Once I was introduced to King’s short stories as a teenager, there was no turning back. I was “his greatest fan.” I waited impatiently for each new selection to come out and then I would scare myself witless sitting alone in bed in the wee hours of the morning, flashlight in hand, reading because Stephen King’s writing grips the reader from the very first sentence and doesn’t let go. Like the endless old fashioned roller-coaster ride, just when the platform was drawing near and survival was imminent, the car would begin to slow and then, jerking the passengers heads back, speed up for one more round at even greater speeds. Thus was, and continues to be, my adventure with Mr. King. Then, just recently, I discovered John Connolly. I ignored his latest volume at the time, The Book of Lost Things, passing the intriguing cover, giving it a look but never committing myself to its purchase. Finally, on a rare and cherished visit to choose a new book, I noticed The Book of Lost Things was no longer on the front shelf. I felt compelled to find out if it was still available. Not remembering the title, I had to describe the cover and who I thought was the author. One clerk recognized my babble and exclaimed the book to be an outstanding read. John Connolly, she said, usually wrote dark murder mysteries and this one was different but true to his style. Dark writer, now my attention was focused. Author’s don’t write a whole lot darker than Stephen King so John Connolly sounded like an interesting reading adventure. And, like King, Connolly hijacks the reader for the duration of the story
Since that first dive into John Connolly’s literary world, I have consumed four more of his books and am currently in the process of completing number five. My fascination with Connolly’s work continues to grow, especially since he writes about Maine, another similarity to King. Both King and Connolly are gifted writers as similar as they are different at their craft.