Published by William Morrow on February 13th 2007
Aging, self-absorbed rock star Judas Coyne has a thing for the macabre -- his collection includes sketches from infamous serial killer John Wayne Gacy, a trepanned skull from the 16th century, a used hangman's noose, Aleister Crowley's childhood chessboard, etc. -- so when his assistant tells him about a ghost for sale on an online auction site, he immediately puts in a bid and purchases it.
The black, heart-shaped box that Coyne receives in the mail not only contains the suit of a dead man but also his vengeance-obsessed spirit. The ghost, it turns out, is the stepfather of a young groupie who committed suicide after the 54-year-old Coyne callously used her up and threw her away. Now, determined to kill Coyne and anyone who aids him, the merciless ghost of Craddock McDermott begins his assault on the rocker's sanity.
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill kind of rocked. For those of you not in the know, Hill is the son of author God Stephen King (I love you SK!). Although his genre might be in the same vein as his pop, Hill is a great author in his own right.
Why should you read Heart-Shaped Box? Well, it’s an old fashioned ghost story with great characters and two awesome dogs that would make Dean Koontz green with envy. The main character is Jude Coyne, aging hard rocker (think Rob Zombie without the movie making, or Ozzie Osbourne with normal speaking abilities). Jude collects the macabre and ends up buying a ghost online. And just like that song “The Cat Came Back”, Jude finds that once you own a ghost they aren’t that simple to get rid of, and this particular ghost has an axe to grind with our doomed MC. Did I mention the awesome dogs?
Heart-Shaped Box gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
This book will keep you up all night, quaking beneath your sheets as you flip through the pages, your flashlight’s beam shaking in your terrified hands… In other words if RL Stine’s Goosebump series is too intense for you, then Heart-Shaped Box might be something you should skip.
In case I don’t get to say this on Christmas- Merry Christmas Blogging World! I am looking forward to wonderful New Year full of book blogging, more reading, and more writing. And world peace, which I asked for again this year, but it’s a bit like asking Santa for a pony when I live in the city and have no horse caring skills or budget. A midnight book girl can still dream!