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’ve been one of King’s ‘constant readers’ ever since I came across a second-hand copy of his first short fiction collection Night Shift in the 70s. As with most writers with a canon of work as vast as his (and there aren’t that many), he has sagged a bit from time-to-time but in my opinion his short fiction collections never let you down.