by guardian book staff)
Not content with making his first excursion into hard-boiled detective fiction this summer, Stephen King has announced that he will publish a second novel in the autumn.
The 66-year-old author's official website stole a march on his publishers by revealing that his latest novel would be called Revival, and would feature a charismatic preacher and a small-time rock musician.
It said: "In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church … When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.
"Jamie has demons of his own … In his mid-30s – addicted to heroin, stranded, desperate – Jamie meets Charles Jacobs again, with profound consequences for both men. Their bond becomes a pact beyond even the Devil's devising, and Jamie discovers that revival has many meanings."
Revival will be published simultaneously on November 11 by Scribner in the US and Hodder & Stoughton in the UK. Mr Mercedes – which is about a retired policeman being taunted by a murderer – will be published in early June.
Two novels a year is par for the course for a writer who shows no sign of slowing down as he enters his late 60s. Last year he published Dr Sleep in the autumn and a smaller novel, Joyland, in the summer.
A spokeswoman for Hodder said Mr Mercedes was unusual for King in that it was a straight thriller. King himself described it as his first hard-boiled detective book. The spokeswoman added: "Revival is much more the heartland of Stephen King."