The OutsiderThe Outsider by Stephen King
Published by Scribner on May 22, 2018
Pages: 561
View Title on Goodreads
Bantering Books Rating: four-half-stars

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.

Bantering Books Review

Why did I ever stop reading Stephen King?

King was my go-to author when I was a teen. There are only a handful of novels in his older catalog that I haven’t read. And with the exception of his and Richard Chizmar’s novella, Gwendy’s Button Box, I haven’t read a King novel in 20+ years.

I’m seriously wondering why I ever stopped — because I really, REALLY enjoyed The Outsider.

It’s good. It’s Stephen-King-good. It’s an enjoyable mix of mystery/thriller with a supernatural twist.

I’ve read a few reviews from readers who didn’t enjoy the added element of the supernatural . . . but this is Stephen King. If you’ve read him before, then you should know what you’re getting yourself into before you even turn to the first page.

Is it too long? Yes. A couple of hundred pages could’ve easily been shaved off — but I didn’t care. I kept reading, and reading, and reading . . . because all of it was just SO compelling, when parts of it really shouldn’t have held my interest. In fact, I probably should’ve been bored out of my mind at times, but I just . . . wasn’t.

Not many authors can lead readers through hundreds of unnecessary pages like King.

The Outsider would’ve been a five-star read, had it not been for the ending. It’s just a bit quick . . . and after such a long (but enjoyable!) build-up, I expected an explosive, larger-than-life showdown at the end. And King didn’t q-u-i-t-e give it.

Still . . . I am a King fan once again. Twenty+ years will not go by before I read another of his novels.

AND . . . now I’m ready to watch The Outsider on HBO. I can’t wait.