Legendary author Stephen King announced on the Kingcast podcast that his next novel will be Holly, centering on the returning character Holly Gibney. But who is Holly and what do we already know about her? This article will discuss several recent King novels, including their respective plot twists.

A History of Holly

The character of Holly Gibney first made her debut in King’s 2014 novel Mr. Mercedes, in which she played a supporting character with a connection to a case being investigated by retired police detective Bill Hodges. By the conclusion of the story, she has been enlisted as a partner for the new private investigation firm that Hodges establishes.

Gibney played a significant supporting role in the next two novels in the Hodges trilogy, 2015’s Finders Keepers and 2016’s End of Watch. Interestingly, while the first two books in the trilogy were (by and large) more “grounded” crime genre stories, the third book took the form of a mystery that concerned a character that had developed supernatural powers.

Cover of The Outsider by Stephen King.

The Outsider by Stephen King.

Gibney appeared once again in 2018’s The Outsider, but she’s brought in partway through the mystery and the novel in no way advertised that she would be making an appearance, much less playing a significant supporting role. As a Constant Reader who had developed quite an affection for Gibney over the course of the Hodges trilogy, this surprise appearance was a delight and added an extra layer to an already incredibly engaging story. Like the Hodges trilogy, this story began as what seemed to be a more “realistic” murder mystery but developed into a supernatural investigation.

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And Gibney appeared once again in the title story of the 2020 fiction collection If It Bleeds. There, she was undertaking another supernatural investigation, this time with a creature that could alter people’s perceptions. What was especially disturbing about this story is that, although it arrives at what appears to be a stable situation by its conclusion, readers who have been paying attention will note that something is decidedly amiss – and that something could present an existential threat for Holly! Could this be the subject of King’s upcoming novel?

Even if you haven’t read any King novels, you might recognize Gibney from the three-season AT&T original series Mr. Mercedes where she was played by Justine Lupe. Or the HBO adaptation of The Outsider, where she was played by Cynthia Erivo.

Fairy Tale 

Before Holly arrives, King will have another novel published. Fairy Tale is set to be released on September 6th, 2022. This novel will follow the story of Charlie Reade, a teenager who inherits keys to a parallel world where good and evil are at war. Perhaps a crossover with the keys of Locke & Key, the comic co-created by his son Joe Hill, will make an appearance there, especially considering King has already referenced the series in 2013’s Doctor Sleep.

While no plot details or release date are available about Holly just yet, the return of the distinctly King detective is undoubtedly something to be excited about. Let Geek Girl Authority know what you think of the news, here in the comment section or over on social media!


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