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The Evolution of Stephen King's "Holly"

Rating: 4/5 ⭐️

When it comes to horror and mystery, my favourite author to go to is Stephen King. I'm a fan of intricate tales like The Stand, IT, The Shining and Doctor Sleep that captivate, terrify, and intrigue. These days, I jump on to any new book he writes and finish it within a few weeks of release. So, when I came to know that he was writing a new book about Holly Gibney, I was excited.

Holly Gibney’s journey is one of transformation and growth. She was shy reclusive yet brave in “Mr. Mercedes" who evolved into Bill Hodges’s resourceful partner in “Finders Keepers” and showcased her mettle as a private detective in “The Outsider.” In “Holly,” we get to see Holly becoming more comfortable in her skin and learning to trust her gut.

The story starts with Holly attending her mother's funeral over Zoom, which immediately told me this novel was going to be different. We get Holly's and I think Stephen King's nuanced perspective on the pandemic, overflowing hospitals, Donald Trump, Cop Brutality, Black Lives Matter etc. The setting of the story is amid the pandemic and it plays a huge part in the events that transpire.

Holly's mom dies due to Covid and her partner, Pete, is self-quarantined and unable to help out much. incapacitated by Covid. Yet, when Penny Dahl’s voice, trembling with desperation, seeks Holly’s expertise to find her missing daughter, Bonnie, Holly is compelled to step into the fray. Holly’s detective skills are put to the test as she intuitively pieces together the mystery of not just Bonnie's disappearance but many more who seem to have just up and left.

The antagonists, Professors Rodney and Emily Harris are crazy and despicable. More grounded yet up there with some of the villains of Stephen King novels. Let me not go further into it as I want to keep this review spoiler-free.

Holly was a quick and interesting read. I knew right from the start where the story was going, the only thing required was to sit back and enjoy as Holly works to figure out the mystery. Though, that might not be everyone's cup of tea... my partner enjoys mysteries where she is also trying to figure out what's going on. That's not the case here but we will cheer on as Holly faces the twisted professors. I enjoyed this one but it's not my Stephen King favorite. That's reserved for - The Stand, The Institute, The Outsider, Doctor Sleep etc. There are many more but these are the ones that come to mind.

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