Narrator: Will Patton
Series: Holly Gibney #1
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on May 22, 2018
Length: 18 hours, 41 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
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 listenable stories.
An 11-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.
I grabbed this book after realizing that there were more Holly Gibney books after reading Holly (book 3). After reading this, I’m not sure I would call it a Holly Gibney book, but it does have her as a character in the second half of the story. The Outsider follows a small town that is shaken by the horrific death of a little boy and the beloved little league coach who left DNA and fingerprints all over the crime scene. It seems like an open and shut case, but is nothing of the sort. Holly is brought in to help investigate the coach’s movement on a family vacation in Ohio, where a van was stolen and used in the boy’s kidnapping and murder. But the coach flew in and home with his family. They have flight records to prove it.
This story has a lot of twists and turns and more cases are uncovered as the story moves along. Like most of King’s stories, I really enjoyed his characters. I’ve loved Holly from the beginning and she’s the only character I knew going into this story. But I loved most of these characters too. I mostly loved Lovie Bolton, the elderly mother of Claude Bolton, who was a witness in the original crime (seeing the coach in a strip club with blood on him). She is just a straight up character and I loved her personality. She also knew her son wasn’t a perfect angel, he had been in jail after all for drugs, but he’s on the straight and narrow now. She knows that he’s a good person who’s made some bad mistakes. She’s very no nonsense too.
I don’t want to give too much away, but this is a classic King story with all the horrors you might expect. And some not so human aspects as well. There is a lot of police procedural style storytelling in this too, which I enjoy. Also like a typical Stephen King story, this isn’t short, but I don’t feel like it overly long either. There weren’t any parts where I just wanted the story to move along. I had a really good time while in this little town and meeting the new characters.
Will Patton does a great job with the narration. I’ve listened to him perform several Stephen King books, and I’ve always enjoyed his narration. I really thought he did a good job with Lovie Bolton’s voice. She’s got COPD and is on oxygen, and I thought he portrayed that well (though I haven’t met anyone personally exactly like that). But she had the gravelly voice you would expect. I think he also puts the right tone into the story and the different scenes. I always look forward to listening to him perform stories.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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