Say what you will about King, but the man knows how to create suspense and dread.
This book reminded me a lot of Lisey’s Story, only the roles are reversed. This time it is the bestseller author husband who outlives his wife.
Mike Noonan’s wife Jo died in a freak accident along with, to his surprise, their unborn child. He finishes his current book, and then he is able to write no more. This is more than just a case of writer’s block. He is physically unable to sit at his laptop and write due to immense panic attacks (to say the least). He manages to hide this fact from his agent and readers by turning in a hidden book each year as if he had just written it. After four years of being haunted by nightmares involving his summer house, Mike eventually makes his way back to that small town to put his demons to rest.
It isn’t long before it is clear that the summer place Sara Laughs is haunted by more than one spirit. But who? And what do they want?
Mike meets a young mother named Mattie who is on the verge of losing her child to a power-crazy and wealthy father-in-law. Mike decides to step in and assist her legal battles. Along the way, he continues to put the pieces together of Jo’s activities her last year. Activities that uncover secrets that link Mike and Mattie together in this little town’s dark secret and even darker legacy.
Here is where the story lost me and stopped making sense. It is a sad and terrible secret, but the conclusion was sloppy and rushed after a long build-up.
I found myself relating to Noonan in his response to the supernatural. I think many people would turn and run. He was scared but even more intrigued.