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4.0 out of 5 stars
184
4.0 out of 5 stars
Heart-Shaped Box
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on 20 August 2017
Regular visitors might be aware of a teeny weeny love (obsession?) I have with Stephen King. Well, Joe Hill happens to be one of his children and I have had his debut novel on my shelves for the longest time, putting it off and then putting it off some more. Why did I do this? I have no idea when this book is just so damn GOOD! All I can think is that I had huge expectations and that's really not fair to him as an author, his novels stand on their own as brilliant (occasionally terrifying) works of fiction. He shouldn't be compared to his father in any way, shape or form and I'm not going to even go there. I'm just going to talk about how fantastic HE is.

Heart-Shaped Box is a dark, twisted little tale about a middle-aged rock star, Judas Coyne who has a fancy for the quirky, more unusual items out there on the web and his head is turned by someone selling a ghost in a heart-shaped box. However, purchasing it has to be one of the biggest mistakes in his life. Within the box is an old suit that contains the spirit of a very vengeful, very nasty man called Craddock McDermott that has a bone to pick with Judas. His step-daughter committed suicide after being in a relationship with Judas, a relationship that ended quite acrimoniously and obviously led her to taking her own life. Now Craddock is back from the dead, apoplectic with rage, determined to avenge his step-daughter and for Jude and anyone who stands in his way there's going to be hell to pay.

Great premise right? With a synopsis like that, I was expecting great things and Joe Hill delivered on every single level. The plot was fast, exciting and ever so gritty and at points, the twists and turns that this narrative took and the things Craddock subjected Jude and his girlfriend Georgia to were truly hideous and terrifying in equal measure. I also loved the creation of the characters who weren't necessarily the easiest people to like - frankly, I despised Jude at the start and found Georgia irritating and a bit of a brat... but Joe Hill completely changed my mind round and I found myself championing both of them until the bitter end. Craddock was also an amazing villain - insane, petrifying, disgusting, all these things but utterly, completely brilliant. Some reviewers are not so keen on this book as I am and praise Joe Hill's later books - Horns, NOS4R2 and The Fireman more than this, his debut novel. Well, all I can say is if this isn't his best, boy am I in for a treat when I read his next book! (P.S. I have already read his second novel, Horns - review coming soon and spoiler alert, it's completely fantastic!!)
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on 7 June 2017
This is one for all the horror fans and still gives me the creeps thinking about it.story cut short never buy a dead man's item unless you want your butt haunted And chased.while theme seems to come across as easy reading this book has a way that seeks in your brains and surprises you with full blown "OMG what was that" with every bump of the night.who would of thought it would all start off with buying something unusual for his collection such as a heart shapes box with a suit .watch out for that twist though it may not make sense at first but all comes clear nearer to end and will knock your socks off
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on 19 September 2016
Don't know why it sat in my kindle for so long, this was a cracking book along the lines of any of the great horror authors like King etc. Fast paced, gruesome and chilling in ways you will and won't expect, it was everything I needed to lose myself in a commute and not want to wait for the next chapter. Joe Hill has been bumped way up my must read list for the future.
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on 14 March 2017
Brilliant story. Must read for fans of this genre.
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on 1 September 2017
Horror at its best
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on 16 September 2014
I love Joe Hill so knew I was going to enjoy this one. It's one of the best horror books I've ever read and his dad Stephen King would have been proud of this one. It's non stop tension is brilliant
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on 21 March 2016
A good page turner if a little predictable
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on 12 March 2017
A very entertaining book.
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on 20 March 2015
Spend your money on something else. Bored me if I'm honest
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on 2 March 2017
Brilliant
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