Stephen King first gained famed as a writer of the horrific and macabre. Books such as CARRIE, `SALEM'S LOT, THE SHINING, IT, etc. are what King is best known. However, King isn't just a great horror writer. In my opinion King is not only one of the most popular American writers, but he's also one of the best. King can write a great yarn in about any genre and in fact when he's writing stories that seemed to be more based in reality (such as DIFFERENT SEASONS or THE GREEN MILE) his talent truly shines through and one day King will be studied and canonized next to the likes of Cooper, Poe, Faulkner, and Hemingway.
Take THE COLORADO KID for example. THE COLORADO KID is a classic detective story, but the detectives in this tale aren't hard nosed policeman but a couple of charming local reporters and their brilliant and beautiful female prot?g?. The two reporters are Vince Teague and Dave Bowie. They've been running a little newspaper out of Moose-Lookit Island, Maine entitled THE WEEKLY ISLANDER for over thirty years. The duo aren't just co-workers but are best friends. Stephanie McCann is a grad student who has traveled from out West to do her internship and during her tutelage has fallen in love with the small town island. Steph is a great student and Vince and Dave are glad to take her under her wing because they know they aren't going to be around forever. After an afternoon in which Steph observes how the duo evades a mainland reporter's questions about the biggest mystery they ever came across, Vince and Dave tell Steph the real story that was the biggest mystery they ever discovered, THE COLORADO KID.
The back cover of the book claims that THE COLORADO KID echoes THE MALTESE FALCON and indeed it does. Like all classic pieces of crime noir, THE COLORADO KID raises more questions than it answers and through the process we are introduced to some very memorable characters. Following the characters as they attempt to unravel the mystery is what draws the reader into the story and with a fairly simple plot, this is quite a feet.
I thoroughly enjoyed THE COLORADO KID. There are some who are disappointed with the story's ending, but I found it to be quite realistic and just like the ending of many classic pieces of crime noir fiction. I also found Vince, Dave, and Stephanie to be some of the most memorable characters that I've met in Stephen King's writings. Unlike many of King's characters, these three seem like real people and not like a human representation of some idea, whether noble or horrific.
Normally, I am not the kind of person who likes to read mystery novels. I usually steer myself towards non-fiction or biographical works most of the time. However, I have always been a big fan of scifi movies and scifi television programming in general. Just recently, the Syfy channel started airing a new series called "Haven" which is based off of Stephen King's "The Colorado Kid". Being the scifi geek that I am, I decided to read Stephen King's book before watching … more
The Hard Case Crime series is a wonderful idea: a mix of original and reprinted hard-boiled detective novels by some of the best writers in the field, packaged to look like lurid 1940s and 1950s thrillers. And getting Stephen King to write a new novel as part of the series was quite a coup. King is the author of record when it comes to fiction set in America in recent decades, and here he is with a noir detective story. Alas, what he actually turned in was a cozy, a sort of Jan Karon take on the hard-boiled genre. And at the end, it turns out to be rather arty - if by "arty" you mean "doesn't answer any important questions." Fresh out of journalism school, Stephanie McCann is an intern at a weekly newspaper in an obscure corner off the coast of Maine. She is writing homey features and reporting on trivial stories, but she rather enjoys it. Then a big-city reporter comes to town to gather stories about "unsolved mysteries." The paper's owner and the managing editor send him away unsatisfied, and then tell Stephanie the only real unsolved mystery on the island. The banter between the two old men provides all kinds of local color, but it also means the pace of the storytelling is glacial. It takes most of chapter one to explain why they filch the cash the big-city reporter left to pay for a meal. We're in chapter five before they start telling the story that gives the book its title. Years earlier, two high school sweethearts found a ...