Stephen King’s new novel, Later, tells the story of Jamie Conklin, the son of a financially struggling mother who posses an ability that, according to King himself, lets him “see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn.” When an NYPD detective involves Jamie with the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave, he learns just how dangerous his gift truly is.
This is the third book King has written for Hard Case Crime; his previous two, Joyland and The Colorado Kid, were both bestsellers. Later will initially be published in March of 2021 as a paperback original, and featuring original cover painting by Paul Mann. It will later be followed by a limited-edition hardcover that will feature two new cover paintings by award-winning artist Gregory Manchess; one for Later itself and one for a fictitious novel within the novel that features prominently in the plot.
While the general idea of a character solving a crime through clairvoyance is nothing new for King (just look at The Dead Zone, where Johnny Smith uses his ability of seeing into the past to convict serial’s murderer Frank Dodd), Later will be from the perspective of a kid, and so the narration is far more light and casual, rather than the much darker and somber tone of Johhny Smith’s narration.
Regardless, I’ll still be picking this up once it’s released, and hopefully I’ll get through my queue and read it before next Christmas!