Heart Shaped Box is about aging rocker Judas Coyne (think Ozzy Osbourne or Rob Zombie) who buys a supposedly haunted suit on the internet, expecting that it will be a kitsch addition to the collection of heavy metal accoutrements that he doesn’t take seriously. However, the story changes when a real ghost turns up – one that seems to have a personal vendetta against Coyne.
Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son, who was first (and continues to be) published under a pseudonym so as to avoid the shade of nepotism. While his writing style is notably reminiscent of his father’s at times, it is, to my mind, better. Reading Heart Shaped Box engaged me and creeped me out in exactly the same way that reading King’s stories for the first time did. The big difference being that when I first read a lot of King’s work, I was eleven; now I’m thirty-one and am (only moderately) harder to impress.
While he leans a bit too hard on the similes at times, and hasn’t thought up any synonyms for “said”, Hill can string a damn fine sentence together, and I very much recommend reading this one.