Written By: Stephen King
Narrated By: Will Patton
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Date: May 2018
Duration: 18 hours 41 minutes
The novel was first mentioned in an interview for USA Today on August 7, 2017. The book cover was first revealed on January 18, 2018. An excerpt was published in the May 25, 2018, issue of Entertainment Weekly.
The Outsider Audiobook Summary
Now an HBO limited series starring Ben Mendelsohn!
Evil has many faces…maybe even yours in this #1 New York Times bestseller from master storyteller Stephen King.
An eleven-year-old boy’s violated corpse is discovered in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City’s most popular citizens—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 have DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.
As the investigation expands and horrifying details begin to emerge, King’s 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.
In Flint City, Oklahoma, police detective Ralph Anderson arrests the popular English teacher and Little League coach, Terry Maitland, in front of a crowd of baseball spectators. Maitland is charged with the rape and mutilation of Frankie Peterson, an eleven-year-old boy. Maitland hires his friend and lawyer, Howie Gold, to assist him. However, Detective Anderson has eyewitness accounts and forensic evidence which clearly pinpoints Maitland as the main, and only, suspect. In the meantime, eager reporters harass Maitland’s wife, Marcy and their two daughters, Sarah and Grace.
The district attorney, Bill Samuels, urges Anderson to break Maitland’s alibi in order to make this an open-and-shut case. Anderson discovers that multiple eyewitness accounts confirm Maitland was out of town, at a writer’s conference in a neighboring town, when the murder was committed. Security footage from the conference also provides confirmation of Maitland’s alibi. Anderson actually finds a book at the conference center gift shop that Maitland (or his doppelgänger) picked up and the fingerprints left on the book are confirmed to be Maitland’s. Samuels encourages Anderson to destroy this new evidence, but Anderson doesn’t. Despite evidence that shows that Maitland was in two places at once, Anderson still believes that Maitland killed the young boy.
Maitland, who has been awaiting trial in jail is brought to the courthouse, where he is shot to death by the victim’s older brother Ollie Peterson. Ollie is subsequently shot and killed by Detective Anderson. Anderson is then placed on administrative leave, and the district attorney decides not to seek re-election.
The Outsider Audiobook Reviews
Either King is getting more comfortable with his ability to draw us in with a minium of words, or he’s got a much better editor than he did at the start. I can’t quite pinpoint when his verbosity stopped, but it’s a welcome change.
This is more in the Mr. Mercedes universe than the old Derry/Castle Rock/Things that go bump in the night universe of old. It starts out being a perplexing murder mystery, and it’s not until later in the story that supernatural elements start creeping in. By that time, though, you’re so involved in the story that the supernatural elements seem plausible…and then they start making sense. As the book quotes, Arthur Conan Doyle (via Sherlock Holmes) said “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” King manages to eliminate the impossible, slowly yet surely.
I’ve started measuring how good I think a mystery/horror book is by how tense I get when I read it. I was extremely tense reading this one, wondering just what the solution was going to be.
I highly recommend this for anyone who enjoyed the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, or 11/22/63.
The review aggregator website Book Marks reported that 10 of 14 critics gave The Outsider a “rave” review, while the remaining four expressed “positive” impressions, signifying that the novel received critical acclaim.
Listen To The Outsider Audiobook
In June 2018, it was announced that Media Rights Capital had optioned the novel to be produced as a 10-part miniseries with Richard Price scripting, and executive producers Jack Bender and Marty Bowen. On December 3, 2018, it was ordered to series by HBO, starring Ben Mendelsohn as Ralph Anderson, along with Jason Bateman, Paddy Considine, Cynthia Erivo, Bill Camp, and Mare Winningham. Julianne Nicholson, Yul Vázquez, Jeremy Bobb, and Marc Menchaca are to appear as regulars, with Hettienne Park and Michael Esper set to recur.
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