An unusual heroine anchors this creepy, fast-paced chiller. This is Miranda’s best book yet.

THE GIRL FROM WIDOW HILLS

Arden Maynor was only 6 when a traumatic event changed her life forever.

Twenty years ago, Arden, who now goes by Olivia Meyer, was swept into Widow Hills, Kentucky’s underground system of pipes during a deluge and was trapped for three days before she was miraculously rescued. The rescue effort was immense, as was the media coverage. Support, monetary and otherwise, for little Arden poured in. Not all of the publicity and attention were good, however, and Olivia, who remembers very little about those three days, has been trying to put the entire incident behind her for a decade. Now she’s a hospital administrator in rural Central Valley, North Carolina, and is starting to feel that the worst is behind her, until she wakes up outside her home after a sleepwalking episode, the same thing that preceded her childhood ordeal. The sleepwalking incident sets her alarm bells clanging, but then she’s approached, in public, by a man who seems to know exactly who she is. She hasn’t even told her closest friend and co-worker, Bennett, about her past. When she awakens outside again one night, there’s a man’s body at her feet and blood covering her hands. The dead man turns out to be a blast from Olivia’s past, and now the police are involved. But Olivia isn’t about to let everything she’s done to put her past behind her come crashing down, even it means opening a Pandora’s box full of secrets that may have been better off left in the dark. Miranda nimbly mines underexplored terrain: the long-term aftermath of dramatic, highly publicized rescues. Olivia's desire to live a life undefined by that one event is relatable, and her amnesia about those three days lets Miranda flaunt her considerable talent for jaw-dropping, yet believable, twists. Even jaded readers might not see this one coming.

An unusual heroine anchors this creepy, fast-paced chiller. This is Miranda’s best book yet.

Pub Date: June 23, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6542-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A moody tone hangs like a cloud over the alarming but vague danger awaiting the world.

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

A tragedy has sent a young artist into seclusion. A potential apocalypse may be enough to bring her back.

For the past two years, 10 months, and 18 days, Katie’s lived in darkness, on retreat from her former life as a rising artist after a personal tragedy eclipsed any happiness she believed possible. Jacob’s Ladder, a remote island named by a former resident for its potential as a stairway to heaven, offers Katie the chance to hide from the rest of the world, merely existing, not healing. She lives each day trying to fulfill what she’s called “the Promise” to those in the life she once knew, though a promise of what is not clear. The closest neighboring islands, Oak Haven and Ringrock, are equally cloistered. Though Katie’s realtor has suggested that Ringrock is some sort of Environmental Protection Agency research station, Katie’s cynicism makes her suspect something more nefarious. The protagonist's remote world and the author’s moody writing are disrupted one night by the startling appearance of drones and the suspicious behavior of a fox Katie’s dubbed Michael J. The wary canine serves as a harbinger of potential danger, and Katie responds by arming herself to the hilt when unexpected guests descend on Jacob’s Ladder. While the true purpose of these visitors is unclear, Katie senses that the greater world is at the precipice of permanent collapse and that she may be the only one who can prevent the impending apocalypse.

A moody tone hangs like a cloud over the alarming but vague danger awaiting the world.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-6625-0044-2

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

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FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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