Read an extract from BILLY SUMMERS! - Stephen King Books

Read an extract from BILLY SUMMERS!

July 30, 2021

The pen is mightier than the bullet.

Read an extract from Billy Summers, Stephen King’s new novel, coming from Hodder & Stoughton on 3 August 2021. Billy Summers is Stephen King’s compelling new novel about a contract killer, an ex-marine, with one last payday to earn before he retires. Once again King sets his storytelling talent on a new path with this epic new thriller.

‘Here’s your cover story. David Lockridge grew up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Always wanted to be a writer but barely finished high school. Worked construction. You kept writing, but you were a hard partier. Lots of drinking. I thought about giving you a divorce but decided it would be a lot to keep straight.’

For a guy who’s smart about guns but not about much else, Billy thinks.

‘Finally you get going on something good, okay? There’s a lot of talk in the blogs I read about writers suddenly catching fire, and that’s what happens to you. You write a bunch, maybe seventy pages, maybe a hundred—’

‘About what?’ Billy’s actually starting to enjoy himself now, but he’s careful not to show it.

Giorgio exchanges a glance with Nick, who shrugs. ‘Haven’t decided that yet, but I’ll come up with someth—’

‘Maybe my own story? Dave’s story, I mean. There’s a word for that—’

‘Autobiography,’ Nick snaps, like he’s on Jeopardy!

‘That might work,’ Giorgio says. His face says nice try, Nick, but leave this to the experts. ‘Or maybe it’s a novel. The important thing is you never talk about it on orders from your agent. Top secret. You’re writing, you don’t keep that a secret, everybody you meet in the building will know the guy on the fifth floor is writing a book, but nobody knows what it’s about. That way you never get your stories mixed up.’

As if I would, Billy thinks. ‘How did David Lockridge get from Portsmouth to here? And how did he wind up in the Gerard Tower?’

This extract may not be reproduced without prior permission of Hodder & Stoughton.  © Stephen King