Stephen King is publishing a new crime novel, Later, with Titan Books imprint Hard Case Crime in March 2021.
Later tells the story of Jamie Conklin, a boy whose unusual abilities could aid his single mum and her police detective lover – but only at a terrible cost.
It will be published initially as a paperback original, featuring a cover by Paul Mann, followed by a limited-edition hardcover with two new cover paintings by artist Gregory Manchess, one for Later itself and one for a fictitious novel within the novel that features prominently in the plot. An e-book edition will also be available.
The release will be supported by a major marketing and publicity campaign in the UK and US simultaneously, the publisher said.
Hard Case Crime is an imprint specialising in pulp-style crime novels and the publisher of two previous King novels, The Colorado Kid (2019) and Joyland (2013).
King said: “I love the Hard Case format, and this story — combining a boy who sees beyond our world and strong elements of crime and suspense — seemed a perfect fit.”
Charles Ardai, editor and founder of Hard Case Crime, said: “Later is a beautiful story about growing up and facing your demons – whether they’re metaphorical or (as sometimes happens when you’re in a Stephen King novel) the real thing. It’s terrifying, tender, heartbreaking and honest, and we’re so excited to bring it to readers.”
He added: "It's a privilege to publish a brand-new Stephen King novel in the UK. UK readers are second to none in terms of their passion for King's work, as we saw in 2013 when we published Joyland there and again last year when we brought The Colorado Kid to UK booksellers for the first time ever. We publish all our books in close collaboration with London-based Titan Books, meaning the UK is always at the heart of what we do, and we know UK readers will cherish Later when it makes its world debut in March."
Since 1998, King has sold 9.4 million books for £70.1m in the UK. His last hardback If It Bleeds (Hodder) went to the Original Fiction number one over lockdown, with 2019 paperback The Outsider (Hodder) selling 139,933 copies and 59,713 in hardback the year before. The Colorado Kid has sold 26,283 copies to date and Joyland 71,930.