Bag of Bones is a Stephen King thriller in which, as in many of his other novels, layers supernatural horror over human horrors.
The story is narrated by Mike Noonan, a novelist who hasn’t put pixels on his word processor since his wife died four years before.
That would have been enough material for an Edith Wharton novel.
Mike goes to their summer home, Sara Laughs, on Dark Score Lake in Castle Rock, Maine, after a series of vivid nightmares convince him he has to come to grips with his loss.
He finds the village is under the thumb of ruthless millionaire who has returned to his roots. Max Devore’s aim is to wrest custody of his three-year-old granddaughter from her mother. Mike falls instantly in love with both Kyra and her sexy mother.
That would have been enough for a John Grisham novel.
Mike also picks up some bad vibes about local history from the jazz age that nobody will talk about.
That would have been enough for a Toni Morrison novel.
King takes what is at least three novels’ worth of material and adds supernatural elements to them. It’s overkill. People and history are sufficiently horrific. Readers don’t need ghosts, too.
Bag of Bones by Stephen King
Scribner. ©1998. 529 p.
1998 bestseller #3; my grade: B+
©2020 Linda G. Aragoni