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 is my first Joe Hill book. I purchased this book because the synopsis was interesting and I thought it would be a good Halloween season read. While I was waiting for the book to arrive in the mail, I decided to scope the internet to what other books Joe Hill has written. In doing so, I found out that Joe Hill is actually Stephen King's son.
Heart-Shaped Box drew me into the story from the very first page. Jude is an aging rock star with a love of collecting strange and morbid things. With the help of his assistant, Danny, Jude purchases the suit of a dead man. As if that isn't strange enough, the suit supposedly has the dead man's ghost attached to it. As soon as the suit arrives bad things start to happen.
I wish I wouldn't have found out that Joe Hill was Stephen King's son until after I read this book. I had the mind set that this book was going to scare me (which is what I was looking for), which it didn't...not even a little bit.
I did enjoy the book. I really liked the story, and it flowed well. It just wasn't scary. It should be classified as more of a suspense-type novel than horror. The ghost in the story, Craddock, was creepy, but just not scary enough for me to say this is a clear-cut horror novel. I did feel a little let down that it didn't scare me, and that was the only reason I couldn't give this book 5 stars. However, I did give it 4 stars because regardless of whether is scared me or not, it was a page-turner and I did really enjoy reading it.