I am delighted to share my review today for The Outsider by Stephen King. This is the first of my #20BooksofSummer reading challenge that I am taking part in.
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 been a while since I read a book by this author, well apart from a re-read of IT a couple of years ago.
The Outsider started as a crime thriller read after the brutal murder of a young boy. All the evidence points to one man. Other evidence places that same man in another place.
I enjoyed the crime aspect of this story and the thrill of the investigation. I enjoyed the feeling of something being wrong. I did have a theory early on, and to be honest I think that is something most readers would pick up on Mine was based on an urban legend/myth that I thought would be a fitting suspect.
Because this is a King book there are certain expectations that I have before reading. I expect a story that is not straight forward, that is going to have an unsettling feeling, a level of horror that me turning all the lights on. This story definitely does have all those.
The story has an almost two-part feel. The first is more the investigations, witnesses and trying to work out the various angles. The second part is something a little bit different. It also sees the appearance of my favourite character in this story, Holly.
Holly is a character who is almost a mystery in herself, I know she has appeared in other books, but I have not read them. She for me is a linking character. She helps join the two parts of the book for me. Linking the crime investigation to what follows.
There is a good amount of tension that builds up, I think a lot of this was my imagination trying to leap forward trying to guess what the author was going to come up with.
By the time I got to the crucial point of the story where the suspect is cornered, I was thoroughly enjoying the book. Then the reasons behind the murder were explained and I have to say I felt a little deflated. As I was reading it I thought “Oh is that it!”, I just felt it ended a bit quick.
Don’t get me wrong I did enjoy the story a lot, I thoroughly enjoyed the tense build-up, the eerieness and the crime investigation. The description of the brutal nature of the crime was uncomfortable to read. For me this story had more of a suspense and mystery feel to it rather than a horror.
With that in mind, I would recommend this book to readers who like crime, thriller, suspense with mysterious leanings in the second half.
It is a book I would Recommend.
Book #1 of 20 in my #20 Books of Summer reading Challenge
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