“It was that kind of story. The kind that’s like a sneeze which threatens but never quite arrives.”
That quote there, from The Colorado Kid itself, basically sums up my feelings for the book – slowly gaining momentum, but never reaching any kind of payoff.
The story revolves around two very old Maine men in the newspaper business – the founder and a long-time editor. They recall their most elusive mystery in their careers to a new but eager woman on the team. Slowly, we learn the circumstances leading up to the discovery of a lonely dead body on the beach of their small island decades ago – and how the evidence had lead to nothing but apparent impossibilities.
This is King’s first foray into using Hard Case Crime as a publisher, which is fairly different from his normal style. It’s more the ‘damsel in distress’ detective noir label which, to me at least, King was fumbling around in the dark with. When he did find his footing, it was on the steady ground of ‘human connections’, which he is much better at writing on.
However, I think dear King has been listening to the collective online grumbles regarding the opinion that he can write amazing books, but can’t write an ending to save himself.
Well, I imagine he said, halfway though writing this book, if people don’t think I can write endings at all, then I won’t even try!
And so that’s what he did. You’ll find no resolution, no happiness or sadness; just a case of literary blue balls as you realise the book has suddenly ran out of pages.
So I would have given it a lower rating (3/5), but you know what? I did read it all in a day – it had held my attention pretty well, so that must count for something.