Very few people would dare venture to the town of Castle Rock, Maine - where the tendency for tragedy has been well documented over the years. Don't tell that to Richard Chizmar, however, who brings us back to that dastardly place in Gwendy's Magic Feather, the follow-up to his 2017 novella co-written with Stephen King, Gwendy's Button Box.
The story starts by reuniting us with Gwendy Peterson, now a Maine Congresswoman, working in Washington D.C. We learn a bit about what has happened to our protagonist since we last saw her - including graduating from Brown University and writing multiple best-selling novels.
With the magic button box having found it's way back into her life, Gwendy returns home to Castle Rock for Christmas break to spend time with her parents - and begins assisting Sheriff Ridgewick in an investigation for two (and eventually three) missing girls.
Having to face several challenges throughout the story - a President on the verge of war back in Washington, an increasingly ill mother and a child kidnapper terrorizing her hometown - will Gwendy give in to temptation and use the button box to find a solution? Or will she finally rid herself of the magic vessel and the anxiety that comes with it?
With numerous well-researched references and a spot-on description of small-town Maine living, it's easy to forget you are not reading the 'King of Horror' himself (which makes the fact he penned the foreword all the more appropriate). Chizmar truly hit it out of the park with this one and with rumors of a third installment coming in the future, many fans will be chomping at the bit to get their hands on it.