Read a Sneak Peek Excerpt of Stephen King's The Outsider

Stephen King's new novel, The Outsider, comes out on May 22nd. If you can't wait that long, here's an excerpt courtesy of Entertainment Weekly for you to wet your whistles with.


Read a Sneak Peek Excerpt of Stephen King's The Outsider

He was prepared for another of those accusing stares, but Terry only glanced at him briefly, and with no expression at all, before turning his attention to Bill Samuels, who had taken a seat in one of the three chairs on the other side of the table.

Studying Samuels now, Ralph began to get an idea of how he had risen so high so quickly. While the two of them were standing on the other side of the one-way glass, the DA had simply looked a bit young for the job. Now, facing Frankie Peterson's rapist and killer, he looked even younger, like a law office intern who had (due to some mixup, probably) landed this interview with a big-time perp. Even the little Alfalfa cowlick sticking up from the back of his head added to the role the man had slipped into: untried youth, just happy to be here. You can tell me anything, said those wide, interested eyes, because I'll believe it. This is my first time playing with the big boys, and I just don't know any better.

"Hello, Mr. Maitland," Samuels said. "I work in the county DA's office."

Good start, Ralph thought. You are the county DA's office.

"You're wasting your time," Terry said. "I'm not going to talk to you until my lawyer gets here. I will say that I see a sizeable wrongful arrest suit in your future."

"I understand that you're upset, in your position, anyone would be. Maybe we can iron it out right here. Can you just tell me where you were when the Peterson boy was killed? That was on last Tuesday afternoon. If you were somewhere else, then—"

"I was," Terry said, "but I intend to discuss that with my lawyer before I discuss it with you. His name is Howard Gold. When he gets here, I'll want to talk to him privately. I assume that's my right? Since I'm presumed innocent until proven guilty?"

Quick recovery, Ralph thought. A career criminal couldn't have done it better.

"It is indeed," Samuels said. "But if you haven't done anything—"

"Don't try, Mr. Samuels. You didn't bring me here because you're a nice guy."

"Actually, I am," Samuels said earnestly. "If there's been a mistake, I'm as interested in getting it straightened out as you are."

"You have some hair sticking up in back," Terry said. "Might want to do something about that. It makes you look like Alfalfa in the old comedies I used to watch when I was a kid."

Ralph didn't even come close to laughing, but one corner of his mouth twitched. That he couldn't help.

Momentarily put off-balance, Samuels raised a hand to smooth down the cowlick. It laid flat for a moment, then sprang back up.

"Are you sure you don't want to clear this up?" Samuels leaned forward, his earnest expression suggesting that Terry was making a bad mistake.

"I'm sure," Terry said. "And I'm sure about the suit, too. I don't think there's a settlement large enough to pay for what you sorry sons of bitches did tonight—not just to me, but to my wife and girls—but I intend to find out."

Samuels sat where he was for a moment longer—leaning forward, innocently hopeful eyes locked on Terry's—and then he stood up. The innocent look disappeared. "Okay. Fine. You can confer with your lawyer, Mr. Maitland, that's your right. No audio, no video, we'll even draw the curtain. If you two are quick about it, maybe we can get this squared away tonight. I've got an early tee time in the morning."

Terry looked as if he had misheard. "Golf?"

"Golf. It's a game where you try to knock the little ball into the cup. I'm not very good at it, but I'm very good at this game, Mr. Mait­land. And as the estimable Mr. Gold will tell you, we can hold you here for forty-eight hours without charging you. It won't actually be that long. If we can't clarify this, we'll take you for arraignment bright and early on Monday morning. Your arrest will be statewide news by then, so there will be plenty of coverage. I'm sure the photographers will get your good side."

Having gotten what he assumed was the last word, Samuels almost strutted to the door (Ralph guessed Terry's comment about the cowlick still rankled). Before he could open it, Terry said, "Hey, Ralph."

I think it sounds interesting, and it's relevant in today's climate and fears; I definitely will be picking the book up when it comes out. Want more? Head over to Entertainment Weekly for the full excerpt. Look for it on shelves May 22nd. Here is the summary as provided by Amazon:

An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories.

An eleven-year-old boy's violated corpse is found in a town park. Eyewitnesses and fingerprints point unmistakably to one of Flint City's most popular citizens. He is Terry Maitland, Little League coach, English teacher, husband, and father of two girls. Detective Ralph Anderson, whose son Maitland once coached, orders a quick and very public arrest. Maitland has an alibi, but Anderson and the district attorney soon add DNA evidence to go with the fingerprints and witnesses. Their case seems ironclad.

As the investigation expands and horrifying answers begin to emerge, King's propulsive story kicks into high gear, generating strong tension and almost unbearable suspense. Terry Maitland seems like a nice guy, but is he wearing another face? When the answer comes, it will shock you as only Stephen King can.

About Jessica Wagar

Abandoned by wolves, rescued by Comic Book People. Enjoys stories of monsters & horror, and urban fantasy. Artist, Writer, Moderator.