This book was one of the presents that my lovely wife gave me for my recent 51st birthday, and I plowed through it in no time.
The first forty or so pages tell the tale of a former small town policeman who is hitching from Florida to New York, but gets waylaid at an even smaller town in South Carolina. He finds himself a job as a nightwatchman and slowly becomes a part of the small community. He’s likable, hard working and friendly; a ‘good’ man. We don’t meet him again in the book until the last quarter.
Luke is no ordinary 12-year-old. Insanely intelligent and looking at applying to colleges, his life is turned upside down when he is kidnapped and taken to ‘The Institute’. All of the children are told that they will have their memories wiped later on and then released unharmed back to their parents. This is obviously a lie, and the children know it. Luke is just one of many children housed there who are subjected to numerous tests, many of which are deeply unpleasant. After a few weeks most of the inmates are taken away to the mysterious ‘back half’ of the institute, never to be seen again. What nefarious activities are occuring there?
As with many Stephen King books it could has lost a few pages, especially when we first read about the institute, but overall I thoroughly enjoyed this, giving it 4 out of 5 on Goodreads. Towards the very end of the book an idea is touched upon, which formed much larger themes in 11/22/63 and The Dead Zone. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers, but if you can guess what the theme is from those two books, you are probably a huge Stephen King fan who has already devoured The Institute.
Anyway, another great book, and a big thank you to Helen for buying it for me.