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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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Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    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

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • 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.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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Fascinating Story!

As usual, I was blown away by Stephen King's new gripping tale. Unique ideas combined with history made this villain truly haunt my dreams at night. I loved it! #audible1

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    4 out of 5 stars

Another classic by the King

I am a long time Stephen King reader and this story did not disappoint. With King novels the mystery is always scarier than the truth and for this reason the endings may feel like a let down but the ride to get there is worth it

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    4 out of 5 stars
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I enjoyed this very much. #Audibli 1

I realy enjoy Steven King and this was no disapointment.Looking forword to more from him. #Audible1

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  • Rob
  • 2018-09-18

Didn’t End Up Where I Thought It Was Headed

I dislike criticizing a piece of work for not living up to my ideals, but I am so used to King fulfilling that need for me. This story pulled me in and hooked me right from the start. The build up is fantastic; however, the last third of the book left me hoping the story had taken a different route. Still good, still enjoyable, still easily worth a credit...I just feel this story had more in the gas tank than it ended up revealing. #Audible1

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Great audiobook

I was surprised at how captivating this was from the very beginning and I found myself listening to this audiobook any chance I had. The narration was also very well done, in my opinion. Would definitely recommend! #Audible1

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • terri
  • 2018-08-08

Had Great Promise, Ended Pretty Badly

I honestly liked the character of Holly Gibney... In the Bill HodgesTrilogy. It seems like King is obsessed with this character, and shoved her in our face in this book, and wanted us to know how awesome and quirky she is, and that somehow everyone manages to really like this awesomely weird quirky intelligent woman in her 40's who's strange but kind of likable. And smart. Don't forget smart.

The story had so much promise, but ultimately the "showdown" was lame, brief, and I felt that I had been cheated. I wanted more. The story started off pretty great, but again, in King fashion there was sooo muuuch detail. It's overkill. You can skip this one.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Roger
  • 2018-06-30

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.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-08-14

Not a great story and bad voicing

One of the characters who's introduced halfway through is voiced so comically bad that it made it hard to finish. wasn't really worth it. I really liked the beginning of the book though!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Colin Kelley
  • 2018-08-15

keep your expectations low.

It is not Kings best work by a long margin.

Basically Holly Gibney meets "It".

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Cindy
  • 2018-08-12

Ho-hum

Was a little disappointed. a bit too much boogie man for my taste. have read many Steven King books and this one got a little too far into the super natural.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • JohnFern0813
  • Tampa
  • 2018-08-09

Tedious Audio

Like all Stephen King books, it starts out like it is going to be a good read. Many finish that way. Unfortunately this one drags on and on with an extremely tedious and often annoying narrator. The voice of Holly is simply excruciating.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Barbara Grande
  • 2018-08-06

Stephen King usually does not disappoint me.

This book was pretty awful. I feel that I wasted a credit on it. Will Patton usually does a much better job, the change in volume was very annoying, having to stop what I'm doing, grab the phone or Alexa and change the volume and then change it back constantly. If a narrator wants to affect a whisper, it can be done with the same level of volume. As for the story, I am a huge Stephen King fan, and this book was less engaging than reading his grocery list. I have loved all of his books, judging 'Pet Sematary' to be the worst and '11/22/63' to be almost as good as 'The Stand'. Every other book since and including 'Duma Key' has been phenomenally enjoyable such that I wanted to cry when they ended.

15 of 16 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
  • Jerred M Gracey
  • 2018-07-30

just ok. I could never really get into it.

the beginning dragged on for me. it never really got going. was bored thru out most of it

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • judith ann
  • 2018-08-04

where has stephen king gone?

man, oh man, i hate this! i have read king for 30-40 yrs. pretty much always loved everything. this is my 1st audible outing so maybe i'm just not connected good unless i'm reading, but i kinda hated this book. i am familiar w/mr. patton as an actor & he is mostly fine in his narration, so i don't know...... the story had no dept, no imagination & was boring as hell. i sincerely hope this is not a new writing style for mr. king. have no doubts, i will read him over & over again. just never this one. i considered the lack of connection & i really don't think its because i was being read to. i guess i'll see when i listen tom a few other books by other authors. but honestly i think it was just this book. so sorry king lovers.(of which i still consider myself a part of) if you want to try this one, i suggest the library, cuz i really don't think many of you would want to own it after you read or listen.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dave Garrett
  • 2018-08-15

over written by half

I swore off King after some really week overly long books. After reading the JFK assassination novel, gave him another chance. Read the sequel to The Shining, and it was pretty good. This one goes back to the day the author seemingly gets paid by the word. Will be cautious about further purchases.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful