Bag of Bones is the best book Stephen King has written in years. As shocking as Carrie, as mysterious and menacing as The Shining, as funny and honest about writers as Misery, as evocative of place as his record-setting bestseller The Green Mile, this is a horror novel steeped in all the finest qualities of our favorite Stephen King stories. And yet it is also a bold step beyond, toward a more mature vision of marriage, sex, loss, family?and, especially, evil.
Narrator Mike Noonan is a best-selling writer of romantic thrillers?”V.C. Andrews with a prick,” as he ruefully puts it. Plagued by nightmares and writer’s block following the sudden death of his wife, Mike escapes to their lakeside summer house, known as Sara Laughs. But this is King territory, and Mike’s beloved Yankee town has its dark side. A century ago, a group of local men murdered a black blues singer and her family. The killers’ heirs have paid the price ever since.
But this is only one of the buried secrets Mike unearths. The community is held in the grip of Max Devore, a powerful millionaire with a wicked past. Devore is obsessed with taking away his granddaughter, Kyra, from her young widowed mother, Mattie. As Mike falls in love with Mattie and comes to adore Kyra, he has to decode the warnings that only he and the child are receiving?from ghosts. He must do all these things, or the killing won’t stop.
It would be unfair to reveal any more of King’s story, a complex web of relationships, rivalries, and revenge. Refrigerator magnets that spell out warnings and a spooky trip back in time to a country fair are just the beginning of a long and scary ride. By the end, King has given you a larger sense of the interrelatedness of past and present?and of the wages of sin. Bag of Bones, then, is the author at his best, and something more.