Book Review: Holly

Author: Stephen King

Published: 2023

Rating: 5/5

Bonnie Dahl, a student at Bell College, has gone missing. Her mother, Pennie, suspects something is wrong, but when Bonnie’s bike is found in an abandoned parking lot with a note telling people she’s had enough, the police don’t make the case a priority.  At her wits end, Pennie enlists the help of private investigator Holly Gibney. 

The story revolves around Holly, a character well-known to King’s Constant Readers from previous works. Holly is a unique and complex protagonist, and in this novel, she finds herself facing yet another strange and horrific case. King excels at crafting relatable characters, and Holly is no exception. Her quirks and vulnerabilities make her a character readers can’t help but root for.

As Holly begins to investigate Bonnie’s disappearance, she uncovers several other missing persons who also disappeared in the same area. Probing further, Holly discovers almost all of these individuals had a connection to an odd elderly married couple who were both professors at the local college. The truth of what is happening, however, is worse than Holly could ever imagine.

The novel’s pacing is one of its strengths. King knows how to build tension, and “Holly” is no exception. From the moment the first page begins, a sense of unease settles over the narrative, gradually intensifying as the story unfolds. King’s ability to keep readers on the edge of their seats is on full display here. King’s mastery lies in making the implausible seem entirely possible, which adds to the novel’s suspense.

King’s writing style remains as engaging as ever. His prose is both descriptive and concise, making the story easy to follow while immersing readers in the characters’ experiences. He has a knack for painting vivid mental images with his words, creating an atmosphere of dread that lingers long after the final page is turned.

“Holly” is a testament to Stephen King’s enduring talent. It combines a well-crafted plot, memorable characters, and a sense of unease that is quintessentially King. For fans of the author and newcomers alike, “Holly” is a must-read that will leave you both frightened and deeply moved.

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