The Colorado Kid is by Stephen King, it's published by Hard Case Crime, and it's dedicated "With admiration, for Dan J. Marlowe, author of The Name of the Game is Death, Hardest of the hardboiled." So what kind of book would you expect it to be? If you said, "Something like Marlowe's book or another Hard Case novel," you'd be dead wrong. This is about as far from The Name of the Game is Death as you can get. If this were a Gold Medal novel, it would be by Vin Packer, not Dan J. Marlowe. Not that there's anything wrong with that. And if you were thinking, "Well, it's Stephen King, so it must be weird," well, you'd be wrong about that, too.
It's the story of a body found on a beach in Maine, told by two colorful geezers to a much younger woman many years after the fact, so there's another story going on too, about the young newspaper reporter who's coming to love life on the island where she's working as an intern and who's learning a lot from the two old men who run the newspaper there.
The cover asks the question, "Would she learn the dead man's secret?" SPOILER ALERT! The answer to that is, no, she won't, and that's the whole point of the story. She learns a lot of things, but the major questions go unanswered. Some mysteries can't be explained, and they're all the more interesting for that. END SPOILER ALERT!
This book is neither hardboiled nor noir, but it's entertaining enough. It's slight, but it's certainly not disappointing, and I enjoyed reading it. It's brought Hard Case a ton of free publicity, which is great. I'm happy to add it to my Hard Case shelf.