A perfect blend of horror and murder mystery with a touch of supernatural.
The Outsider by Stephen King
Genres: Horror, Mystery
Published: 22nd May, 2018
An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King’s propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face?
It’s not a secret that I’m love with Stephen King’s writing. Small, seemingly unnecessary details scattered around, dry, often sarcastic humour, brilliantly drawn characters and flawless dialogues. What more can I ask for? Even though his books tend to be on the longer side, reading his stories never feels tedious.
The Outsider deals with a situation that is very typical to most of King’s books. Something horrible happens, and people try to find a rational explanation for it. Even when there’s mounting evidence to prove the contrary, they’d rather just look the other way and live in denial. Because of course, true to himself, the Master weaved the supernatural into a murder investigation so seamlessly, that the constant reader is left wondering: have none of these people ever read Stephen King? Hello?!
So, let’s see what we got here…
- A brutal murder case, with some pretty graphic imagery.
- Small town vibes.
- Ralph Anderson, the lead detective, who may just have screwed this one up really badly, but is nevertheless so relatable (I mean, we all would have done the same, most likely). I could totally imagine being married to a dude like him. Just sayin’… You know, casually helping solve murder cases during breakfast.
- Yune Sablo, the detective’s sidekick. I read all his lines in a Spanish accent, even though I’m pretty sure he actually didn’t have one. But he did speak some Spanish, so there you have it.
- A creepy ass killer who wears other people’s faces.
- Holly Gibney, the kick ass private investigator who debuted her talents in Mr. Mercedes. (If you haven’t read that series yet, you totally should. It’s worth it, even if just for Holly.) She’s a serious movie geek, and a socially awkward badass lady in spite of her struggles with mental health issues.
- Good, old fashioned investigation that eventually leads to some hair raising discoveries.
- An eclectic assemble of great characters who go on a crazy adventure cross-country.
- A thrilling page turner.
- The story alternating with snippets of the police interviews gives a peculiar flavour to the mix.
To me, reading a Stephen King book always feels like wrapping myself into a comfy blankie I had for ages, sinking into the familiar warmth, just to have my ass bitten by some unspeakable creature hiding in its folds.