Publication Date: 22nd May 2018
Strong Point: The story is very solid and the characters have depth and personality.
Weak Point: Any.
Books on Tour Rating: (5/5)
Goodreads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ (3.98/5)
“If we believe in monsters, in the supernatural, how do we believe in anything?”
That Stephen King is one of my favourite horror writers is, I think, no news.
This is partly why when I saw “The Outsider” prompted in the challenge #50states50horrorbooks for the state of Oklahoma, I didn’t hesitate in adding it to the challenge.
And It has turned out to be a five star reading.
There has been a horrendous murder in Flint City, Oklahoma. An eleven year old boy has been found on a bench at Figgis Park, sodomized and killed. His name was Frankie Peterson.
If this were not horrible enough, Frankie’s body presents other, mother disturbing wounds which shocked the police and the community.
The book starts with the arrest of the only suspect, Terence Maitland (Coach T.) who teaches English at the Flint High School and coaches Little League baseball team.
Fingerprints at the crime scene and on the victim’s body are unmistakable. They all point to Coach T. In addition, there are numerous eyewitnesses who place Maitland around the Park and even saw him with Frankie, the victim.
However, Coach T. has a very solid alibi, which the police didn’t even know.
In any case, he is arrested (somewhat hurriedly, without even interrogating him before) in front of a big crowd at the baseball field by Detective Ralph Anderson.
The whole town turns quickly against Terence and his family. Plus Terence continues insisting that he is innocent.
From this on, we learn about the sloppy police investigation that follows. In their swiftness to find the culprit and close the case, they transform the whole process in a circus which unfortunately ends up with more deaths which could have been avoided.
Surprisingly, the subsequent murders all point to different people: the various suspects are all seen by numerous eyewitness and the crime scenes are full of their DNA and fingerprints. But still they all have solid alibis.
How can this be? Is the killer wearing a mask with the face of the suspects? But then how their DNA ends up in the crime scenes when some of them were not even in the city at the time of the crime?
When she first appeared in the narration I couldn’t believe it. Holly is a character from the “Bill Hodges” trilogy which I disliked at the beginning of the first book but I ended up loving an appreciating.
A very special woman, with many problems, she is an excellent investigator. I don’t want to give many more details about her because you should really read the trilogy.
In this book, Holly basically solves the case due to her open mentality and the experience she has with the supernatural.
She is the best help Detective Anderson could have. And if it weren’t for Holly, he couldn’t have solved the case.
FINAL THOUGHTS ABOUT “THE OUTSIDER”
This book deserves all the praise it gets. There is a very interesting mixture of police work, investigation, horror and the supernatural which adds layers of geniality to an already perfect plot.
The diversity of characters and their development enriches the overall experience. It is specially poignant the change undergone by Detective Ralph Anderson. Without this transformation in his perspective, the case could not have developed.
The return of the character of Holly from the trilogy of “Bill Hodges” is a very valuable addition.
The whole story is quite unsettling so please before reading it, check for trigger warnings, because there are a lot of them.
Some of the scenes made my hair stand on end which explains why Stephen King is a master of putting the reader on edge.
I flew through its pages. I couldn’t put it down because the story was so creepy and so disturbing, that I really had to know what was happening.
So please read “The Outsider”. It is a masterpiece written by a genius.