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7 May 2014

Bag of Bones
Stephen King
Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date


When Mike Noonan's wife dies unexpectedly, the bestselling author suffers from desperate writer's block. Until he is drawn to their summer home, Sara Laughs, the beautiful Maine lakeside retreat which has recently been haunting his nightmares.
But Mike finds the once familiar town now in the tyrannical grip of millionaire Max Devore is hell-bent on getting custody of his deceased son's child and is twisting the fabric of the community to this purpose.
Three-year-old Kyra and her young mother turn to Mike for help. Increasingly besotted with them, Mike is powerless to resist.
But there are other sinister forces at Sara Laughs determined to stand in their way … and Kyra can feel them too.

My review

Our main protagonist, Mike Noonan, is a writer suffering severe writers block. His wife had recently died, she suffered a stroke whilst going to the shops. Mike later learns that she was pregnant as well at the time of her death. Trying to cope with his bereavement and his inability to write, he is drawn with visions to his summer residence 'Sarah Laughs' - a house by the lake which was named after the black singer Sarah Tidwell who had previously lived in the house. He decided to move to Sarah Laughs to see if this will heal him. 

But strange things start to happen at Sarah Laughs. Mike starts writing again, but he keeps hearing a child crying in the night, and letters on the fridge start to spell out messages. He also hears stories about someone trying to drown a child at Sarah Laughs previously. And than there is the added complication when Mike meets widow Mattie and her young daughter Kyra. He is drawn to them and forms a deep friendship, but Mattie's father-in-law is a computer mogul hell bend on getting custody for Kyra. 

Sarah Laughs will eventually reveal its secret to Mike - too late to prevent a murder? 

Steven King in familiar territory - a writer with writers block, a recurring issue in King's novels (The Shining). In fact, there are probably more similarities with The Shining as again, here we have a house which appears possessed. A solid read, as a fan we know what to expect (strong characterisation, supernatural elements). There are no bloods/guts and for someone who has never read King, this might be a good place to start.