BANGOR, Maine — Stephen King, the Bangor author who has spooked plenty of readers over the years, has come out with a new novel, “Mile 81,” published by Simon and Schuster Publishing, according to a press release Friday.
The eBook is set at mile marker 81 on the Maine Turnpike at a boarded-up rest stop where high school youths consume alcohol and get into trouble.
The main character, Pete Simmons, goes to Mile 81 when his older brother, who is supposed to be looking out for him, heads off to a local gravel pit to play “paratroopers over the side.”
Pete subsequently uses a magnifying glass he got as a birthday gift to discover a discarded bottle of vodka, and drinks enough of it to pass out.
Not much later, a mud-covered station wagon pulls into the rest area, oblivious to the fact that the rest stop is closed, and later on, Doug Clayton, an insurance man from Bangor, emerges from his Prius en route to a conference in Portland.
His vehicle has a briefcase and suitcase in the back seat, and a King James Bible in the passenger’s bucket, which Doug calls “the ultimate insurance manual.”
Doug decides to be a good Samaritan and help the man in the broken-down wagon, and pulls up behind it, puts on his emergency blinkers and discovers the wagon has no license plate.
Ten minutes later, Julianne Vernon, hauling a horse trailer, spots both vehicles and pulls over, discovering Doug’s cell phone near the wagon door, and gets too close herself.
By the time Pete wakes up from his “vodka nap,” there are a half dozen cars at Mile 81, and two kids, along with a horse named Deedee, are the only ones alive.
Links to the respective sites are available on Simon and Schuster’s Web page at http://www.simonandschuster.com/.