Heart-shaped box by

3 June 2008


ISBN: 9780575081864
See also: Other reviews ; Joe Hill Fiction.com

Jude had a private collection.
He had framed sketches of the seven dwarves on the wall of his studio, in between his platinum records.

Judas Coyne has just bought a ghost. Or at least, he has paid for a suit, on the understanding that with the suit will come a ghost. Just one more thing to add to his collection. The collection of a retired death-metal rock star. Only it turns out that it wasn’t just an accident that led to Jude visiting that e-bay wannabe website. Some one really wanted Jude to buy that suit. And once bought there are no returns and no refunds.

Sooner or later the dead catch up.
I did quite enjoy this book. It isn’t fantastic, and I can’t really see myself rereading it, but it is easy to read, and every now and then there is a really nice touch. However, overall it just isn’t anything special. The horror aspects aren’t horrifying enough. And the whole plot doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. Why was the ghost so bothered about Judas? I’ve a feeling that a touch of exposition was left, or perhaps edited, out. Revealing that in order for Mr. Ghost to return he had to have this “great duty” to perform. But while this is hinted at in the novel a few times I don’t think we ever really got the ghost’s motivation. Or then again, maybe I just skimmed that part. This is the sort of book I tend to skim rather than really read.

Still, I did like the dogs, and the whole idea of them as Show Spoiler ▼

. A lot of things happened to quickly to be effective.

It is a pity, in a way, because the first half, well, maybe more the first third of the book was really very good. It built up the suspense and the creep factor. You could really feel the ghost’s presence. But then, I dunno, it just seemed to get away from Hill. Once things began to happen, like going on the road, the creep factor got replaced by much more of a gore factor. And I just don’t really enjoy that sort of horror. That being said, if you are a horror fan then it isn’t the worst book out there.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. Ann says:

    I'm not going to read this, because I just bought the book this weekend and am going to read it in July on an airplane ride. I always read scary books on the airplane, so I can channel all of my fear of flying into the plot of the book.

  2. Fence says:

    I actually think that this is a perfect airplane book. Its a quick easy read, and it'll keep your attention. Perfect.