Scribner. (Holly GIbney, Bk. 3). Sept. 2023. 464p. ISBN 9781668016138. $30. THRILLER
King gives former supporting player Holly Gibney (introduced in Mr. Mercedes) her own full-length novel to solve the case of a missing person. Private investigator Holly is supposed to be on bereavement leave after the death of her mother, but she can’t dismiss the persistent Penny Dahl. Penny’s daughter Bonnie disappeared while biking home from work a month earlier, and the police didn’t have time for more than a cursory investigation into what seemed to be a case of an adult walking away from her own life. Holly investigates, with help from friends. She soon realizes that Bonnie’s is not an isolated case; others have gone missing in the last few years. The only similarity among the disappeared people is that they were last seen in the same area. The deeper Holly goes, the more convinced she becomes that something very sinister is going on.
VERDICT King’s choice to set the novel in the middle of COVID works, both to develop his characters and to keep Holly off base, emotionally and professionally. He eschews the supernatural here but finds all the horror possible in the evil that “normal” people may do. Mystery and horror readers will find much to love.
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