Stephen King comes to crime fiction

Best known for his chilling horror, suspense and fantasy stories like It, The Shining and the Dark Tower series, Stephen King occasionally turns his hand to crime. Next June, will see the release of his newest hardboiled work Joyland, the story of a college student Devin Jones who decides he’d like to work at an amusement park for the summer.

Despite the freedom of the carny lifestyle, it turns out to be a bad move – there’s been a brutal murder, a young child is dying and the mystery Devin faces could change his life forever.

We don’t have a whole lot more detail on the plot at the moment, but Stephen King is working with Hard Case Crime and Titan Books for this release – the team that recently brought us Lady, Go Die! by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, and The Comedy is Finished by Donald E Westlake. Hard Case is a label that really goes for that hardboiled style so popular in the 40s, 50s and 60s.

“I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts,” says King. “That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”

Charles Ardai, co-founder of Hard Case Crime, claims the story made him cry and that it’ll move the toughest of hardboiled eggs out there. The cover is to be painted by Robert McGinnis, famous for the James Bond promo imagery of the 1960s, as well as that great Barbarella poster. This is the second time Hard Case and Stephen King are collaborating – previously they’ve brought out his Colorado Kid in 2005, which revolved around the discovery of a John Doe on an island off the coast of Maine.

Watch this space…

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