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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

What the critics say

"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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not a Waste of Time

First Stephen King novel I’ve ever read/ listened too. I enjoyed the story- it got a bit predictable in the middle and end.

If you’re looking for horror, this story is not for you. It’s more of a police procedural story with some science fiction elements.

-Kyle

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

King is at it, again!

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook!

King is a master storyteller, and this is another home run.

A gripping story, that doesn’t let you go. It was well narrated and just sucked me right in.

A future classic, for sure.

Highly recommended!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Horrifying and Creepy!!!

This book is a perfect combination of old school crime drama and supernatural suspense. Stephen King’s writing displays it’s quality here.

Will Patton did a fantastic job of giving life to the characters and situations.

Truly suspenseful and amazingly creepy. WONDERFUL

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Max
  • 2018-05-28

Another lackluster King jaunt

Like a lot of his recent stories, and in retrospect, a good chunk of his earlier work, King starts strong, circling a horrific tragedy and it's effects on those involved but inevitably drifts off into less engaging territory when the characters he has expertly fleshed out become too numerous to coexist realistically as a group.

King's ability to showcase ultimately very believable and sympathetic characters and give them life in a dark and brooding reality is consistently undercut by his inability to bring them all together and make them act as believable human beings.
3/4 through the book, the people we've come to feel for as almost real, completely lose their legitimacy when they are made to interact with each other and discuss the events that have occured. Perhaps it's the nature of the supernatural occurencr they are facing which is ultimately so far-fetched and at times ridiculous that it drags away all the realism previously established, or maybe it's that there are too many characters with too many different personalities who are thrown together that their believability gets lost in the shuffle.
There is also a distinct world building aspect in King's latest work that falls flat in comparison to his earlier masterpieces. Bill Hodges' supporting cast are unceremoniously thrown into the game midway through The Outsider and really don't seem to belong at all. In an effort to curtail spoilers I urge the reader not to continue beyond this point: the book's antagonist appears to belong to the species of sorrow-eating vampires from Doctor Sleep and this very connection causes the bad guy to lose some of his/her/It's legitimacy because we've seen his kind easily dispatched in the dissapointing sequel to the shining.

The Outsider starts out as an exceedingly strong mystery thriller but, as with King's more recent stories, fizzles into a flat and unintelligible supernatural vampire story with no bite. It is a frankensteining of fun genres that fails to find a spark of life. If I could say one thing to my literary hero it would be "Sorrow vampires just aren't interesting no matter how hard you try to make them a thing". I might also add "detective noir is engaging when it doesn't stray into supernatural territory".
I'd also add to anyone reading this that I will never not pick up the latest King book/audiobook while I am able to do so. He might not do horror very well anymore but he is a master writer.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This was fantastic!

This was my first Stephen King novel and I couldn't put it down. I really enjoyed the suspense, the characters and plot.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joe
  • 2018-07-18

Another great Steven King book

Once again Steven King writes another great novel. This one keeps you going effortlessly start to finish, fantastic read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well done

Was a couple different novel types mixed and ended 100% king. You will enjoy this book.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

terrible narrator

this narrator's voice whistles everytime he makes an "s" sound, it takes you right out of the story, as it becomes difficult repeatedly hearing this obnoxious whistle sound (think of the old pervert on family guy) also the volume changes dramatically from character to character making it impossible to listen to without constantly having to adjust the volume. if the narrator is reading this, use a pop filter and de-esser in the future! brutal, story seemed interesting but i just cant handle this guys whistle voice.

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Always EXCELLENT.

Once again King gives us a gripping story with enough frisson to make it amazing.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Pleasantly Surprised

I was struggling to keep an open mind at first but Will Patton deserves a big thank you for making this more interesting with his delivery. The storyline was very good and the real life references were spot on. I was finding it hard to stop listening as the plot was unfolding. I'd buy this again and recommend it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • flywatt
  • 2018-07-03

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.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • Newmarket, NH, USA
  • 2018-07-03

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.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • GearJamminHank
  • Douglasville, GA
  • 2018-07-03

Dragnet?

I couldn't get past the voice of the performer. He gives the book Dragnet sound. plus I don't like books that label every single character. it's nice when they change their voice a little bit and you don't have to guess who's who.p

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher Moore
  • CHARLOTTE, NC, US
  • 2018-07-02

not what I'm used to

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

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • peetie
  • 2018-06-24

A bit of a letdown

The first half of this book had me not wanting to put the book down. For the last half, I was just hoping it would hurry and be over. I think the 11 hr. book would have been 7-8 hrs if every character didn't speak sooooo slooooowly. I can understand having a couple of characters who speak at that pace, but the slow voices made the book drag. The narrater did a great job at changing the voices for each character, but I became very frustrated waiting for every sentence to be finished.

37 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • schiltda
  • schiltda
  • 2018-06-08

Expected Much More

Very slow. I kept waiting for some kind of excitement i would expect from King. I finished more out of obligation than out of anticipation. Don't waste your time.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • Portland, or United States
  • 2018-07-03

Re-read some classic King

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Katie
  • 2018-07-01

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.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jason W. Pantone
  • 2018-07-07

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • atralyx
  • 2018-07-07

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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful