By Stephen King

Release Date: August 3, 2021

The ever-prolific king moves from the horror of his trademark to the realm of the harsh noir thriller.

“He’s not a normal person. He’s a hired assassin, and if he does not think like who and what he is, he will never be clear. This is how the King writes about his headline figure, which the Las Vegas mob brought to rub another rented gun that was caught and likely to speak. Billy, called by some names, is a complex man, a Marine in the Iraq War who saw friends blown to pieces; It may be dull from PTSD, but it is goal-oriented. He also reads – Zola’s novel Therese Rakin McGaffin’s character – what turns his employer’s wheels: If he reads, then why not pretend to be a writer while he waits for the perfect moment to make his hit? This will not be the first, real or imagined writer that King enters the service, and if Billy is not Jack Torrance, there is a charming and gentle hint of the Overlock Hotel and its spectral occupants at the end of the thread. It’s not a spoiler to say that while Billy makes the blow with dismal precision, things go awry, complicated following his rescue of a young woman – Alice – after she has been raped. Billy’s revenge on her name is less sweet. As a memoir grows on his laptop, Billy becomes more confident as a writer: “He does not know what anyone else might think, but Billy thinks it’s good,” King writes of the one-day output. “And it’s good that it’s awful, because awful is sometimes the truth. He’s guessing he’s really a writer now, because it’s a writer’s thought.” Billy’s art comes to life as Alice begins to take an increasingly important part in it, crossing the country with him to make one last blow at a bad bad guy: “He fell back on the couch, kicked once and fell to the floor. The days of child rape and murder of boys and God knew what It’s over. ” This story within a story has a nice twist, and Billy’s battered copy of Zola’s book also plays a role.

The most disgusting and entertaining murder. Another turning pages worthy of a prototype master.

Pub Date: August 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-982173-61-6

Page count: 528

Publisher: Scribner

Review published online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus review issue: June 15, 2021

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