A FACE IN THE CROWD by Stephen King & Stewart O’Nan
Stephen King can grab you by the throat and scare you to death from the outset. But, even more sadistic, sometimes he can slip inside your head while you’re casually reading something, getting to know characters and a situation, and gently nudge you every so often till you look around and realize you’re in the Twilight Zone with no way back.
That’s what he and Stewart O’Nan do with “A Face in the Crowd.” Dean Evers is a fantastic character, an old guy that everybody has known at one time or another. A widower who misses his wife, a manic baseball curmudgeon, and just a regular joe.
However, when Evers starts seeing dead people in the stands of the baseball stadium while he’s watching a game, you know all bets are off. By that time King and O’Nan, get you there, the hook has been set and you’re not getting away until you finish up the emotionally layered ending.
The writing is sympathetic, the characters very real, and life as we know it gets slathered with care across the pages with honest feeling.