The Outsider by Stephen King

June 5, 2019

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.


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★★★★ 4 𝓢𝓽𝓪𝓻 𝓡𝓮𝓿𝓲𝓮𝔀 ★★★★


I went into this book with pretty high expectations. I have only read one of King's books in the past, and that was well over twenty years ago. However, King is known for twisting your mind, creeping you out, and overall giving you a horror experience like no other. I was all-in, hoping to get all of the above.


It's hard for me to rate and review this book. I am big on reviewing based on the words in the book, not the author. This is the first time I have been totally conflicted. Based on what is expected from the author, I would have given this three stars instead of four. But because I need to stick to my usual, I gave it four because it's a really good book, just not a really good Stephen King book.


The first half of this book had me turning the pages, unable to put it down. I didn't know the characters well since I haven't read the series that this connects to, but that didn't take from my reading experience. I jumped in feet first and hit the ground running. I got to know the characters well enough to be invested in their plites.


The plot started out strong. Then it fell a little. It began to drag some. I was still all-in, but by three quarters of the way in, I was just hoping to get to the end. This seems to happen a lot with longer books. It's not easy to keep the reader fully invested in such a long, drawn out story. I am admitting, I did waver in interest from time to time in the second half.


Some big pluses for me in this book were the times I found myself cringing. There were some descriptions in the book where I almost lost my lunch. Huge plus for me. It's what I expected, so I was pleased to get what I had hoped for. The twists and turns in this book might not have been mind boggling, but they fit the plot and made it more interesting.


Overall, this was a well written book. It was definitely worth the read. And it didn't take me nearly as long as I expected to read it. I did falter in the ending. It did drag some. And the VERY end confused me. If you've read it, you might know what I mean. If you end up reading it, you will see what I mean. For a thriller reader, it's definitely worth a read!

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