Big books of summer: I don't know how they do it--bestselling authors who deliver satisfying reads year after year. Among this season's surefire bestsellers are two terrific novels from masters of their genres

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    • Abstract:
      Stephen King's The Outsider (Scribner, $30, 576 pages, ISBN 9781501180989) opens with every parent's worst nightmare: Eleven-year-old Frankie Peterson is found raped and mutilated in a Flint City park. Detective [...]

Reviews

LJ Reviews 2018 January #1

When the corpse of a sexually assaulted 11-year-old boy is found, fingerprint evidence and eyewitness accounts implicate upstanding citizen Terry Maitland, an English teacher, Little League coach, and father. He's got an alibi, but Det. Ralph Anderson soon has DNA evidence, and the investigation ratchets up to some scarily King-worthy puzzles.

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

LJ Reviews 2018 April #1

When a young boy's mutilated corpse is found in a public park, the evidence points to Little League coach and high school English teacher Terry Maitland. Despite his vehement claims of innocence, witnesses put him at the scene of the crime, and his fingerprints and DNA are found all over the murder scene. The police have an airtight case, except that other witnesses and video also confirm Terry's alibi: that he was miles away at a teacher's convention on the night of the murder. For Det. Ralph Anderson, it is simultaneously the most straightforward and frustrating case of his career. How can a man be in two places at once? After the success of his "Bill Hodges" series and Sleeping Beauties, coauthored with his son Owen, King's latest feels somewhat flat and predictable. Followers of the horror master's career will likely guess the outcome early on. Usually a maestro of character development, King casts his novel with tired and one-dimensional figures, including Anderson, whose emotional development is disappointingly nonexistent. An extended cameo from a favorite past King character does little to increase the enjoyment. VERDICT King's fans may be dispirited by this latest disappointing thriller; however, his name alone will ensure it flies off the shelves. [See Prepub Alert, 12/1/17.]—Tyler Hixson, Brooklyn P.L.

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2018 March #3

MWA Grand Master King wraps a wild weird tale inside a police procedural in this nicely executed extension of his Bill Hodges detective trilogy (begun with 2014's Mr. Mercedes). Det. Ralph Anderson of the Flint City, Okla., police force appears to have beloved youth baseball league coach Terry Maitland dead to rights when he publicly arrests him for the grisly murder of an 11-year-old boy, since the crime scene is covered with Terry's fingerprints and DNA. Only one problem: at the time of the murder Terry was attending a teachers' conference in a distant city, where he was caught clearly on videotape. The case's contradictory evidence compels Anderson and officials associated with it to team up with Holly Gibney (the deceased Hodges's former assistant) to solve it. What begins as a manhunt for an unlikely doppelgänger takes an uncanny turn into the supernatural. King's skillful use of criminal forensics helps to ground his tale in a believable clinical reality where the horrors stand out in sharp relief. Agent: Chuck Verrill, Darhansoff & Verrill. (May)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.