News people have a saying: 'If it bleeds, it leads'. And a bomb at Albert Macready Middle School is guaranteed to lead any bulletin.Holly Gibney of the Finders Keepers detective agency is working on the case of a missing dog - and her own need to be more assertive - when she sees the footage on TV. Then she tunes in again, to the late-night report, and realises there is something not quite right about the correspondent who was first on the scene. So begins 'If It Bleeds', a stand-alone sequel to the No. 1 bestselling The Outsider featuring the incomparable Holly on her first solo case - and also the riveting title story in Stephen King's brilliant new collection.Dancing alongside are three more wonderful long stories from this 'formidably versatile author' (The Sunday Times) In 'Mr Harrigan's Phone', young Craig introduces a curmudgeonly retired business tycoon to the wonders of a smartphone - and they keep their connection, even after Harrigan has died.'The Life of Chuck' is a three act life-story 'presented in reverse order, like a film running backwards' - from the father and retiring accountant whose face lights up a billboard as the city lies dying, through the business who dances to the drums of a busker in Boston and back to the young orphan whose grandma warns him not to go into the cupola of their Victorian house.The final story, 'Rat', sees an author head up to a remote cabin in the woods of North Maine, where, frozen and sick with flu, he makes a Faustian pact with a deal-making rat. These four brilliant novellas display King's extraordinary range with grace, humour, horror and breathtaking suspense. A truly fascinating Author's Note gives us a wonderful insight into the origin of each story and the writer's unparalleled imagination.
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