DumaKeyStephenKing49027_fI may have said this more than once before but it is a statement that bears repeating: I really, really love Stephen King. Ever since I picked up a paper back of Carrie when I was (I think) 14 I have been hooked, and although there may be big gaps between reading his stuff I almost always buy his new thing as soon as it comes out. His work is so deceptively easy to read that I find it really comforting and turn to it in times of illness and stress, which may seem weird given the subject matter but I’m not going to try to explain the unexplainable.

And this year has been a bit of a King year; when I had a really horrible not-quite-flu-but-might-as-well-have-been cold, I consoled myself with Full Dark, No Stars and Just After Sunset, and last weekend when I needed a real break from all the stuff that was going on around me I picked up Duma Key and promptly fell in love. Spent Sunday afternoon finishing it when I really should have been doing other stuff but felt no regrets; this may possibly be one of my favourites.

And its odd really that I became so attached to the protagonist, Edgar Freemantle, because he’s lots of things I’m not: male (obviously), successful in business, a parent, but still I came to be very fond of him as he struggled with his recovery from the terrible accident that kick starts this novel. He loses an arm, his wife, his old life and possibly his sanity (for a bit at least). But he gains a new home in what sounds like a beautiful part of the world, makes some new friends who will become very dear to him and rediscovers a talent for painting.

Though of course that’s where the trouble starts.

His art is a means for something to fight its way through, something of great power that has been dormant for a while. And it becomes clear that Edgar and his new friends may have been called to the island, either because of a long-standing connection (the wonderful old lady Elizabeth Eastlake) or events that have made them vulnerable and sensitive (Wireman and Edgar himself).

And there are shocks aplenty as the awfulness is identified and confronted, and the people around Edgar pay a heavy price as always happens before there is a resolution and Edgar finds peace of sorts.

It was a lovely creepy book with remarkable characters, a believable father-daughter relationship and a cracking good story. Very, very enjoyable.

And my first read for the RIP VI challenge. A successful start.