October 09, 2006
"The Colorado Kid" by Stephen King
Hard Case Crime is a new publisher working in an old field: their books are designed to revive the dark detective stories of 1940s pulp fiction, like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. So far—and The Colorado Kid is only the thirteenth title—they have done this well. The books are cheap, with flashy cover art, and include new novels from original masters, a choice republication or two, and work from new artists in the old style.
Stephen King doesn’t fit any of these categories, but the world’s best selling fiction writer is no stranger to the mass market format—or to murder. What makes his contribution special, however, is that The Colorado Kid is a brand-new piece, first published here in a niche paperback: King usually gets the royal hardcover treatment for new books. Otherwise, this is pretty much what you expect from him: a compelling story told very well. It is a frame story, told to an intern at a small-town newspaper on a slow summer afternoon, and describes events long past but as yet unexplained. This detachment keeps it from being scary, but still manages to provide plenty of suspense: it’s a mystery, not horror, and it is a quick, fun read.
Posted by jnardine at October 9, 2006 09:45 AM