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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
  • 5 Stars
    11,823
  • 4 Stars
    3,880
  • 3 Stars
    1,000
  • 2 Stars
    234
  • 1 Stars
    168

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12,626
  • 4 Stars
    2,106
  • 3 Stars
    643
  • 2 Stars
    195
  • 1 Stars
    179

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10,322
  • 4 Stars
    3,685
  • 3 Stars
    1,184
  • 2 Stars
    313
  • 1 Stars
    176
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Capturing story, but it got a bit silly

This story drew me right in. The first half of the book was "edge of your seat" stuff. After that, it just got silly and was hard to finish.

27 of 28 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Newmarket, NH, USA
  • 07-03-18

Just not that compelling - should be abridged.

Was hoping for a gripping story - didn't care if it fit any of S K's past stories or styles. Very disappointed with the very long, drawn out story line. The key mystical influence of the plot line really took a very long time to come out and was kind of wishy washy and not very compelling. Perhaps more plausible than some SK spooks and mad men, but just not all that compelling to me. I really got bored.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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

Why do I hate Holly Gibney so much?

So this book started out really, really, really great. I was loving it. Then suddenly King reintroduced Holly Gibney. Why? For what purpose? The character is simply annoying. Sure, King has done the regular character thing before in the Dark Tower series, but those characters had substance and were believable. The introduction of the annoying Holly Gibney has almost ruined the book for me. What's worse is that fear that King is going the way of Koontz and other hacks that churn out series books with little substance. Stephen, if you are reading this- get rid of Gibney! She has no place in your books.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • Portland, or United States
  • 07-03-18

Re-read some classic King

Dig through his back catalog, pass this one by. There is so much better King novels out there.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

King wrote a story and hid it real deep in a bunch of garbage for us to pick through like raccoons.

Narrator was on point. He did the absolute best with what he was given, he put his all into it.

So basically this is an IT-like villain, in a Desperation-setting, with Mr Mercedes backdrops. It’s like he’s done, he’s out of ideas folks. He had a great murder mystery on his hands but maybe it was too short so he had to tack on as many words as possible. The first quarter was gold. Then he had to go back to Mr Mercedes. That series is OVER, let it go.

The background-less villain lacked all depth, all mystery. Feeds off bad mojo like the good ole clown. Lives in “moody” locations like cemeteries or locations of tragic events. Cliche after cliche after cliche.

I had to force myself through this thing. And I’ve been reading King for over twenty years and don’t recall ever being disappointed.

There’s gold in there, dig deep because there’s big nuggets of it, but I don’t want to dig through shit and name brand product placements to find it. I buy Apple products and I was even damn sick of him trying to sell the iPad Mini. Shut the hell up already. Every chapter treated the iPad like a futuristic alien tech that could save mankind. So sick of that disgusting product plug. Over. And over.

Take a shot for every time the iPad is mentioned. You’ll be hammered pretty damn quickly.

TL;DR - King had a great story, then he made it three times longer than it needed to be. It too many product placements and he brought his persona political views into play in a way that didn’t even mesh with the story whatsoever. I could see if it went with the flow and style but it sounded like King stomping his feet like a child and trying to make stereotypical digs. It really knocked the story off the rails each time he made a political whine, plugged Apples iPad and whatever other products, and had to pad chapters with useless drivel.

Two stars on story simply because the first quarter was pretty damn good. That’s it.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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

not what I'm used to

struggled to finish...not usual king fare...it was almost boring and disappointed me beyond belief. really

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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

Great narration on mediocre book.

This book could easily be re-titled "CSI case :The Night Flyer", same (rehashed) story different adjectives,longer and random jabs about 45 (I read and listen to books to get away from political BS) over all the story was "Meh", the narrator saved this book. This is nowhere near Kings better works.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

zzzzzzzzz

I absolutely hate these sleepy voice readers, it can be challenging enough to stay awake through an audio book, i really don't need a sleepy time inflection reading of what could be a well read story

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Meh

The story was just ok. This book was terribly predictable. The narration was the only reason I finished the book and didn’t return it. Will Patton did an excellent job! Thanks Will for salvaging this for me.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Not one of king’s best

This is the weakest of the bill Hodges murder mysteries. The villain is not very deep. Story was a bit predictable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful