Doctor Sleep

Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep is the continuation of Danny Torrance’s life after surviving the Overlook Hotel. Years later we find Dan, still shining, and living an existence of avoiding of it. He drinks to escape, but finds himself middle-aged with nothing to show for it except a lot of guilt.

He finds himself connecting with a young girl with amazing shining abilities. He becomes her mentor since she’s begun seeing things that can and will hurt her without help. King emphasizes the importance of having a teacher or father figure in your life to help you to the next step. While Dan mentors Abra Stone with her shining ability, the adult Dan still needs a father in his life. His AA sponsor helps Dan recover his life and he’s train conductor friend help him realize part of his childhood. What Danny lost as a child, he recovers a piece of that bond years later.

Dan’s past is ever present with ghosts from the Overlook and his memories haunting him. He needs to overcome his own demons and help Abra resist attack from a tribe of soul sucking beings who eat off the shining kids to feed their eternal life.

By the end, King wraps up Dan’s story where it began at the Overlook Hotel. But this time, he’s not alone and he brings friends with more than just the shining powers. He’s found a family along the way.

This was a great read in itself, but it was fantastic to read what happened to little Danny Torrance after his father was left behind in the Overlook Hotel. King writes a gripping tale from beginning to end and as always develops his characters and make the readers invested in their outcome.

Read December 2013

The Abominable Man

The Abominable Man by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo is the 7th novel in the Martin Beck series. Sjowall and Wahloo have a fantastic grip on the difficulties facing modern day police officers that are trying to work in a corrupt system. Former Chief Inspector Nyman is murdered and throughout the investigation, the truth of his brutality confronts the investigating officers.

As Nyman lay dying in his hospital bed, a sadistic madman breaks in and kills him with a bayonet. Beck and his officers discover that throughout the years Nyman and his men earned numerous complaints of police brutality against innocent men and women with little to no repercussions. The police always backed their own, and Nyman went unscathed. The list of complaints leads the investigation to a man with a terrible grievance against Nyman and many other police officers, including Martin Beck.

Sjowall and Wahloo maneuver this story and masterfully tell what can happen when you cannot trust the police who should be there for your protection. How the brotherhood of police needed to be disbanded to protect those from the sadistic nature of police officers gone bad. Even our beloved Martin Beck fell prey to the policeman’s allegiance in the past and must suffer his own consequences.

I love the Martin Beck stories because its told from the minds of a cerebral officer who takes his time to trust his instincts and doesn’t offer endless violent scenes to tempt the reader. He’s a great investigator and Sjowall and Wahloo tell his story clearly.

Read November 2013