At first I had reservations about Lisey's story. Those others of King's books told from a female perspective (Gerald's Game, Dolores Claiborne, Rose Madder) are amongst my least favourite of his novels. Thus, I was prepared to be disappointed - and, initially, I was.
The story is told as two narrative threads - firstly, in the present day, secondly as a series of memories from the heroine of the story - Lisey Landon, wife of the deceased author Scott Landon. Scott Landon who had troubles of his own - many of which seem to mirror King in real life.
Ultimately, however, one starts to care about the characters, and age and near-death has certainly not dulled King's ability to describe the minutiae of life in such absorbing detail. By the end of the story, the characters - and the portrayal of the twenty-five year marriage - between Scott and Lisey seemed real, and the feelings - although not the events - described could mirror any long marriage.
There are also enough references to others of Kings works to keep the hardened fan happy. Deputies Ridgewick and Clutterbuck from Needful Things make appearances, the Territories are never far away, and there's also mention of a little place called Shooters Knob, Tennessee.
If there is a downside - and why I haven't given five stars for this review - it is because there is nothing entirely new here. There are shades of Rose Madder, The Talisman and at least one of the stories in Four Past Midnight... but King, at his literary best, is still the best around. Despite his so-called retirement after his near-fatal accident, King seems as prolific as ever and, with other books apparently in the pipeline, I hope that they are as enjoyable as this.