title: The Outsider
author: Stephen King
published: May 22, 2018
genre: crime thriller
first line: It was an unmarked car, just some nondescript American sedan a few years old, but the blackwall tires and the three men inside gave it away for what it was.
rated: 4 out of 5
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens—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 have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King’s 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.
The Outsider is exactly the reason I love reading Stephen King. This was an exciting, scary thrill ride and I gobbled it up and wanted seconds.
As the novel starts off Coach Terry is at a little league baseball game when he is arrested in front of over one thousand people. He is a well known and well liked coach, he is married with two young daughters. Coach T is being arrested for the recent murder and mutilation of a local 8 year old boy. The call to arrest him that way was made by detective Ralph Anderson who is positive the coach committed this crime and is hell bent on making sure he pays the price for it.
As the story flows Coach Terry has a pretty solid alibi, he was out of town during the murder with a few other teachers and hours away from home. This leaves the cops scratching their heads because not only does the DNA at the crime scene match there are eye witnesses who saw the coach around the time of the murder with the victim. The story then goes onto how can a person be at two places at once?
I won’t go on any further so not to include spoilers but this read had me good and hooked. King nails the police procedures, he gets you to care about this set of characters and he terrifies you with the “what if’s”. He leaves you wondering about the boogey man and it all culminates into an exciting ending.
My one single qualm is that one of the characters from the Bill Hodges Trilogy, Holly Gibney, is in this book so there are slight spoilers regarding those books which I haven’t read. Speaking of characters, I liked Holly alot and detective Ralph Anderson as well. King develops them well and I enjoyed reading as they try to solve this thrilling case. I am already watching and enjoying the tv mini-series based on the book.
Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of The Outsider. The book photo here is my own.