Review: The Outsider by Stephen King

When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses outsiderundeniably 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?

Oh my god, this book was SO good!

I had difficulties getting in, as it’s jumping around in time a little and features the arrest of Terry Maitland as well as several interviews with witnesses.

But once that is all dealt with and the story stays in the present, I was hooked. And shocked.

It’s a typical King as it features characters you immediately warm up to & feel for. In typical King-manner, some of them are taken from us way too soon and in a shocking way as well! Damn you, King!

So this starts out as a traditional thriller. A kid is killed, horribly & brutally. You get all the gruesome details – if you want it or not.

Police are investigating and it seems like it’s an easy case, as the murderer was seen by several people.

BUT.

He also has an alibi. He was not in town. There’s evidence of him NOT being there. And this whole dilemma – the paradox of a person apparently being in two places at the same time – gives us a captivating narrative.

I don’t actually want to say too much, as this would take away a lot of the fun, so this will stay one of my shorter reviews.

It’s definitely worth reading, if you like thrillers with intriguing characters & a little bit of a supernatural feel.

Just as a warning – it features a character from King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy and gives away the ending, so if you still wanna read those, you might want to stay away from ‘The Outsider’ for now.

I wasn’t interested anyways, so it didn’t bother me.

And you know what’s most surprising about this book? The ending did NOT suck!! It might have been a teeny-tiny bit underwhelming, but did make sense and didn’t leave questions left unanswered.

I will give it 4.5 Stars. I take a little bit off, because of the slow start & the ending. It’s one of my favourite King novels now, but there are still a few I liked more.

★★★★☆

9 comments

  1. Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve read some Stephen King, given that I did not enjoy some of his later books and sort of gave up on him, but this sounds like the King of Horror is back at the wheel and he’s not sparing any gas, if you will allow me the metaphor… 🙂
    I’m adding this one to my “wanted” list straight away, and thank you so much for sharing!

    Like

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