The Colorado Kid
New England is full of unexplained mysteries. Newspaper veterans Vince Teague and Dave Bowie know most of them. Stephanie McCann is an intern for their small Maine island local newspaper. She is learning more than she would have expected from them and learning to love the area and the people. Perhaps she would stay when her internship is done.
Teague and Bowie decide to tell McCann about their local unexplained mystery. They've kept it to themselves all these years. Now, they feel, it's time another reporter knew it.
Back in 1980 a man's body was found propped up on the beach. He had apparently died from choking on a piece of steak. Nobody knows him. He doesn't have any identification on him, nor any warm coat even though it was a cold April on the Maine coast. He only had an open pack of cigarettes and matches. According to the autopsy, he died in the middle of the night. Nothing is known about him.
The policemen who investigated were busy with some arson victims at the same time, so gave little attention to the man who seemed to have died accidentally. Their assistant looked at the evidence in the bag (against orders) but that was it. No one came forward after his picture was circulated. Finally he was buried, unidentified.
About a year and a half later the assistant who looked at the evidence realized something that may help. He contacted the newspapermen, knowing they were interested in the unknown man. They finally were able to track the man down. He was from a small town outside Denver. Why was he in Maine? And why did he die?
We all have different tastes in our books, don't we? The reviews for The Colorado Kid aren't all that great. Yet I had a wonderful time with it. I seem to have ignored its "obvious flaws" and enjoyed it for what it is. It's the tale of two old timers breaking in the new kid. It is very "down home" emphasizing the down east accents, the community, and the people of the area. McCann is being tested by the old timers to see if she would fit in there.
I also enjoyed the approach Stephen King took to the mystery. We expect our stories to have beginnings, middles, and ends. The Colorado Kid's story has a middle, a possible beginning, and no end. Instead of leaving the reader frustrated, I was charmed. And yes, a little frustrated but that was predicted from the moment Teague and Bowie start telling the story.
The Colorado Kid is a quick, easy read. It's part of the Hard Crime series, but doesn't fit that designation in my mind. It's like folklore, instead.
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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