Happy Birthday to Stephen King! In celebration of what should be a national holiday, I’m posting about the most recent of King’s works I’ve read. The Colorado Kid came out in 2007 and was part of the launch of the Hard Case Crime series, which features several other well-known crime writers in addition to King. While this book may not be strictly horror, it does have an eerie and unexplainable situation. It centers around a tale being told to a junior reporter, Stephanie, who is interning at the newspaper on Moose-Lookit Island off the coast of Maine. The senior reporters – Vince and Dave – are telling her the tale as an example for things that have happened around town that are too complex to share with outsiders looking for stories for the larger newspapers.
The story centers on an unidentified body discovered on the beach several years ago by local teens. The particulars of who the “Colorado Kid” really was, what the autopsy of the body disclosed, and the investigative work that took place in order to attempt to solve the mystery make up the whole of the slim book, and serve to create an enticing and interesting situation. Fans of hard-boiled crime and mysteries, as well as those who simply love King’s characters and world-building, will likely enjoy this quick read. You can also preorder a nice boxset of all three titles that Stephen King did for Hard Case Crime here.
Stephen King fans may also recognize people and places that later turned up in the TV series Haven, which was based upon this book. The series lasted five seasons and takes King’s idea further and explores the supernatural aspects only hinted at within the text of the book.
King’s work is going through an adaptation surge right now with a variety of different works being made into series and movies. Netflix has several, such as Gerald’s Game, 1922, and In the Tall Grass. HBO Max has The Outsider and both the old and new versions of It. A new version of The Stand came out in the last year or so, and Apple TV+ put out Lisey’s Story as a miniseries. In the past few years we also saw the excellent Castle Rock, which adapted many of King’s themes in the two seasons that it ran. And, as this article from Rotten Tomatoes shows, there are still many, many adaptations on the way, something that I’m really excited about!
If you’re interested, you can check out some more of my King posts here: