Author: Stephen King (Writing as Richard Bachman)
Rating: *** (3 Stars)
Billy Halleck is a successful lawyer, husband, and father. He is also dangerously overweight. One day, driving with and distracted by his wife, he runs over and kills a jaywalking gypsy woman. He is tried and acquitted of any wrongdoing, but as he leaves the courthouse, the woman’s father approaches, lightly strokes Billy’s cheek, and whispers, “Thinner.”
Although Billy’s eating habits don’t change, he begins to lose weight, passing his ideal weight and continuing downward. Concerned, he visits his doctor, who, after a series of tests, assures him that nothing is wrong. The weight loss continues, and Billy, who by this time has become desperate, sends a private investigator to find out where the band of gypsies has moved on to. At the same time, he learns that the police officer who responded to his accident, as well as the judge in the case, have each developed mysterious afflictions of their own.