When it’s a good one, reading a Stephen King book is a special kind of pleasure. One I had saved in fact, for these school holidays and a work trip to the Gold Coast. And The Outsider is just what you would hope it to be – engaging, suspenseful and in touch with that dark world just outside ours that Stephen King seems to have a direct line with.
The story begins with two interesting premises – the first is the arrest of a local baseball coach for the particularly brutal murder of one of the local boys he coached. This alone peaks interest – how does the local hero hide the kind of dark side that could commit the crime described by police in the first pages. But there were witnesses to him picking up the boy in a van, and DNA
Then irrefutable DNA and eye-witness evidence emerges placing him at a literary convention in another city that day. So what is the answer? How can one person be in two places at the same time?
The mystery here will appeal to fans of King’s recent Bill Hodges series (and there is a nice connection to this later in the narrative), but don’t be fooled – there is more to this than meets the eye. When all possible explanations are removed, only that which is impossible is left. And that is exactly where they need to look for the answers to this crime.
The whole novel is a great read, but particularly the chilling first half where everyone – the reader and the characters – are trying to determine the truth. King has a spellbinding ability to create that sense of the ominous – of something dark and dangerous just outside our reach. You wont be disappointed by The Outsider. It’s a great read.