Once again, fellow horror author Peter Straub joins Stephen King as they bring their brainchild, the character of Jack Sawyer, into adulthood from his childhood adventures of their other joint novel, The Talisman. In , Jack Sawyer, who at the age of twelve was forced to brave a parallel universe known as The Territories, is now in his thirties and retired from the LAPD Homicide Division. He remembers almost nothing about the events that took place in The Talisman. Though, sometimes, he feels them tickling at the back of his mind.
Now residing in the small Wisconsin town of French Landing, Jack is thrown back into the frying pan as a child killer known as The Fisherman begins terrorizing the small town. Unable to turn away from the gruesome trail the killer is leaving by kidnapping his victims and subsequently eating their flesh, Jack finds himself out of retirement and once again, tracking the criminal.
As he attempts to follow The Fisherman’s trail as he kidnaps yet another child, he is thrown back into the world he had once forgotten, The Territories. Fighting memories and racing against the clock to save the ill-gotten child, Jack is reunited with his old friend Speedy Parker as he attempts to help Jack put an end to The Fisherman’s killing spree.
holds as much allure and excitement as its predecessor, The Talisman, yet brings even more depth to the work as Straub and King bring a new sophistication to their now adult character. There’s just as much at stake here as there was with The Talisman as Jack once traveled between the worlds to save his mother. Only now he jumps between dimensions to save a child from an even more grisly fate.
Fans of King’s Dark Tower Series may also note some subtle connections to the series as, once again, King rewards his fans for their loyalty to his work by intertwining the worlds within his separate novels. However, fans of Peter Straub will notice how Straub’s touch keeps King just a bit more grounded than usual within the work. It’s a worthy novel and a testament to both authors obvious talents to both scare and move their readers.
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