“The Outsider gives King fans exactly what they want at the same time as cramming in new ideas, proving the least surprising thing of all: that his novels are as strong as they ever were .”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Terry Maitland is married, the father of two teenage girls, coaches little league baseball and is a pillar in the community. When a young boy is found murdered and mutilated in the town, witnesses come forward identifying Terry as being the one seen with the boy just before he was killed, as the one walking around town with blood all over his shirt, who told people who knew him that he had an accident, not attempting to hide the fact that he had committed a heinous crime.
The local police are so sure that he is the killer they arrest him in front of a large crowd while managing his baseball team. His fingerprints are found at the scene of the crime. It’s a done deal as far as the police are concerned.
But Stephen King is telling this story, so you know it just can’t be that easy. And sure enough, it isn’t. Terry has an ironclad alibi. Ironclad. He was away at a conference with 3 fellow teachers for two days out of town. He is seen on the conference surveillance video, and his image is even on TV, asking a question to an author at this conference. Terry can’t be in two places at once, so he can’t be guilty. But then the DNA evidence at the crime scene comes back, and its Terry’s.
How is Stephen King going to explain this? I’m sure you can guess how. In another remarkable effort by the King of this genre, he throws us surprise after surprise, until the final page has been read. Once you have caught your breath, checked your habitat to make sure all is secure, and feel comfortable enough to think you MIGHT be able to sleep you will think to yourself, how does he keep on pulling this off. Maybe if you can sleep.
I love King, and I know he hasn’t always hit a home run with everything he sends our way, but he has sure hit one this time. If you love King, you will love this.
Added 2nd August 2018