THE COLORADO KID
Stephen King
October 2005
ISBN: 0-8439-5584-8
Cover art by Glen Orbik

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FIRST PUBLICATION ANYWHERE!

On an island off the coast of Maine, a man is found dead. There’s no identification on the body. Only the dogged work of a pair of local newspapermen and a graduate student in forensics turns up any clues, and it’s more than a year before the man is identified.

And that’s just the beginning of the mystery. Because the more they learn about the man and the baffling circumstances of his death, the less they understand. Was it an impossible crime? Or something stranger still...?

No one but Stephen King could tell this story about the darkness at the heart of the unknown and our compulsion to investigate the unexplained. With echoes of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon and the work of Graham Greene, one of the world’s great storytellers presents a moving and surprising tale whose subject is nothing less than the nature of mystery itself...

Hard Case Crime was privileged to publish The Colorado Kid starting in 2005; while our paperback edition is not available for sale any longer (other than from used booksellers), you can still get the book in e-book and audiobook editions.

The Colorado Kid comes to TV!

In July 2010, a new TV series called Haven debuted on SyFy (airing Friday nights at 10PM in the U.S.). Based loosely on The Colorado Kid, Haven tells the story of FBI agent Audrey Parker who comes to the town of Haven, Maine, in pursuit of an escaped criminal and winds up staying when she discovers that the town is a hotbed of supernatural activity—and may hold clues to her own mysterious past. Characters familiar to readers of the book include the colorful publishers of the local newspaper, and Agent Parker's personal story is intimately connected to an unsolved 27-year-old mystery in which a man died on a beach under strange circumstances...

To find out more, visit the Haven Web site.

Read our original 2005 press release about The Colorado Kid:

NEW BOOK BY STEPHEN KING TO KICK OFF HARD CASE CRIME’S SECOND YEAR

2005-2006 Lineup Also Includes Lawrence Block, Donald Hamilton, Ed McBain and Donald E. Westlake

New York Winterfall LLC, creator of the celebrated Hard Case Crime line of pulp-style paperback crime novels, today announced that a new book by Stephen King will be the lead title of the line’s second year. The Colorado Kid tells the story of two veteran newspapermen and their investigation into the mysterious death of a man on an island off the coast of Maine. The book was written specifically for Hard Case Crime and has never previously been published. One of the most beloved storytellers of all time, Stephen King is the world’s best-selling novelist, with more than 300,000,000 books in print.

Launched in September 2004 by novelists and pulp mavens Charles Ardai and Max Phillips (and recently nominated for two Edgar Allan Poe Awards by the Mystery Writers of America), Hard Case Crime revives the storytelling and visual style of the great pulp paperbacks of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. The line features an exciting mix of lost pulp masterpieces from some of the most acclaimed crime writers of all time and gripping new novels from the next generation of great hardboiled authors, all with new painted covers in the grand pulp style. Authors range from current best-sellers such as Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, Ed McBain, and Donald E. Westlake to Golden Age stars like Erle Stanley Gardner (creator of "Perry Mason"), Donald Hamilton (creator of "Matt Helm"), Wade Miller (author of Touch of Evil), and David Dodge (author of To Catch a Thief).

Cover artists include the legendary Robert McGinnis, creator of the posters for the original Sean Connery James Bond movies, as well as other award-winning painters chosen for their ability to work in the vivid and dramatic style that made pulp paperbacks so memorable. After seeing samples of Hard Case Crime’s books, Mickey Spillane—creator of Mike Hammer and one of the best-selling paperback writers of all time—wrote, "Those covers brought me right back to the good old days."

The Colorado Kid will be published in October 2005 in the classic pocket-sized mass-market paperback format in which hundreds of millions of books were sold during the heyday of pulp fiction. The book will be published through Winterfall’s ongoing collaboration with Dorchester Publishing, the oldest independent mass-market publisher in the United States. The book will also be available in audiobook and e-book editions from Simon & Schuster, publisher of Stephen King’s work since 1998.

"Steve is an extraordinary writer, and as much a fan of classic paperback crime fiction as we are," said Charles Ardai, Hard Case Crime’s editor. "We originally contacted him to see if he’d be willing to write a blurb for our line, and he decided that what he really wanted to do was write a book for us instead. We’re thrilled that he wanted to be part of Hard Case Crime and we’re very excited to get to introduce the world to the baffling mystery of The Colorado Kid."

"This is an exciting line of books," Stephen King commented, "and I'm delighted to be a part of it. Hard Case Crime presents good, clean, bare-knuckled storytelling, and even though The Colorado Kid is probably more bleu than outright noir, I think it has some of those old-fashioned kick-ass story-telling virtues. It ought to; this is where I started out, and I’m pleased to be back."

Since its debut in 2004, Hard Case Crime has been the subject of enthusiastic coverage by a wide range of publications including The New York Times, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Playboy, U.S. News & World Report, BusinessWeek, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Houston Chronicle, New York magazine, the New York Post and Daily News, Salon, Publishers Weekly and USA Weekend, as well as numerous other magazines, newspapers, and online media outlets. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Hard Case Crime is doing a wonderful job publishing both classic and contemporary ‘pulp’ novels in a crisp new format with beautiful, period-style covers. These modern ‘penny dreadfuls’ are worth every dime." Playboy praised Hard Case Crime’s "lost masterpieces," writing "They put to shame the work of modern mystery writers whose plots rely on cell phones and terrorists." And the Philadelphia City Paper wrote, "Tired of overblown, doorstop-sized thrillers...? You’ve come to the right place. Hard Case novels are as spare and as honest as a sock in the jaw."

Hard Case Crime is scheduled to publish nine books in 2005, increasing to a schedule of one title per month in 2006. The next two titles in the line, due in stores at the start of March, are Home Is the Sailor by 1950s pulp master Day Keene and Kiss Her Goodbye, an original novel set on the mean streets of Edinburgh, by the rising young Scottish noir stylist Allan Guthrie.