Sunday, January 10, 2010

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Paperback 384 pages



Rock musician Judas Coyne was a collector. The bizarre, the uncanny, the grotesque. A cookbook for cannibals. A used hangman’s noose. A snuff film. Many of these objects were gifts from the black-clad fans who made his metal band a legend and made him rich.

But not all. When his personal assistant told him there was a ghost for sale on the Internet, Jude knew he had to have it for his private collection, didn’t think twice. He should have. Jude has spent a lifetime evading ghosts -- of an abusive father, of the band mates he betrayed, of Anna, the suicidal girl he loved and abandoned. But this spirit is different. This one means to chase him to the edge of sanity.

His new acquisition -- delivered to his doorstep in a black heart-shaped box -- is the restless soul of Anna’s vengeful step-father. Craddock McDermott swore he would settle with Jude for ruining his daughter’s life. Soon, everywhere Jude turns, Craddock is there: behind the bedroom door; in Jude’s restored vintage Mustang; outside his window; on his widescreen TV. Waiting -- with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand.

My take:

You don't have to look at Joe Hill's picture on the inside back cover to know this is Stephen King's son (he looks just like his father at that age), all you need to do is read the first page. The writing is first rate. The characters are well developed. The story flows smoothly from scene to scene. If only Stephen King could write like this again! If you are a Stephen King fan, you will love this novel. I rate it a 9.5

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