Book Review: Billy Summers

BILLY SUMMERS | Stephen King
08.03.2021 | Scribner
Rating: 4/5 stars


Billy Summers is a hired gun and the best in the business, but he’ll only take a job if he thinks the target is truly a bad guy. There’s one last hit Billy must complete before he can finally get out. What could possibly go wrong?

That’s all the synopsis you need. I firmly believe anything else will spoil experiencing the story for itself.

BILLY SUMMERS is King’s latest foray into crime fiction and I continue to find that this works really well for me as a reader. I already know King’s writing style and I’m a huge fan of the genre. I’m always curious if he will include a bit more horror into his crime fiction stories. This one sticks firmly with crime fiction, but plays into the examination of good versus evil. What is it that truly makes a person bad? We know from the synopsis that Billy only kills bad people, but what’s his criteria and is he a bad person too? I loved getting to know Billy and I thought King utilized a fantastic method to allow the reader to form a close bond with Billy. 

There’s a lot of hate out there for how much King discusses Trump in this book, but personally I thought the mentions of Trump are fitting for the time period in which the story takes place. We were all talking about Trump nonstop in 2019 and we still are today, so why shouldn’t an author include that?

Why not a full 5 stars? Mr. King…I love you, but we really need to eliminate the unnecessary commentary on women and race. There are a handful of instances within this book that just rubbed me the wrong way and while I can try to rationalize their inclusion, at the end of the day they should have been cut or adjusted in the editing process.

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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