Stephen King remains the busiest writer in the biz, churning out one book after another without seemingly any downtime. To quote former Vice President Aaron Burr, the man is non-stop. King just published the short story collection If It Bleeds and now he already has something new on the horizon: Later, a new entry in the Hard Case Crime series, a line of pulpy, hardboiled crime tales from Titan Books. King wrote two other books for the imprint in the past: The Colorado Kid and Joyland.
EW broke the news on Later, a new Stephen King crime novel being published by Hard Case Crime in March 2021. “I love the Hard Case format, and this story — combining a boy who sees beyond our world and strong elements of crime and suspense — seemed a perfect fit,” King said. Charles Ardai, editor of Hard Case Crime, added: “Later is a beautiful story about growing up and facing your demons — whether they’re metaphorical or (as sometimes happens when you’re in a Stephen King novel) the real thing. It’s terrifying, tender, heartbreaking and honest, and we’re so excited to bring it to readers.”
Here’s the synopsis:
The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine—as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.
LATER is Stephen King at his finest, a terrifying and touching story of innocence lost and the trials that test our sense of right and wrong. With echoes of King’s classic novel It, LATER is a powerful, haunting, unforgettable exploration of what it takes to stand up to evil in all the faces it wears.
“Kids with special powers” is a trope King has turned to many times, so this won’t exactly be new ground for the author. I’ve read King two other Hard Case books – The Colorado Kid and Joyland – and I can’t say they’re among my favorite of his works. I love King and cherish most of his writing, but “disposable” is the word that comes to mind when it comes to his Hard Case titles. But hey, who am I kidding? If there’s a new Stephen King book available, I’m going to read it. And I’m sure the minute I finish reading it King will have announced another new book because that’s how it goes.