Writer: Joe Hill
The premise: Judas Coyne is a retired death metal rocker who likes to collect the strange and weird of the world. Fans have sent him all kinds of crazy shit, but once in while, he stumbles upon an item worth getting for himself. This time, it's a woman selling the her stepfather's ghost on the internet, a ghost that's attached to his Sunday suit. Jude can't resist, even though he figures it's a hoax, and doesn't think any more on it until the suit arrives and he starts to see the old man everywhere. Worse, the old man's no benign ghost--he's out to kill Jude and everyone Jude loves. How do you escape a ghost who can get inside your head and make you do things to yourself and others that you'd never dream of? Jude doesn't know, but he sure as hell isn't going down without a fight.
Worth the Cash: though it might be a must-have. It's hard for me to judge since I'm not a regular reader of horror, but this definitely is a cut above the horror I usually read (save for Cherie Priest perhaps), and therefore definitely worth the cash. Hill takes what appears to be a simple slasher story and really deepens it into something more, just as he takes what appear to be unsympathetic characters and makes them into people you really root for at the end. It's an impossible situation, and Hill is nothing if not brutal, especially at the start and the finish. Thank God for the rest period in the middle, where the bulk of the story is built, because I'm not sure I could've handled a near 400 pages of the pure horror we got in the first 130. But what I really admire and appreciate about this book is the tight, compact story. This all happens in a matter of days (maybe a week?), and it kept me on my toes. Hill proves he knows how to tell a solid, creepy ghost story (I already knew that thanks to his Locke and Key), and I look forward to reading more of his work.
The full review, which contains rather extensive spoilers, may be found in my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)
REVIEW: Joe Hill's HEART-SHAPED BOX
Happy Reading! :)