Stephen King

The Outsider

""Looking back after reading, I felt I had read two halves of different books." "


When an eleven-year-old boy is found murdered in a town park, reliable eyewitnesses undeniably 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 trade the clues, the investigation expands from Ohio to Texas.

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?

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The first half of 'The Outsider' is almost pitch-perfect. A brutal crime is committed and through witness statements, police reports and forensic investigations, the killer is soon identified and arrested. However, the accused has a cast iron alibi. Is it possible this man can be in two places at once? In a lesser writer, I would have had my doubts that a satisfying solution could be reached. However, 'The Outsider' is written by Stephen King. If he can't answer the unanswerable, who can? Billed as a straight thriller, a breath-taking novel of suspense, it was disappointing to see King descend into the supernatural to solve the unsolvable. The second half of the novel is devoid of realism and this could well have been the fourth book in the Mr Mercedes series, with the return of Holly Gibney. Looking back after reading, I felt I had read two halves of different books. I initially had high hopes for 'The Outsider'. What could have been the best thriller of the year, a modern-day classic soon descended to the melodramatic and unfortunately ended up being unrewarding.

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