Haven is back on the SyFy channel for another season (hip-hip-hooray). To celebrate, I dug out my rare copy of The Colorado Kid .
Now, when the book first came out in 2005, I devoured it. Then, I threw it against the wall. What do you mean there is no solution to the mystery!!!! It has sat on my husband’s nightstand for years (he’s not a huge fan of Mr. King’s but wanted to read the book because of the controversy surrounding it). He hasn’t yet plucked it off his TBR pile, so I rescued it and sat down to really read it again.
This time, I cheated. I read the Author’s note first (I wouldn’t recommend doing that with any book you haven’t already read, as you might spoil the entire read for yourself).
To quote Stephen, he could have written “Half a dozen – three good, two a-country fair, and one fine as paint solution.” He also says that he didn’t fall down on the job, that he told all there was to tell about this tale. We also know that these two men passed along an unsolved cold case to the young journalist Stephanie, in hopes that she’d put the clues together, she’d ask all the right questions, and she’d one day own the story.
With those clues in mind, I began to dissect what Mr. King told us about the case with a fresh eye and the idea that there really are solutions to the story, they just weren’t spelled out — rather like that old television show, Ellery Queen, where we’d all watch the clues, but it wasn’t until the detective stepped in and explained it, that you saw the significance of them. This time, we have to make due without the detective performing the wrap up and use our own noodles.
(As this theory I’m proposing may contain spoilers to the story, if you haven’t read The Colorado Kid yet, I’ll give you a minute or so to click away)
James Cogan left Colorado for Maine under a tight timeline. He had approximately five hours to get from his office to the last ferry at 6 pm. When he was found dead approximately 12 hours later, he had a Russian coin & a little over seventeen dollars in bills and change in his pants pocket. He didn’t have any identification, suit coat, or jacket even though it was April in Maine (can you say Brrrrr?) He also had a packet of cigarettes, sans one lowly smoke, and a matchbook with one match missing. Yes, he accidentally choked to death on a piece of steak – no homicide there…but there was a murder.
Oh, yes there was. Read the story again, about how the body was found and the bumbling detectives that didn’t want to give this body the time of day because it wasn’t a murder, and they already had a murder to solve.
Mr. Cogan arrived on the island the same night that there was a murder of two people via arson. The details are never given, we don’t even know the ages or sex of the victims, or whether that mystery was ever solved. My suspicion is that is wasn’t….
Means, motive, and opportunity are the three key things needed to solve a mystery. Although the motive is still murky on this one, and I think Mr. King left it that way for a reason, means and opportunity are right there at his fingertips, so to speak.
A fine as paint solution indeed.
Hats off to you, Mr. King.
Now I’m off to TIVO Haven, although I’m positive it has little to do with the book, it’s still damned good entertainment.