Tuesday 3 August 2021

BILLY SUMMERS by Stephen King


Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He's a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he'll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?

How about everything.

This spectacular can't-put-it-down novel is part war story, part love letter to small town America and the people who live there, and it features one of the most compelling and surprising duos in King fiction, who set out to avenge the crimes of an extraordinarily evil man. It's about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption.

You won't put this story down, and you won't forget Billy. 

I always look forward to reading the latest Stephen King, so I'd like to thank Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this one.

Billy Summers is a killer for hire, but he only kills bad guys. Now, he's ready to tackle one last hit, but this particular job isn't what he expected. And you know what happens when a man is determined to go at it one last time...

Yikes. What a book! 😳

Well, what can I say about the latest King that I haven't said before? I was hooked from the beginning. I wanted to know more as soon as I started. The more I read, the deeper I fell into the events. The characters leap off the page and I couldn't help but get attached.

These are things I constantly find myself saying because Stephen King is that special kind of writer. The one guaranteed to grab my attention and keep me glued to whatever's going on because the story is gripping, and so very addictive.

Billy's story was no exception. He's not exactly a good guy, and he certainly knows a lot of bad people, but they pay well and he's good at his job. Even if his job involves killing. 

The tension in this story builds slowly, but the relationships he forges happen fast. It's all enough to keep the reader interested from start to finish. For me, the only time I lost interest was when Billy was writing about his shitty time in Iraq. I don't particularly like war stories so these bits were hard to concentrate on, but in typical King fashion, a new obstacle is soon introduced that fired up my interest.

And that was Alice. Poor Alice and the horrifying ordeal she goes through injects a new surge of urgency and emotion into the narrative. After that, I couldn't put the book down because the connection between Billy and Alice is pure and strong and totally heartbreaking. I couldn't read fast enough and wanted to find out how Billy's last job was going to turn out. 

Billy Summers is an intriguing thriller featuring a very interesting and complicated narrator. The way he pours his sad and tragic life onto the page provides a gripping account that's hard to turn away from. I really enjoyed sharing his dark and dangerous journey and followed it all the way to the clever but bittersweet end.

Although this story focuses on real life horrors done by monstrous people, there is a certain kind of magic too. As well as an interesting mention of one of King's best-known classics.

I also need to add one last thing. This book definitely needs trigger warnings about child abuse, rape and war because it deals with the violence and trauma involved in all of these. While the details aren't graphic in nature, these uncomfortable topics are peppered throughout. 


Billy Summers, August 2021, ISBN 9781529365719, Hodder & Stoughton

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