HEART-SHAPED BOX by Joe Hill

HEART-SHAPED BOX

KIRKUS REVIEW

A rock star buys a ghost who chases him from New York to Florida, blood spurting all the way.

Jude Coyne, after a career in the darker reaches of the rock-music world, lives in upstate New York with Georgia, the latest in a succession of young pierced admirers he calls by the states of their birth. Georgia’s predecessor, Florida, is at the heart of the troubles that arrive when Coyne answers an ad offering a ghost, something special to add to his collection of creepy items that includes a Mexican snuff film. The ghost inhabits a garish suit of clothes that arrives in a heart-shaped box, and the situation is a set-up. Knowing Coyne’s taste for the weird, Florida’s sister has inveigled him into buying the soul of her and Florida’s stupendously evil stepfather, Craddock, a stinker who learned a lot of very bad magic as a soldier in Vietnam. The motive is the apparent suicide of Florida, who Coyne sent home after one too many bouts of depression. Craddock’s ghost immediately gets into Coyne’s head, urging him to murder Georgia and then commit suicide. Coyne resists, but the bad vibes are too much for his gay personal assistant, who flees the farm and hangs himself. Craddock persists in his attack on Coyne, using a ghostly truck as his assault vehicle. Lesser rock stars would have capitulated early on, but Georgia turns out to be full of spunk, and Coyne’s German Shepherds are fierce protectors who the ghost greatly fears. To get rid of Craddock, Coyne figures he will have to go to Florida to find out just what did happen to make that ghost such an abusive spirit.

Much will be made of the kinship of Hill and his superstar father, Stephen King, but Hill can stand on his own two feet. He’s got horror down pat, and his debut is hair-raising fun.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2007
ISBN: 0-06-114793-1
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2007




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