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9 April 2014

Dolores Claiborne
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date
Psychological Thriller

From the blurb:
Dolores Claiborne has a story to tell. But not quite what the police had expected. Dolores Claiborne has a confession to make. She will take her time. Won't be hurried. Will do it her way, sparing neither details or feelings. Hers or anyone else's. 
This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Truth that takes you to the edge of darkness. Dolores Claiborne has a story to tell and you'd better pay attention - or else...

This is Stephen King but maybe not as we know him and as we imagine his books to me. He makes a little detour into the psychological genre here (but there is still of course a small supernatural element). 

The story is told by Dolores, the main protagonist. Unusually so, there are no chapters or breaks, but the whole books reads like a monologue by Dolores. Dolores was a housekeeper for an elderly wealthy woman, Vera Donovan. She starts the story off by being interviewed by police and telling us that she did not murder Vera Donovan, even though her death seems to be somewhat similar to the death of Dolores' husband 30 years ago, both dying after a fall. Dolores says she did not kill Vera,  however, she did murder her husband Joe 30 years ago. What follows this confession is the story of her life and how she came to murder Joe… An alcoholic, Joe beat up Dolores regularly and  a tyrant. When Dolores fears that he abuses their young daughter, she can't take no more. 

Dolores is a simple but energetic and witty woman, and that's how the writing is. It is indeed quite different from the usual King stories, however, any fan will recognise his unique writing style. Apart from Dolores, Joe and Vera there are not a lot of characters in this book, again something King does very well (Gerald's Game has only 2 characters I think throughout the whole book - maybe a few minor ones mentioned).This is a hard-hitting story of abuse, courage but also of wonderful friendship which Dolores found. 

The unique style of this book (monologue) does get some getting used to, but you will be rewarded with a beautiful story.