Friday, March 16

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Review by Theodore Feit

In this debut novel, the author has created a far-out ghost story which creates wonder and suspense.  It may not be a book for everyone, but those who enjoy the genre certainly will eat it up.  Jude Coyne (nee Justin Cowzynski), a 54-year-old rock star, collects all kinds of weird things—a hangman's noose, a cookbook for cannibals, a 300-year-old confession from a witch, a Mexican snuff film.  Then one day, his assistant tells him of an offer on an auction site: the suit of a dead man and his ghost to go with it.  Jude offers $1,000 and snares the bizarre item.

And that's when the tale takes off.  The ghost is the hypnotist-stepfather of a girlfriend who Jude discarded, and she supposedly committed suicide as a result.  The ghost is sent by her sister in an act of revenge and the trials and tribulations mount as the ghost attempts to convince Jude to kill his present girlfriend and then himself, and Jude and his current paramour try to get rid of their nemesis.

The idea and theme of the book is certainly original and will keep the reader on edge throughout—if he or she is up to the terror and eerie goings-on.  The novel raises the emotions and tingles the nerves.


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