Stephen King said this was his first hard-boiled detective book and indeed it is. The plot makes it a page turner and the characters are as real as any King characters have ever been, and that’s about as life-like as they get. His retired detective (to be played on TV by Irish actor Brendan Gleeson), complete with middle-aged health problems, is sufficiently weather-worn and cantankerous to take his place in the detectives’ hall of fame with any of the greats.
I have all my life loved detective characters from books, movies and TV. When well written they’re always well developed, colourful and clever with a keen eye for detail and an easy command of the application of logic. Most of all though they read people, a skill I value very highly. It’s very difficult for me to whittle down all of those intelligent men and women to a list of five favourites but I’ve really enjoyed trying.