By Joe Hill
- ISBN-13: 9780061944895
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 12/22/2009
- Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Horror, Ghost, Supernatural
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.
A TACO REVIEW
Hello my beautiful chicken tenders! Today I bring you Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I’ve reviewed Mr. Hill in the past and I stand by all the fangirling I’ve done. He is amazing. I bought this book a long time ago and it just sat there on my shelf. Why? Because I love a good procrastination session. Hah that rhymed.
We all know how much I love a good ghost story. This book took me a couple of days to get through because – I hate to admit this- it scared me. I couldn’t read it at night because I was too chicken. The one time I read a few chapters at night I had to watch Tom and Jerry reruns to make me feel better.
Joe Hill has turned me into a sissy pants. I ain’t even mad.
Judas Coyne is our main character, an aging international rock star that dates twenty-something year old groupies. Yeah, I know. It’s kind of creepy but if I had the chance to shack up with John Stamos, I would do it in a heartbeat. You would too, don’t lie. Judas is deeply flawed and running from everything he used to be. His current girlfriend, Marybeth (aka Georgia), is equally flawed. At the beginning I wanted her to leave him because their relationship is toxic and maybe it was the best chance of her not dying. Then something changed, the fire nation didn’t attack but I needed to see them defeat Craddock’s ghost together. They’re two beautifully flawed people that draw strength from one another at their worst. Which admittedly is about 80% of the book.
Craddock is a mean sunuva-banana bread custard. As a ghost he is menacing and deadly. While he was alive he was manipulative and literally hypnotic (he was a hypnotist by trade). He was Florida’s (Judas’ ex-girlfriend) step-dad and a full blown monster. He was evil. He scared me. It’s hard to find the right words to express how much of a monster Craddock was without giving anything away.
I can’t spoil it for you. It would be unethical.
I think my favorite part of the book was when Judas gets his thumb shot off by a little girl and instead of going to the hospital he just pops a couple of Ibuprofen, wraps up his stump and calls it a day. I will never be that bad ass. It makes me sad but I have come to terms with it.
I give Heart-Shaped Box 5 tacos out of the Taco Scale of Awesome. Joe Hill has this beautiful way of scaring the hell out of me while weaving twists and turns flawlessly. I cannot fangirl enough about him. Judas and Georgia are so messed up but I want them to pull through, to be victorious. The ending, in a true Joe Hill fashion, isn’t the HEA (happily ever after) that you’d think but it’s perfect for the characters. If it didn’t scare me so much I would read it all over again. Maybe I will. Once I forget how scared it makes me.
If you’re looking for a book that makes wonder if they bad guys are really the bad guys and you love a good revenge story, then I definitely recommend this book.
Until next time. This is Mon, over and out.