The Colorado Kid Review
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If you have no sense of curiosity, no fascination for the unknown and mysterious…if you need the facts laid out in a neat row with no-room-for-doubt explanations, then you're gonna hate this novel. Even Stephen King said there would be no middle ground on this one—you'll either like it or hate it, and either way is just fine with him.

On a chilly April morning on Moose-Lookit Island, Maine, two teenagers, out jogging before school, stumble across a dead man propped up against a litter basket. At first there doesn't seem to be much of a mystery. The man evidently took a midnight snack out to the beach and choked to death on a piece of the meat—except he wore no jacket for such a chilly time of year, and his wallet was missing. Murdered? But who murders someone by choking him to death with a piece of meat? No other evidence of wrongful death can be found. Then there’s a startling discovery—the victim’s not from Maine.

  
 
A few more pieces fall into place. The man was last seen alive in Colorado at about ten-thirty in the morning, and then he was seen again at a restaurant in Maine between five and six p.m. of the same day. The question isn't so much how he ended up there but why. Why would a happily married man—with no smoking or drinking problems, no money problems or mental problems—end up dead on a beach two thousand miles from where he lived?

My oldest son and I had studied The Colorado Kid a few times on trips to the grocery store, but it wasn't until this weekend that I took the plunge and decided to give a mystery novel by the King of Horror a test drive. I'm glad I did. Though the fact that it remains an unsolved mystery in the end drives me nuts, I'm still fascinated by the whole tale, which is told to a young woman journalist by two older newspapermen who did everything they could to solve the mystery. The only thing they uncovered was just a shadow of what might have happened.

In a way, The Colorado Kid is a far cry from what Mr. King normally writes—and way shorter, too—but it has all the spookiness a King novel brings. Being less than paranormal makes it even spookier for me, because something like this can and has happened in real life. In fact, real life is filled with unsolved mysteries. Why is that? No one truly knows. But I do believe that life would be a bit less enjoyable if all the mysteries had answers. I'm sure Stephen King would agree with me, so I'm hoping his inkpot is merely screwed shut and not glued. I'd love to see more Hard Case Crime novels from him—since he definitely has the knack for writing a good mystery.

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