Friday, November 9, 2012

Review: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Book Description

Judas Coyne is a collector of the macabre: a cookbook for cannibals...a used hangman's noose...a snuff film. An aging death-metal rock god, his taste for the unnatural is as widely known to his legions of fans as the notorious excesses of his youth. But nothing he possesses is as unlikely or as dreadful as his latest discovery, an item for sale on the Internet, a thing so terribly strange, Jude cant help but reach for his wallet.

I will "sell" my stepfather's ghost to the highest bidder...

For a thousand dollars, Jude will become the proud owner of a dead man's suit, said to be haunted by a restless spirit. He isn't afraid. he has spent a lifetime coping with ghosts--of an abusive father, of the lovers he callously abandoned, of the band-mates he betrayed. What's one more?

But what UPS delivers to his door in a black heart-shaped box is no imaginary or metaphorical ghost, no benign conversation piece. It's the real thing. And suddenly the suit's previous owner is everywhere: behind the bedroom door...seated in Jude's restored vintage Mustang...standing outside his window...staring out from his widescreen TV. Waiting--with a gleaming razor blade on a chain dangling from one bony hand...
(Description from Goodreads)

Genre: Horror

Series: No

Quick Synopsis

Jude buys a ghost from the internet, and it turns out to be a real ghost with a murderous agenda. Now his life is in danger and his salvation lies in the secrets of his past.


  • This book was really spooky! The night I started reading it I had to sleep with the lights on. The suspense and scare-factor are masterfully maintained throughout the book.
  • Jude and Georgia start out as complete stereotypes. Jude is the aging, jaded heavy metal rockstar and Georgia is his Goth stripper groupie girlfriend. As the book progresses, more of them is bared for the reader's view through the immediate danger the ghost presents and the more insidious danger of their pasts catching up to them. By the end of the book, I really knew and loved the characters. While I didn't always agree with their decisions past and present, I at least felt like I understood them.
  • The presentation of a "dark past" for a character can be grossly overdone and ultimately condescending to the reader. I am very happy to say that Mr. Hill does not fall into this trap. The details of Jude and Georgia's prior lives are painted with a subtle hand and blend in well with whatever present-day action is occurring.

    Liked Less
  • I was able to figure out some of the elements of Florida's storyline ahead of time though I still enjoyed the ride.


Queen of Swords
Amazing! Why aren't you buying this book right now?

Disclosure: I purchased this book.

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