Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Holly by Stephen King

Holly Gibney, one of Stephen King’s most compelling and ingeniously resourceful characters, returns in this thrilling novel to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a midwestern town.

“Sometimes the universe throws you a rope.” — BILL HODGES

Stephen King’s Holly marks the triumphant return of beloved King character Holly Gibney. Readers have witnessed Holly’s gradual transformation from a shy (but also brave and ethical) recluse in Mr. Mercedes to Bill Hodges’s partner in Finders Keepers to a full-fledged, smart, and occasionally tough private detective in The Outsider. In King’s new novel, Holly is on her own, and up against a pair of unimaginably depraved and brilliantly disguised adversaries.

When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl’s desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.

Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harboring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie’s disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.

Holly must summon all her formidable talents to outthink and outmaneuver the shockingly twisted professors in this chilling new masterwork from Stephen King.

Hardcover, 449 pages
Published September 5, 2023
 by Scribner
4/5 stars

Stephen King is a hit or miss author for me. Some of his earliest works I really enjoyed, Misery, Pet Cemetery, Cujo, and Carrie, along with his Mr. Mercedes series. Some of his later works just didn’t float my boat. When Holly was released, I really did not pay much attention to it, but once I heard that Holly stood for Holly Gibney from the Mr. Mercedes series, I immediately ran out and bought the book. If you’ve read this series, then you know what I’m talking about, Holly was one of my favourite characters and in this book she is again joined with sidekicks, Jerome, Barbara, and Pete.

Holly is a book that you really need to pay attention to in terms of timeline. Well part of it is current it does jump back-and-forth within the same year, personally I feel it is a better read than trying to keep up in the audio version.

People disappear over the years with no explanation or closure. When a recent disappearance has a mother searching for her daughter, she enlists the help of Holly Gibney to find out what happened. What follows is a twisted story that was intricately woven and pieced together. It was addicting and entertaining to watch all these puzzle pieces fit together. I really enjoyed this book though  some of the subject matter is disturbing, which isn’t surprising given Stephen King‘s reputation.

Coming in at about 450 pages, it could have been shorter if King eased up on his political views, pandemic opinions, in terms of vaccinations/masks, which can be a turn off no matter what side of the fence you sit on. For that reason I am giving this a four out of five just because over that big span of pages I was tired of some of the repetition.

If you haven’t read the Mr. Mercedes series you will do fine with this as a standalone. However, I highly recommend going back and reading it because it is a very good series and gives you more of a background into Holly’s life her family and upbringing, which does play a part in the story paragraph

This book was part of my 2023 reading off my shelf challenge

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