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Publisher's Summary

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively listenable stories. 

An 11-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad. 

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King's propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can. 

©2018 Stephen King (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

Critic Reviews

"Narrator Will Patton turns this story into an audio blockbuster.... King's usual sprawling cast of characters is also present, and suffice it to say that Patton does them all justice." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    7,037
  • 4 Stars
    2,137
  • 3 Stars
    574
  • 2 Stars
    130
  • 1 Stars
    86

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    7,511
  • 4 Stars
    1,172
  • 3 Stars
    355
  • 2 Stars
    105
  • 1 Stars
    108

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    6,248
  • 4 Stars
    2,037
  • 3 Stars
    654
  • 2 Stars
    170
  • 1 Stars
    95
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Holly again...

Not a fan of Holly. At least she didn’t appear until a ways into the story.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

unfortunately, predictable.

The story is a good. not great, it starts out really strong and then by the end becomes sort of the predictable King storyline he's been turning out since the early 2000s. I really enjoy revisiting the characters from the serial killer trilogies; Holly is a particular favorite of mine. But if I were King's editor I would have suggested a search and replace for one of the new characters names. Since we're being revisited by some familiar characters it was confusing to me that we now have had characters named Jack Hoskins and Jack Hodgins. One of which is/was a hero while the other turns out to be quite a bad dude. after three books with Jack Hodgins, it gets a little confusing to try to wrap your head around Jack Hoskins!

Read no further if you don't want spoilers. Again, the story is a very comfortable and familiar kind of genre story. You see something terrible happened and you can feel confident that they're going to get the bad guy in the end. Which is exactly what happens. For me, Classic King comes out more in his his short stories, and especially in some of the collaborative work that he's done (In the Tall Grass, Full Dark, No Stars). and those mediums he doesn't hold back in making you extremely uncomfortable and also isn't scared to not give you a happy ending. I think it would be freshening to get a novel from him we're sometimes our favorite crime-fighters don't get the bad guy. life isn't always about happy endings. We don't always catch the killers. I've felt this way since King put Duma key. I guess I was hoping for something just a bit gutsy in the end.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Story didn’t hold my attention. Didn’t like the readers performance of the Holly character - sounded robotic. Steve has written some masterful works but this misses the mark. I’m personally a bigger fan of his short stories.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Very mediocre

"The Outsider" has its high points, but is overall disappointing. Steven King really failed to follow alot of his own rules he prescribed in "On Writing", leading me to believe that he didn't care as much about this story. If you are on the edge about giving this a read, save your credit.

100 of 124 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mediocre For Stephen King

A good read for King fans who simply enjoy the writing style, and supernatural certainty of the story. Paton delivers a solid 5 stars in performance, and excels in bringing us the picture. Not too short just a little too long to bring us to an obvious conclusion, but not anticlimactic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Expected more depth in story

Good character build up. Gripping story for most of the part. The plot had a lot of open ended questions and eventually missed tying them all. Story felt like a build up for 80% of the book, which was great but the climax felt very rushed and did not satisfy the hype build during earlier part of the book. Nevertheless great read by a legendary writer, just that Stephen King has set the bar too high for himself.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Meh

Narrator is talented. Not sure King got this one edited. Story started off well, bet then dragged through the middle.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

yawn

I liked it but it seemed a rehash of his other books without the world development.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Started strong but then lost steam

An ok book that will no doubt make a lousy movie. And by the way, the ending was ridiculous. My 11 year-old could’ve come up with that resolution.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A definite improvement

Mr King finally dropped most of the political commentary and nothing substantial about alcoholism. The book started strong, excellent writing, built the characters well and created a real sense of suspense and mystery. It remained that way even after a previous character from other books made an appearance. I feel that this character is Mr Kings Odd Thomas. The story started rambling maybe a little past half way. The story was still good but lacked that excellent writing from earlier in the book, at times the dialog seemed like filler. A mediocre Stephen King book is still better than most. This is a definite step forward to getting back to his excellent suspense and story telling. The narrator Will Patton is good not great. At no point is his narration distracting or problematic.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful