Reading The Outsider by Stephen King

The Outsider

by Stephen King

Hardcover, 576 pages

Fear State: Perfection (5/5)

I’m not going to bore you with my love of Mr. King. If you’ve followed me for any short period of time you know he’s is the Alpha in the birth of my love for the horror genre. My father gave me a book called Needful Things when I was probably twelve or thirteen. It was love. More than twenty years later we are still here. The man has influenced a full two generation of writers and readers a like from books, to television and film. The horror genre wouldn’t churn without the Stephen King brand. He’s my hero. It’s incredibly rare that I don’t give him five stars. Rare. It has happened. (My Sleeping Beauties review is forthcoming. It wasn’t my favorite.)

I did love The Outsider. We find ourselves tainted by the details of a horrific crime involving the brutal rape and murder of a child. Now that I’m a parent reading the horrid details make me cringe. Thankfully, there are a number of witnesses, DNA and even fingerprints at the scene of the crime. The police believe they have a slam dunk case. So much so the lead detective Ralph Anderson orders his men to arrest the prime suspect Terry Maitland in front of a baseball field full of the town’s residents. He requested the charges be announced loudly and once a man he once believed to be his friend to be handcuffed in front of everyone. Anderson learns slowly but surely that this decision could cost him everything. I mean everything. 

The detective is warned several times away from this case. Anderson finds that he’s confronting elements so old and sinister that will shake the fabric of everything he believes. The murder forces the town to separate corners dismantling friendships and the wholesomeness that once lived there. If you know King then you know there’s a monster lurking in the crevices. This story takes you on a multi-state chase to find out if Terry Maitland is truly the man he’s portrayed for many years. Everyone has different faces. It forces you to ask yourself, "Do you ever truly know anyone?" Or do we all have monsters living inside of us underneath it all? 

No one could tell this story better than the man himself. As I’ve said many times over, “Long live the King.”

Happy Reading, 

PHA