Thursday 5 September 2019

Review: The Outsider, by Stephen King

The OutsiderThe Outsider by Stephen King
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As one of Stephen King's Constant Readers, I love what he writes most of the time, and I did love this too, but in some ways I felt this went a predictable route.

It was another sort of crime thriller book; he even connected it to characters from the Mr Mercedes series of books too. It was nice revisiting those characters and that story but I had hoped for something more. It felt on some levels a bit of a rehash of the same story line - particularly End of Watch.

This book follows a rather heinous murder of an 11 year old boy, and the police think they know who has done it: a popular, well-liked, community guy and teacher in town. They have DNA at the scene, they have eye-witness accounts - solid ones too. They think this gives them the right to take him down publicly and they do. But it turns out he has a cast iron alibi, one they hadn't investigated. And worse yet, they have managed to turn the entire town against him and his family before they'd looked into it. And that is where the dilemma starts.

Now from here on it, it deviated from where I had hoped it would go. I was hoping for something more ... I don't know, factual maybe, an honest look at how doppelgangers could possibly have identical DNA, or how a murderer can take on another identity. I was excited, but that excitement was curtailed when the book went another route. And it became a little predictable from that point on for me personally.

The characters were still excellent: well developed and presented. And there was still a good plot line and suspense was built. And in fact the ending was much better than I had thought - I was dreading it turning into an ending like the one in his book IT, which for me personally was very disappointing (however controversial that opinion is!).

I had hoped for the return of the more unusual Stephen King story lines, the unique that he does so well. Although I don't mind a good crime thriller, it's not really what I am looking for when I pick up one of Stephen King's books.

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  1. I loved this book! It’s always a sign of a good book when I can’t predict the plot. This book had me on the edge of my seat and made me feel a range of emotions from anger, sadness, and joy. I don’t like to include spoilers, so I won’t. This book was more old school Stephen King to me, and I liked that.

    1. Thanks for commenting. I felt From A Buick 8 was a return to old school King. But his deviations are interesting.