We finish the week out with a post from Circulation Services Director Melissa Simpson.
This is a departure from my usual fluffy reading fare, a book that had me ridding the closet of all those pretty, empty Valentine’s Day boxes of candy and peering into the dark corners of the room looking for ghosts…
Jude Coyne is a 50-plus “retired” heavy metal rocker living in a comfortable farmhouse in upstate New York. He has a unique collection of the macabre – gifts from fans as well as things he purchased over the years that fed this fascination with the bizarre. When his assistant finds an ad to purchase a ghost online, Jude doesn’t hesitate to offer the top dollar to own it.
Once the dead man’s suit arrives, things get creepy.
The dead man, Craddock McDermott, is the stepfather of one of Jude’s former girlfriends, the one he called “Florida” after her hometown state. According to Florida’s sister, selling Jude the ghost was the plan she and her stepfather put in place to make Jude pay for Florida’s suicide.
But as Jude and his current girlfriend Mary Beth (aka “Georgia”) try to get away from the vengeful ghost with all the suspenseful trappings of a “run for your life” cross country trip – we also learn a lot about Jude and what really happened to Florida when she returned home. That look into the past gave a human depth to this thriller which is probably why I continuing listening to the audiobook after dark.
Jude ends up being a pretty decent sort of guy, far removed from the callous jerk he was in the beginning of the book — and Craddock McDermott, well, let’s just say he’s motivated by something other than parental love.
I thought Hill (son of Stephen King) did an excellent job with this debut novel. I’m probably going to pick up his next book, Horns, after the images of dead people with black scribbles for eyes fades a little from my memory.
I highly recommend the audiobook narrated by Stephen Lang. I could easily picture Jude after hearing Lang’s gravelly voice. And frankly, I don’t think reading the book alone would have been as scary since hearing Craddock’s voice was such an integral part of his terror-inducing scheme.
Check the WRL catalog for Heart-Shaped Box
Check the WRL catalog for Heart-Shaped Box on audio