Narrator: Justine Lupe, Stephen King
Series: Holly Gibney #3
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on September 5, 2023
Length: 15 hours and 24 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Holly Gibney, one of Stephen King’s most compelling and ingeniously resourceful characters, returns in this thrilling novel to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a midwestern town.
“Sometimes the universe throws you a rope.” — BILL HODGES
Stephen King’s Holly marks the triumphant return of beloved King character Holly Gibney. Readers have witnessed Holly’s gradual transformation from a shy (but also brave and ethical) recluse in Mr. Mercedes to Bill Hodges’s partner in Finders Keepers to a full-fledged, smart, and occasionally tough private detective in The Outsider. In King’s new novel, Holly is on her own, and up against a pair of unimaginably depraved and brilliantly disguised adversaries.
When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl’s desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.
Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harboring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie’s disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.
Holly must summon all her formidable talents to outthink and outmaneuver the shockingly twisted professors in this chilling new masterwork from Stephen King.
This story takes place during COVID-19, but after the vaccine is available. The story starts with Holly attending the virtual funeral of her mother who didn’t believe the virus was real and refused the vaccine, like so many others (my mother included, though she is still, gratefully, with us). She decides to listen to a voicemail even though Finders Keepers is closed from her family emergency. A mother is desperate to find her missing daughter. The cops are not helping her and suggested Finders Keepers to her.
Holly decides to take the case, even though her current partner is down with COVID himself, but he’s vaccinated, so just a mild case. Holly is mostly on her own with this investigation. It doesn’t take that much time before she realizes there is more than just the one girl missing.
This story you get both Holly’s POV, but also several other characters, including the killer(s). I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but in this world, it is the humans that are monsters. I know with Stephen King you never know if the evil will be human or not, but this is human.
Now that I know there are more Holly Gibney stories, I will be going back and listening to them too. I will admit that I didn’t remember a lot of the details of the original Bill Hodges series, but that was not an issue here. Neither was the fact that I hadn’t read books one and two. This series isn’t horror, though parts are horrific. I would list this more as a suspense series. I would say it is no more violent or gruesome than Karin Slaughter books. So if you’re worried about Stephen King horror, this is not the horror that he is famous for. But a wonderful story nonetheless.
I don’t think I’ve ever listened to Justine Lupe before, but felt she was a great voice for Holly. I had no issues with any of the characters’ voices, be it teens, adults or even the elderly. Male and female were not an issue either. I would gladly listen to her again with either this series or another.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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