Through movies and television, we have been trained to put complete faith in forensic science... DNA, fingerprints, and everything else that goes with it. In The Outsider, Stephen King has enjoyed himself immensely by turning all that science on its head, and he does it by using a Sherlock Holmes quote as a sort of mantra: "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
Ralph Anderson is the immovable rock-- everything must make sense. Everything must have a logical explanation. He is the person who must see the truth in that Sherlock Holmes quote. But Terry Maitland's proven alibi and the evidence he and his team have found do not make sense. At. All. Maitland's defense team knows they need help, and I was delighted when that help turned out to be Holly Gibney from King's Bill Hodges mystery trilogy (Mr. Mercedes, et al). Quite frankly, I think Holly rocks, and she certainly does in this book.
King has created a core cast of characters whose emotional responses to events can break your heart, and it's easy to become wrapped up in their lives. The solution to the young boy's murder is vintage King, and even if you don't quite go for "that sort of thing," it's fun to put all the clues together along with the characters. As I read, I had the feeling that the book was leading up to an explosive ending, and it wasn't, which was a tad disappointing. But on the other hand, most mysteries are not solved by an eardrum-splitting clap of thunder and a huge bolt of lightning. The Outsider grabbed me from page one and kept me enthralled to the end. You can't ask for anything more.
I'm a Stephen King fan but this book was a disappointment to me. I liked the first 200 pages but after that it went off into an unbelievable tangent and really got boring. I do not enjoy authors who put their political views into the story. Major turnoff. I honestly believe that this book is authored by Harlan Coben as he is frequently mentioned in the book. This writing is not Stephen King's. Read King's older books if you want the real King.
What can I say? Stephen King is still at the top of his game and has not lost his great story-telling ability. I started reading King way back in the 70s not long after CARRIE was published. I enjoyed his early novels immensely including 'SALEM'S LOT, THE SHINING, THE STAND, THE DEAD ZONE, etc. More recently, I finally got around to reading IT which I consider one of his best. A few years ago, I kind of gave up on King after reading LISEY'S STORY and some of the Dark Tower books but then came 11/22/63 and DOCTOR SLEEP which I thought were both great. Well THE OUTSIDER is another hit. It reminded me a little of IT with an unknown entity that can't be explained.
The story is about a brutal murder of a young boy committed supposedly by a well-respected coach who left his fingerprints and DNA at the murder scene. He was also identified by several witnesses before and after the murder. But then it turns out he was miles away when the murder was committed at a conference in another city. He was surrounded by colleagues who vouched for him being there plus he was actually shown on a TV clip talking to the author, Harlan Coben
, who was a speaker at the conference. So how could he be in two places at the same time?
Well King brings in a lot of speculation including an old Mexican legend about El Cuco
, a monster who kills young children and drinks their blood. (My wife is originally from Mexico and she remembers the stories of cucuy
told to her by her mother!) King, as usual, also includes some great characters in the telling of this tale. Probably the most memorable is Holly Gibney, who is instrumental in getting to the bottom of what was happening. Apparently, Gibney is a character from King's Bill Hodges trilogy which I have not yet read but will be on my short list of TBRs to read soon. Overall, a home run for King!
Stephen King is known for his horror novels, but this one is a little different. It is more in the mystery/thriller genre, abd very engrossing, I might add, with (not to give anything away in a spoiler) a small bit of the King âflair' that we have come to expect. But it's not over the top, as in many/most of his stories. The conclusion is very satisfying, definitely not rushed, and befitting the story as a whole. answering all of the questions you may have had throughout the story.
There's a love/hate relationship between myself and Stephen King. This one is in between. After a horrific murder of a young boy, the plot was intense with no creep element, just a gripping mystery which pulled me in immediately.
Well, more than half way through the book, eerie things happen and the petrifying
âOutsiderâ is introduced. And so begins a blood-curdling, chilling story that only King can portray.
I could hardly sleep after finishing! If you like Stephen King, you'll love this one!
I find Stephen King really variable. On the one hand, he almost always manages believable characters and realistic-sounding dialogue even in the most bizarre of plots. On the other hand, sometimes the plots just don't add up for me. This is one of those. It starts out pretty interesting, with incontrovertible evidence that Terry Maitland did the crime except he has an absolute iron-clad alibi proving he didn't. The first half of the book is dedicated to this and there is nothing pointing to the supernatural - except we readers have seen the spooky guy on the cover, so, y'know...where is it? Then we FINALLY get into spooky guy territory. I didn't feel like the spookiness was grounded on anything solid though. There's some talk about myths and legends but it just seemed like King made up the abilities of spooky guy to fit his plot. The other bit was Holly Gibney. I felt from her first appearance that she comes from some other King book I haven't read, and after looking it up it seems to be the Mr. Mercedes series. So just a little - not a lot, just a little - irritating. But the thing that really spoiled it for me was Ralph. I felt it was 100% Ralph's fault that Maitland ended up like he did, but we're supposed to forgive and to like Ralph because Maitland coached Ralph's son, so he was emotionally overwrought. I really, really disliked Ralph. But YMMV; it's still quite readable, no long boring spots and a more-or-less happy ending.
I don't read all of Stephen's books, but this one caught my attention from the beginning and was like Stephen's old books - real creepy!!!
There are some truly good books by Stephen King, but I am always wary of what us readers will get when he has a new book. This book had every element that I do not enjoy in a King book. It is extremely disturbing subject matter. Then there are those ridiculous expressions from characters that cause me to roll my eyes. And while I kept reading it became more and more far fetched. One of the worst King books in my opinion.