Stephen King writes horror, sure, but anyone who’s ventured past The Shining knows the author’s got more tricks in his bag. Several of his latest books, for example, cast a spectral shadow across the tropes of hard-boiled crime—one of them, The Outsider, finished its first season as an HBO series earlier this year. And today, just a handful of months after dropping a collection of novellas, King has announced a return to the world of whodunits with Later, which is slated for a 2021 release.
The latest in King’s ongoing collaboration with Hard Case Crime, Titan Books’ evocative line of pulpy crime books, Later follows a young boy whose extraordinary talents could help an NYPD detective track down a killer. It follows King’s previous Hard Case Crime releases: 2005's The Colorado Kid and 2013's Joyland. As with those books, Later will get a sumptuous physical release featuring original artwork that evokes the pulp paperbacks of yore.
“I love the Hard Case format, and this story—combining a boy who sees beyond our world and strong elements of crime and suspense—seemed a perfect fit,” King said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly.
“Later is a beautiful story about growing up and facing your demons—whether they’re metaphorical or (as sometimes happens when you’re in a Stephen King novel) the real thing,” added Charles Ardai, the editor of Hard Case Crime. “It’s terrifying, tender, heartbreaking and honest, and we’re so excited to bring it to readers.”
Here’s a synopsis:
The son of a struggling single mother, Jamie Conklin just wants an ordinary childhood. But Jamie is no ordinary child. Born with an unnatural ability his mom urges him to keep secret, Jamie can see what no one else can see and learn what no one else can learn. But the cost of using this ability is higher than Jamie can imagine – as he discovers when an NYPD detective draws him into the pursuit of a killer who has threatened to strike from beyond the grave.
And here’s the paperback’s steamy cover:
Later arrives on March 2, 2021. Pre-order it here.