Duma Key (Jan 2008)

After a construction accident in which he loses his right arm and his divorce, Edgar Freemantle moves from Minnesota to Florida to begin what his psychiatrist described as a "geographic cure." He rediscovers his love of painting and finds that he is good at it but his paintings seem to have something "more" to them. On Duma Key he also finds a new friendship with Wireman, a kindred spirit seeking refuge there as a caretaker for Elizabeth Eastlake. Elizabeth's past also contains painful memories that have been reawakened bringing all of them together to face an evil entity named Perse.

Common King themes:

  • Someone is called "Sunny Jim" (Kathi Green calls Edgar Sunny Jim as she lectures him about giving up on his marriage.)
  • Main character is hit by a car and almost killed (Edgar Freemantle is permanently maimed in a catastrophic accident and suffers from phantom pains in his lost limbs, but also has gained the ability to change reality through his paintings.)
  • Roses as a force of good (One of Edgar's major works is "Roses Grow from Shells", and his ex-wife tattoos a rose onto her breast.)
  • The number 19 (Edgar's daughter's name (Ilse Marie Freemantle) has 19 letters in it. Edgar's email is EFree19 and his real estate agent's is SmithRealty9505, which adds up to 19. The storm "Alice" occurred in 1927, which adds up to 19. The flight Edgar takes to Florida is flight 559, Pam's room number is 847, etc etc etc.)
  • Someone has The Shining (It's never explicitly stated, but it seems like both Wireman and Elizabeth Eastlake have/had a touch of the shining.)
  • Excessive use of the word "insouciant" (Jack shrugs his shoulders in an attempt at insouciance after a particularly harrowing interaction.)

Duma Key has connections to the following books:

Part 14 / Chapter 11 : Roland Deschain

Edgar insists on painting alone even though it seems dangerous and jokingly likens himself to a certain lone wolf.

“I’m not sure this will work otherwise,” I said. “Think of me as a gunslinger of the art world. I paint alone, podner.”

Part 15 / Chapter 13 : Patrick Danville

A subtle connection, but both Edgar and Elizabeth have the ability to remove things from reality by painting and erasing them - the same as Patrick Danville in the Dark Tower.

“Take it easy, muchacho,” Wireman said. “Go slow. She tried to draw Perse out of existence. How does one do a thing like that?” “Draw and then erase.” “Perse didn’t let her?”

Part 3 / Chapter 6 : The Crimson King

The antagonist in Duma Key, although female, appears in a red robe and is probably in league with (if not an incarnation of) the Crimson King.

I tossed back the top sheet on the pad and sketched again, this time using just the red pencil. Red, red, it was RED! The pencil raced, spilling out a human figure like blood from a cut. It was back-to, dressed in a red robe with a kind of scalloped collar. I colored the hair red, too, because it looked like blood and this person felt like blood. Like danger. Not for me but— “For Ilse,” I muttered. “Danger for Ilse. Is it the guy? The special-news guy?” There was something not right about the special-news guy, but I didn’t think that was what was creeping me out. For one thing, the figure in the red robe didn’t look like a guy. It was hard to tell for sure, but yes—I thought…female. So maybe not a robe at all. Maybe a dress? A long red dress?

Part 9 / Chapter 1 : Bubble Reputation

Wireman introduces Edgar to the idea of the bubble reputation, which Edgar repeatedly assures us he's not interested in.

If Nannuzzi wanted to do it, I’d go along. Not because I was seeking what Shakespeare called “the bubble reputation” (I owe Wireman for that one), but because I came to understand that Elizabeth was right: it was better not to let work pile up on Duma Key.

References will be here!