Book Review

THE OUTSIDER by Stephen King

Rating: 4.5 / 5

There are few Stephen King works left that I haven’t read, but THE OUTSIDER was on that list. I was excited to have it on the September schedule for the #constantreadersbookclub on Instagram!

THE OUTSIDER begins with a horrific crime. A young boy has been brutalized and murdered in a small town and there is no shortage of evidence as to the culprit behind the crime. Terry Maitland is a Little League coach, teacher and family man, but being well known seems to have backfired on him. The police have eye witnesses who saw and spoke to Terry along with DNA and fingerprint evidence which makes for an easily closed case.

The police go from thinking they have a solid case to realizing there is something not quite right. It turns out that Terry has a rock solid alibi that they can’t disprove and people who know him solidly believe that the cops have the wrong man. When the case takes an even darker turn, everyone involved is motivated to examine all possibilities, even those that seem impossible.

TW: Child murder, sexual abuse.

THE OUTSIDER was one of my favorite reads of September and it kept me hooked from the very beginning. This one is dark and twisty and perfect for heading into the spooky season. Holly, a character I very much enjoyed throughout the Bill Hodges trilogy makes a return in this book to lend her experience and insights into the bizarre and unusual, having experienced the world of Stephen King before. Holly grew a lot over the previous three books and it is good to see her again here a while after the events of the trilogy.

This very much felt like classic Stephen King in many ways, a true fight of good against evil with men and women who sometimes fall a bit in between when it comes to making good decisions. This one delves into regret and it looks also at how the court of popular opinion plays out as well.

This one is on the darker side so probably not for everyone, but a wonderful read nonetheless. One of the novellas in King’s IF IT BLEEDS is somewhat of a sequel to THE OUTSIDER so I do recommend reading this one before the more recent collection. I look forward to checking out the HBO adaptation!

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