Life is a mystery.
Stephen King so simply and eloquently evoked this notion in The Colorado Kid, King’s entry into the “Hard Case Crime” imprint, and an interesting addition to the genre. The fact that King personified humans all consuming desire for impossible answers with just a few characters and limited settings in under 200 pages is wondrous. An atypical approach to a mystery story and a change of pace for King, in both subject and length.
“Sooner or later, everything old is new again.”
Stephen King’s bestselling unsolved mystery, The Colorado Kid returns to bookstores for the first time in 10 years in an all-new illustrated edition
This is my second time reading The Colorado Kid; the first time I couldn’t finish it because I just did not find it fascinating in the slightest, in fact, it was a total bore. I recently started watching HAVEN, a TV Series on Netflix, which is based on this book and was anxious to re-read to piece together the connection between the two (and perhaps because I subconsciously hoped to uncover more clues and get closer to an answer in the book). But while the book and show share the setting, they have very little in common; however the series did include some references to TCK. I do enjoy the series a little more given its paranormal leanings.
So quick synopsis of the storyline: Three characters — two older local newspapermen and one young woman, a graduate student in forensics — discussing crimes, with the main topic being the mysterious 1980 case of the “Colorado Kid”. The more they learn about the unidentified dead man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand.
Stephen King himself stated in his afterword that there would be no middle ground in this book — that people would either hate it or love it. However, I found myself an exception to this, straddling the fence. I can say, though, that I liked it a lot more the second time I read it. Speeding through the pages, I gathered my own notes and theories. I did have a kinship with the characters, like I was there with them (which is emblematic of King characters in all his work’s). King’s knack for creating loveable and memorable characters is on full display in this story. Throughout this short work, I never forgot who was telling the story.
The Colorado Kid is definitely not a King masterpiece but a decent and light quick read (especially for those that enjoy crime and mystery tales) and the story certainly does leave the reader wanting more. But, as King stated in the epilogue: Life is a journey and we may not always find answers to our questions.