cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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book 128

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill

I was slow to pick this up, wondering if this got published because of talent or because of who daddy was. Finally, I decided I wanted to read something scary for Halloween. In all honesty this didn’t scare me but most horror does not. I also thought it was well written.

In a nutshell, Judas Coyne is an aging hardcore metal rocker (ala Judas Priest, AC/DC etc). In his 50’s, he has a string of fan girls half his age that he doesn’t even bother to learn their names when he takes them to his bed (didn’t win points with me but honestly I could see someone like this being that way). The latest goth girl lover (since that’s his audience) is Georgia (Marybeth) and before her was Florida (Anna).

Danny, Jude’s manager, knows Jude collects weird morbid crap and when a dead man’s haunted suit comes up on an online auction, he asks Jude if they should buy it. Big mistake. It arrives in the titular box and not only is the suit big-time haunted, it’s haunted by a very evil man. Worse, as they look into it, they learn that Florida committed suicide and the ghost is her step daddy, sent by Florida’s pissed off sister.

The next 300+ pages is Craddock, the ghost, chasing down trying to kill Jude and anyone he loves/who helps him and that includes Jude’s two aggressive dogs. As we go we learn more about Jude and Georgia not to mention Anna. The big twist is Craddock and sister Jessica might not be the victims they come off as in the beginning.

I did like this story. I’m not sure about some of the goodreads ratings with the ultra low (or the 5 stars either). It was a good solid read. However it did get a bit repetitive and long in places. It could have been trimmed without hurting a thing. And the big climax came 50 pages before the end. I’m not sure we needed that much tying up (then again some of that were one paragraph chapters so it wasn’t 50 full pages). I thought this was entertaining and I’d like to see more by Joe.
Tags: horror

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