Holly Gibney, one of Stephen King’s most compelling and ingeniously resourceful characters, returns in this thrilling novel to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a midwestern town.
“Sometimes the universe throws you a rope.” —BILL HODGES
Stephen King’s Holly marks the triumphant return of beloved King character Holly Gibney. Readers have witnessed Holly’s gradual transformation from a shy (but also brave and ethical) recluse in Mr. Mercedes to Bill Hodges’s partner in Finders Keepers to a full-fledged, smart, and occasionally tough private detective in The Outsider. In King’s new novel, Holly is on her own, and up against a pair of unimaginably depraved and brilliantly disguised adversaries.
When Penny Dahl calls the Finders Keepers detective agency hoping for help locating her missing daughter, Holly is reluctant to accept the case. Her partner, Pete, has Covid. Her (very complicated) mother has just died. And Holly is meant to be on leave. But something in Penny Dahl’s desperate voice makes it impossible for Holly to turn her down.
Mere blocks from where Bonnie Dahl disappeared live Professors Rodney and Emily Harris. They are the picture of bourgeois respectability: married octogenarians, devoted to each other, and semi-retired lifelong academics. But they are harboring an unholy secret in the basement of their well-kept, book-lined home, one that may be related to Bonnie’s disappearance. And it will prove nearly impossible to discover what they are up to: they are savvy, they are patient, and they are ruthless.
Holly must summon all her formidable talents to outthink and outmaneuver the shockingly twisted professors in this chilling new masterwork from Stephen King.
“I could never let Holly Gibney go. She was supposed to be a walk-on character in Mr. Mercedes and she just kind of stole the book and stole my heart. Holly is all her.” —STEPHEN KING
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Holly, Fairy Tale, Billy Summers, If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, Doctor Sleep, and Firestarter are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
Praise for Holly
“Here is a thriller scary enough to test its readers’ mettle — and toughen them up … What makes King’s work so much more frightening than that of most other suspense writers, what elevates it to night-terror levels, isn’t his cruelty to his characters: It’s his kindness. King describes his characters’ interior landscapes, their worries and plans, with a focus like a giant benevolent beam. You can sense the goodness running through them, and that current of goodness is what makes the acts of violence so disturbing. King is having fun in Holly, absolutely — the story zings along — but his work also raises questions that cut keenly.” —Flynn Berry, New York Times Book Review
“A deadly folie a deux…Holly pursues this case to the gates of hell, figuratively—there’s no supernatural element in this powerful exploration of grief and delusion, just pure, undistilled evil.” —New York Magazine
“It’s always fun when a great supporting character earns a starring vehicle…both intimate and sprawling in its ambitions…King’s created monsters – human and otherwise – for decades to examine humanity, our foibles and the unknowable strength we carry inside. Holly is the flip of that in crime-solving form, the imperfect but determined angel among all those demons… a fitfully freaky thriller, a solid exploration of the title character as a soulful beacon of hope, and a reminder of how important it is to answer that call when it comes.” —Brian Truitt, USA Today
“Tense, satisfying, and rich with detail, Holly is proof not just that King had more to say about the title character, but proof that Holly herself has much more to tell us, and perhaps many more mysteries to solve. We almost certainly haven’t seen the last of her in King’s fiction, and after reading this novel, you’ll be anxious to see where Holly heads next.” —Paste
“While Holly is brutal and gripping and King did many things right with the story, Holly is the heart of the narrative. Her growth from a shy, muttering mess in Mr. Mercedes to the smart, strong, smoking, slightly better, and much richer woman we see in Holly is tremendous. It's also a testament to King's talents as a writer and a stark reminder of what can happen when writers allow the magic that inhabits their characters to blossom unimpeded by their original plans for them. Please, Mr. King, give us more Holly soon.” —Gabino Iglesias, NPR.org
“In half a century of writing horror novels, Stephen King has created some remarkable villains. Who can forget the sing-song voice of Pennywise the clown, the devil incarnate Randall Flagg, or the drooling jaws of Cujo? The big bads in King’s latest novel, Holly, aren’t quite so memorable, but that’s part of what makes them terrifying.” —Rob Merrill, Associated Press
“Deliciously, darkly comical. I’m all in on Holly.” —Neil McRobert, Talking Scared
“Holly Gibney steps into the spotlight [and] takes center stage at last…Holly’s complexity and relatability make her an endlessly fascinating protagonist.” —BookPage
“King eschews the supernatural here but finds all the horror possible in the evil that ‘normal’ people may do…readers will find much to love.” —Library Journal
“In her new leading role, Holly shines. She’s tough, relentless, and compassionate while at the same time being vulnerable and prone to lapses of confidence. The story is the kind of thing King excels at, too—dark, mysterious, and deeply unsettling. This is the novel Holly deserves.” —Booklist
“A tour de force. Creepy as hell but full of heart, too.” —Linwood Barclay, #1 internationally bestselling author of Take Your Breath Away and Look Both Ways