Retirement suits Stephen King well. After completing his epic Dark Tower series, he announced he was going to retire.
That was last year. This year he is back to writing and writing well.
His latest novel, Cell, is a frightening twist on the zombie sub-genre of horror. The novel follows artist Clayton Riddell, an art teacher who has just sold his first graphic novel. As he stands in line for ice cream, all Hell breaks loose around him. People on the street begin randomly attacking each other with animalistic ferocity. It only takes Clayton a little while to realize that people aren't acting randomly. Everyone acting crazy was on their cell phone.
Cell grabs the reader and hustles you along, building suspense and never letting you rest. This novel is quite adeparture from King's usual style. Characters get just enough back story to make them interesting. Missing are the usual elaborate backstories most Stephen King characters get. This apocalyptic tale focuses on a small area in New England. This is no The Stand where hundreds of pages are filled with how the disaster of the story affects the entire world. This story is about Clayton Riddell, his small band of survivors and how they search for his missing son and wife.
This novel is short by Stephen King standards, only about 350 pages, but it's a fast paced thriller. If you were one of the author's fans who stopped reading his work because of constant references to the never ending Dark Tower series this book is for you. It's a frightening thriller that accomplishes what it sets out to do; simply scare you.