Synopsis

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? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

Review

This was my first time to read a horror book from the King of Horror and Suspense and Stephen King didn’t disappoint. I was both scared and thrilled to give this book a go but after reading the first chapter, I just can’t seem to stop myself from turning page after page until the wee hours of the morning. If I don’t have work I probably would have finished this in two days.

I loved how the story built up. The plot was intense. There were more than enough characters but I liked how King made everyone have their own defining moment. But for me, it was Ralph Andersson and Holly Gibney who stood out.

Ralph Andersson – He’s a detective who doesn’t believe in supernatural beings. He believes in pieces of evidence because this is how he was trained to perform his duty, but all his beliefs will be put to test once he becomes involved in the unlawful arrest of Terry Maitland – whom they believed to have killed, mutilated and sexually abused a kid.

Holly Gibney – She appeared in the middle of the story. I wasn’t familiar with her because I haven’t read Finders Keepers yet. Gibney, though she wasn’t a trained Detective, will steal the spotlight from the lead characters, as she put together the pieces of evidence she gathered combined with her knowledge from the previous encounters with the unknown. Gibney is an obsessive-compulsive woman who doesn’t know how to make proper conversations but becomes a completely different woman when dealt with difficult circumstances. Maybe because she wasn’t trained like how the police and detectives were, she was able to think outside the box and consider all possible scenarios without judgment.

The imagery was brilliant. I can picture the brutality of the crime. It was like a movie playing in my head. I can almost hear the sound effects that usually play in a horror movie and I actually had the goosebumps as I imagined the story in my head. It was perfect! The twists and the addition of the “unknown” added a unique feel to the story.

King used El Coco as the basis of his villain in this story. I never heard of it before but as per my research, El Coco is a popular legend in Latino countries. He’s often used to threaten children who wouldn’t sleep. He’s the equivalent of Bogeyman in America.

This book is 561 pages but I don’t consider it a lengthy read considering the twists, build-up, climax and the resolution of the story.

Quotable Quotes

People had the mistaken idea that Poe wrote fantastic stories about the supernatural, when in fact he wrote realistic stories about abnormal psychology.

I believe there’s another dozen thoughts lined up behind each one I’m aware of.

Dreams are the way we touch the unseen world.

If you can’t let go of the past, the mistakes you’ve made will eat you alive.

People are blind to explanations that lie outside their perception of reality.

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

We came from blackness, it seems logical to assume that it’s to blackness we return.

Just promise me you’ll stop every once in a while and acknowledge the day, honey. It’s the only one you’ll have until tomorrow.

Reality is thin ice, but most people skate on it their whole lives and never fall through until the very end. We did fall through, but we helped each other out. We’re still helping each other.

I believe in my consciousness and my unconscious, even though I don’t know what those things are.

Person did what a person could, whether it was setting up gravestones or trying to convince twenty-first-century men and women that there were monsters in the world, and their greatest advantage was the unwillingness of rational people to believe.

Thought only gives the world an appearance of order to anyone weak enough to be convinced by its show.

I would like to believe in God,” she said, “because I don’t want to believe we just end, even though it balances the equation—since we came from blackness, it seems logical to assume that it’s to blackness we return. But I believe in the stars, and the infinity of the universe. That’s the great Out There. Down here, I believe there are more universes in every fistful of sand, because infinity is a two-way street.

Strange, the things you noticed when your day—your life—suddenly went over a cliff you hadn’t even known was there.

Down here, I believe there are more universes in every fistful of sand, because infinity is a two-way street.

When you get old, peace is about all you want.

Rating: 5/5

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