Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
The long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed The Shining sees Danny at ordnance grow into a middle-aged man who works in a care home. Daniel Torrance has faced his demons figuratively and literally as a responsible member of society in a small town. During the course of his work in the care home he provides comfort to those who are dying and for this reason is nicknamed Docto
Sleep, as he encourages those who are near death to go to sleep.
However, Daniel's life is complicated by Abra Stone, a young girl who also has the shining but more powerfully so. Abra contacts Daniel as a baby and infant and again as a 10-year-old when she comes across a group of travellers called The True Knot, who are responsible for the disappearance and deaths of many children. This sinister group targets Abra and Daniel is called in to protect her.
I found the book chilling in places but not really terrifying in the way I found The Shining. Read as a continuation rather than a book to rival the horrors we encountered in the first book of this series, Doctor Sleep is more about developing and introducing old and new characters respectively. My curiosity about the Torrance family and Dick Halloran was satisfied and I became mesmerised by the magical Abra. The True Knot are heinously despicable as villains led by the ruthless yet beautiful Rose, who is a worthy adversary to our two protagonists.
Doctor Sleep challenges our perception of people, as 10-year-old Abra befriends a middle-aged man to help her; in the current state of our society this is very taboo and suspect, even though Daniel would never dream of harming a child. Yet The True Knot are a group of friendly travellers you may see and not even think about as a source of danger to anyone. King tries to show us the hazards of judging a book by its cover in Doctor Sleep and he couldn't have made those grandmas and grandpas in RVs more sinister, but they don't have the scare factor of the ghosts we have met in The Shining. This could be because the villains in this book have to hide in plain sight and aren't found in shadowy, unoccupied hotel rooms where malevolence is more easily imagined. I did feel at times that the villains were too easily outgunned, but this didn't detract from the story or characters on the whole.
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I am a Bengal cat enthusiast in the UK, who retired from a career in General Practice on health grounds some years ago. I suffer from pulmonary hypertension and OCD, which I am very open about and I have a voracious appetite for books, particularly good thrillers of any description. I blog my reviews regularly on my blog: , but my reviews also appear on other excellent book review blogs occasionally.