🎧 Billy Summers by Stephen King

August 16th, 2021 Kimberly Review 9 Comments

16th Aug
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Summer is the perfect time for a Stephen King novel. His newest release, Billy Summers, tells the story of Billy Summers, a killer for higher with a conscience and the story of his last hit. Narrated by Paul Sparks, this tale will remind readers of other King characters and stories as it pulls you in….

🎧 Billy Summers by Stephen King
Billy Summers
by Stephen King
Narrator: Paul Sparks
Length: 16 hours and 57 minutes
Genres: Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.3x

Billy Summers is a man in a room with a gun. He’s a killer for hire and the best in the business. But he’ll do the job only if the target is a truly bad guy. And now Billy wants out. But first there is one last hit. Billy is among the best snipers in the world, a decorated Iraq war vet, a Houdini when it comes to vanishing after the job is done. So what could possibly go wrong?

How about everything.

This novel is part war story, part love letter to small town America and the people who live there, and it features on of the most compelling and surprising duos in King fiction, who set out to avenge the crimes of an extraordinarily evil man. It's about love, luck, fate, and a complex hero with one last shot at redemption.

SUSPENSE thriller twisted well written

Stephen King is known for his horror stories, has shifted into suspense thrillers in recent years, and Billy Summers falls along that vein. While there are dark and gritty moments, it is also the story of man, a woman and revenge.

Billy is a man shaped by his past from his childhood to his time in the military as a sniper. He’s a hit man, a killer for hire, but he has rules. He only kills bad people. Billy is ready to retire, but accepts one last job with an outstanding payoff. He’ll be able to retire in style.

The job requires Billy to move into the area under an assumed name while he waits for his target to arrive. He’s given a place and a background. Billy lives in Red Bluff, where he tells folks he signed a book deal and he’s come here to write. Here he makes friends and becomes a part of the community, something Billy has never done.

While under the guise of a writer, Billy actually writes. He tells his life story and through these pages we learn about him and how he became a killer for higher. It was fascinating to get inside the mind of a killer and have the perspective of a criminal. I loved the community and taking part in backyard picnics and helping the neighbors.

One thing I love about King’s writing is how he builds up and fleshes out his characters and story, before he twists things and you find yourself unable to put it down. So the first part of the book is getting to know Billy as he waits for his target, and the second half happens after he has performed the task.

After the deed is done, Billy realizes something is wrong, and it’s here things turn upside down. Then Billy meets Alice and King sets us up again for the finale.

Be warned, there are bad people who do bad things. Billy is far from politically correct and some of his comments may offend. This was written before Covid, but as one would expect, there are some digs particularly in-regard to Trump. If you have triggers for rape and violence, you’ll want to tread lightly.

I wasn’t sure about Alice, but she ended up being a pivotal character. The two played off each other well, and are one of Kings’ best duos. I loved their dynamics and interactions. Billy Summers will sit amongst King’s most remembered characters. He is fully formed and authentic. I finished feeling like I really knew Billy. The reader/listener cannot help but connect, even though he does bad things. I won’t be forgetting Billy Summers any time soon.

Paul Sparks narrates, and he captured the voice(s) of Billy perfectly. His secondary characters from Alice to the contractors were superb. His dialect and pacing enhanced the story and pulled me in.

Fans will find plenty of Easter Eggs referencing previous characters and works. As always, King throws in zingers involving current events and leaves his listeners to ponder the choices and situations his characters find themselves in.

Amazon | Audible

Narrated by Paul Sparks, Billy Summers by Stephen King delivered a character & story that folks will remember long after the #audio ends. #Thriller #Suspense #SummerListen Click To Tweet

About Stephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world's most successful writers. Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

About Paul Sparks

Paul Sparks

Paul Sparks is known for playing Ace Merrill in Stephen King's Castle Rock, he starred as Mickey Doyle in Boardwalk Empire, and he received a Primetime Emmy nomination for his role as Tom Yates in House of Cards.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

9 Responses to “🎧 Billy Summers by Stephen King”

  1. Patricia

    This one sounds fabulous! Added to my ever growing TBR list…..I bet this one is best “read” as an audio. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Tyler H. Jolley

    I cannot wait to dive into this. I have to say, and I love that you mentioned it, he’s so good at love arcs. I feel like that is so underrated for him. Great review, Kimba!

  3. Katherine

    I don’t think this is one for me but I love how King handles this kind of story. I listened to A Good Marriage several years ago and loved it even though it seriously creeped me out!

  4. Nadene

    This sounds exciting. Stephen King was one of my favourites prior to my blogging days. I still have a few of his earlier books in my possession, which I have yet to read. Its good to know he has shifted into suspense.