One of the best and most interesting Stephen King characters in recent years is Holly Gibney, the socially awkward and eccentric young woman who becomes Bill Hodges' protege in the Mr. Mercedes trilogy (aka Stephen King Does Detective Stories For Dads) and reappears as a crucial figure in last year's The Outsider. Holly's return was a super pleasant surprise for this constant reader; she's brilliant and tough without ever falling into the reductive "strong female character" trap, and she struggles with mental health issues and loss in ways that are poignant, pointed, and extremely relatable. I love her – which is why I'm thrilled to learn that Holly Gibney is the main character in an upcoming King novel titled If You Bleed, set to hit shelves in 2020. According to the Lilja's Library blog, King announced the new novel at the Wordplay literary festival in Minneapolis this past weekend during a chat with fellow author Benjamin Percy.
And... that's about all we know at this point. King didn't share any plot details for If You Bleed (which is a pretty dope title), only revealing that Holly will be the book's central protagonist – and honestly, that's enough to get me stoked about it. Following the events of the Mr. Mercedes trilogy, Holly took over the Finders Keepers private investigation agency. In The Outsider, Holly's nascent detective skills have fully blossomed; she's become a more confident investigator without losing the eccentricities that make her Holly. Presumably, If You Bleed will follow Holly as she tackles another dark and challenging case, this time as the lead investigator. I can't wait to read all about it.
In the meantime, King's next novel, The Institute, will hit shelves this September.