Stephen King’s newest novel, “The Outsider,” is exactly what his fans want — a terrifying, twisted tale of mystery, featuring some of his scariest paranormal twists.
The plot is dark and intriguing, and constant surprises lead to a story that is impossible to put down. At 560 pages, it isn’t short by any means, but, its intense plot will keep readers turning pages for hours.
By exploring a multitude of characters by switching between regular dialogue and expositional police reports, King creates a unique story that is constantly shifting without ever getting convoluted.
In true King fashion, the novel focuses on horror. He doesn’t refrain from creating appalling situations for the characters.
Fair warning, though, this book deals with dark themes: rape, murder and the supernatural.
The book is constantly keeps readers on their toes, and very rarely does the book have a weird moment. There are a few head scratching moments -- for example, a scene where a character is thinking while peeing -- but these are to be expected from King.
It isn’t for the faint of heart. This novel won’t give King any new fans, but fans of King, will love it.
The titular Outsider may be one of King’s scariest creatures yet.
He does a phenomenal job of letting the horror and the supernatural lurk over the readers, akin to Pennywise always being a looming threat in “It,” or Randall Flagg from “The Stand.”
The novel starts as a mystery novel before truly thrusting into the paranormal. The amount of details in the novel ensure that readers know every single detail of the criminal case.
The novel does take a while to ramp up — a little over a hundred pages for things to get juicy. However, the wait is worth it.
Per usual for King, the characters are written well, and exposition, while sometimes lengthy, helps build the world.
King spends adequate time uncovering what Terry Maitland, a high school English teacher and little league coach, is to have done.
By the time things get scary, readers know the characters well and understand how they would react to situation.
Maitland is accused of the brutal rape and murder of an eleven-year-old boy. Things look grim for Maitland, as detective Ralph Anderson leads the case and has him arrested publicly at a baseball game.
However, Maitland has an airtight alibi, and events spiral out of control from there.
Anderson and the cops eventually find video evidence proving Maitland wasn’t at the scene of the crime, yet, his DNA, fingerprints, and blood are found at the scene.
The two contradicting stories, both filled with evidence, constantly leave readers wondering where the truth is.
King is consistently steps ahead of readers. Just when a plot twist is about to unravel, King throws yet another curve ball.
Despite the twists and turns, the book never feels absurd. Some novels try to constantly switch up the story too often, and it comes off stale. “The Outsider” strays away from this, and constantly surprises readers.
King novels tend to intertwine with his other works — “The Outsider” is no exception. While not necessary, it may be in the reader’s best interest to familiarize themselves with the “Mr. Mercedes” trilogy. A certain character pops up, and is a nice treat for fans of that series.