Billy Summers is an Iraq war veteran and a killer for hire who sets out to avenge the crimes of an evil man. He decides to write his life story in a book. He is in a relationship with Alice Maxwell and they are going to avenge the rape that Alice endured. I liked how Billy helps Alice by using the the song The Teddy Bear Picnic. The first 200 pages of the book is a slow-burn but when Billy meets Alice the book takes off and the ending is the best. Some of the themes of the book are love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption. I liked that the bad guys get what's coming to them. I hate when authors put their political views in their books. King does this often and I think that detracts from the story! I think I prefer King's earlier horror books. This one is more of a crime story than horror. All in all, it is a nicely written tribute to writing and storytelling. This will definitely make for an interesting movie.
I have been a King fan for his whole career. Among the many remarkable things about him is that he has yet to run out of ideas. He's also very good at finding new ways to explore themes that have interested him his entire career. The passages where Billy writes his life story are some of the best in the book. It's when Billy finds an audience for his story that the book really starts to find its groove. This is another worthy page-turner from a master storyteller. This was another Stephen King winner for me and I highly recommend it
I'm hardly ever disappointed with a Stephen King novel and this one was no exception. It's the story of Billy Summers, an ex-marine sniper who is a hired killer but who will only kill bad people. He is hired to kill another hitman, Joel Allen, who is very bad and awaiting extradition from California. In the mean time, Billy is waiting to perform the hit in a small southern town, called Red Bluff, where Allen is expected to return for trial. Billy is hired by a Las Vegas mobster, Nick, who believes Billy is not the brightest. However, Billy is smarter than Nick suspects and is very well-read having recently finished Zola's novel ThÃ©rÃ¨se Raquin. So Billy agrees to the hit and the $2 million payment and agrees to pose as a writer working on his novel. Nick provides a means for Billy's escape after the hit but Billy suspects he is being setup. Later in the novel, Billy saves a young woman named Alice after she was raped and dumped in front of the apartment where Billy was staying. She and Billy form a bond and travel together across the country to seek retribution after Billy is double-crossed.
I enjoyed this rather long novel with all of its subplots and twists. This included Billy's backstory that he writes as he is waiting to perform the hit. Billy is a great character to root for and King provides many other secondary characters that make the novel even more interesting. At one point during the story, Billy and Alice are in Colorado staying with one of Billy's friends who happens to have a cabin located across the canyon from the site of the destroyed Overlook Hotel. Some people, including Alice, are able to still see the hotel when they glance across the canyon. I like how King often references his prior works and this brief reference to The Shining I thought added to the story. Overall, another story well worth reading from the master.