popular Little League coach, Terry Maitland, as the culprit. DNA evidence and fingerprints confirm the crime was committed by this well-loved family man. 

 Horrified by the brutal killing, Detective Ralph Anderson, whose own son was once coached by Maitland, orders the suspect to be arrested in a public spectacle. But Maitland has an alibi. And further research confirms he was indeed out of town that day. 

As Anderson and the District Attorney trace the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas. And as horrifying answers begin to emerge, so King's propulsive story of almost unbearable suspense kicks into high gear. 

 Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy but there is one rock-hard fact, as unassailable as gravity: a man cannot be in two places at the same time. Can he?

It's no secret that I enjoy reading Stephen King books. The guy sure can tell a story. But more than that, he has a way of totally hooking me into his books.

To the point of obsession.

Still, I took my time with his latest because it's a long and winding read that is best not rushed. 

When an eleven-year-old boy is found mutilated in Cap City, the police arrests a man instantly. Terry Maitland is a well-known teacher and father of two who also coaches baseball. The forensic evidence and witness accounts pointing towards him are so strong that the cops make an example out of him, by arresting Terry in public.

The police department and DA are ready to condemn him. That is, until more evidence shows up that places Terry somewhere else at the time of the crime. And just like with the other evidence, there are a bunch of witnesses who confirm this.

As the detective directly affected by these incredible circumstances, as well as Terry's lawyer, try to figure out the truth, they'll discover if it is possible for a man to be in two places at once...


Let me collect my thoughts.

Okay. This book is amazing.

One of my favourite things about King's storytelling style is how well he drops the reader into real world problems and then pulls the rug out from under you. In other words, he takes a super violent crime and just when you're comfortable enough absorbing all the evidence, he twists everything around and introduces the unnatural.

And I love how well he does that!

Another King trademark are his characters. No matter how often, or how little, they appear every single one of them feels real. They have quirks, sayings, tales and memories that leap off the page. This is why every single word in this book matters. A lot.

I also got a kick out of a familiar character making an appearance that really shook the narrative. I won't say who because it would spoil the surprise, but it just gels everything.

Actually, it's best not to know too much about this story before getting started. That way, you can really immerse yourself in what's unfolding. And when all the pieces gradually slide into place and the truth unfolds, just let it take your breath away.

I was a captive reader from the beginning, but by the last 100 pages I was holding my breath. I was on the edge of my seat until everything was revealed, confirmed and dusted.

The Outsider is a gripping thriller you can't put down. It's a terrifying horror that worms its way into your brain. It's a tale of suspense so frightening that once it sucks the reader in, you can't stop turning the pages. It's also filled with some very interesting folklore that adds a super creepy edge to everything. And in classic King style, the imagery digs itself so deeply inside your mind its forever etched in there.

Yeah, this is another winner. Another awesome book to add to my Stephen King collection.

The Outsider, May 2018, ISBN 9781473676404, Hodder & Stoughton

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