The Colorado Kid

This one is kind of a puzzler… not the book itself, but how do I review it… The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

It was a good read. The characters and the story were interesting and I enjoyed turning the pages. If this is representative of the kind of work I’ll find in the other Hard Case Crime books by other authors, then I’ve found another series of books to read.

And really, I can’t say more than that without spoiling the book, so read on only if you want to…

From the series within which it resides, and from the book description itself, you might think this is a murder mystery or detective type story. You’d be wrong.

This book is about a woman studying journalism who is interning at a small town paper in Maine and her discovery and decision that she wants to stay here instead of going back to her old life because she likes the town, the people and the job. However, it does pretend to be a mystery.

One of the greatest criticisms of the work of Stephen King is that he doesn’t know how to end a book. Some of his novels really do feel like he kept writing until he ran out of idea then slapped an ending on just to finish it. And that criticism applies here.

The story of The Colorado Kid involves two old newspapermen telling the tale of how twenty-five years ago a body was found on the beach in town (which is a little island off of Maine), and how its not a good news story because it has too many unanswerable questions. They are telling it to their female intern, who is really being tested to see if she wants to remain with the paper or go back home. And in the end, well… it doesn’t end. Yes, she decides to stay, but after reading all the facts and clues and thoughts on the dead man, nothing is furthered, nothing is solved.

This doesn’t make it a bad book, mind you, just like the endings to ‘It’ and ‘The Stand’ don’t make those bad books either… at least this one is only 180 pages long. And it is interesting. The characters (the woman, the two men) are well done, and as a reader you get drawn in. The story, the bits and pieces, surrounding the dead man, The Colorado Kid, is a good yarn and just itching to be poked at, prodded and maybe unravelled and solved. But in the end, the woman decides to stay, the men are happy that she’s going to stay, and that she’ll probably be pondering the tale of The Kid and the facts for another twenty-five years.

I enjoyed the book, I really did. But now that I’m done, there is this little unsatisfied part of me that wants to know what the heck happened to the dead man. And its a little disheartening to know that we will never know.

Anyway, I recommend the book as a good read, just go in knowing that the mystery doesn’t get solved and you’ll be fine. I do look forward to checking out more of the Hard Case Crime books.

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