My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 2 days
Pages - 561
Publisher - Scribner
Source - WHSmith (special purple edition)
Blurb from Goodreads
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.
Oh you guys I love Stephen King and it has been longer than I would have liked since I read him. Here we see ourselves visiting a small town, a small child's body is found, murdered, brutalised, violated, ruined. The little league coach is ID'd by locals and evidence is irrifutable that Terry Maitland is the killer. Friend, teacher, kids coach, everyone knows Terry, they know what he looks like, they haven't got it wrong but Terry maintains his innocence and can prove he wasn't there. Can one person be in two places at one time and if so, who is the other Terry?
Oooft this kicks off quickly, the find of the child is horrific and the details aren't spared for what he endured so this is your FYI. The rage is high and Terry is arrested in a very public manner, sure the cops have eye witnesses and evidence so they KNOW he did it. As the investigation unfolds and Terry maintains his innocence people are torn and split between what they saw, what they know and the man they have known and loved, trusted with their kids for so long.
This is a great tale, it has the spooky elements we have known and loved from King, also a character from a previous book(s) turns up which I hadn't read so I am hoping I haven't spoilered it for myself. Crime, investigation, public trial and then the spooky other, two men with one face? Or a sick killer who has fooled the people he has known and loved for years. I loved it, you are back and forward, you feel the angst for the characters, the questioning, the proof, the evidence, doing what is right, justice for the child.
The bits with the child thankfully aren't many as they are graphic, you get the old hairs on the back of your neck standing up. Outrage for some of the characters, rage at some antics and question but what if you were them. I love a book that does that and carrys you along, I have been a King fan since I was a kid - I grew up on King and feel in love with his writing from a very young age. I think this is one of those stories that you can't help but love, devouring each page because you have to know where is it going. At one point I gasped out loud, I couldn't believe what I had just read nor what it meant for the turn the story was going to take. An author that can do that to you is absolutely deserving of the title Master, he is brilliant, 4.5/5 for me this time. Also, there are a few editions of this book, red cover, blue, black and then WH Smith did an exclusive purple edition (check my instagram @always_reading) beautiful and purple is my fav colour so I had to buy that one. I cannot wait to read more of King, I have a handful left I haven't gotten to yet, the man has a way with words!