Tag Archives: Suspence

HEART-SHAPED BOX – Review

LITERCURIOUS AUDIOBOOK REVIEW

TitleHeart-Shaped Box
Author/NarratorAuthor Joe Hill / Stephen Lang
PublisherShadow Mountain (Sep 8, 2020)
FormatAudiobook
Length11.1 Hours
GenreHorror / Thriller / Suspense
Language:English
ASINB002SQBG70

AUTHOR

To learn about Joe Hill, check out our authors spotlight here.

NARRATOR

Stephen Lang is an American actor, playwright co-artistic director. He received a Tony Award and the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. He is best known for his role in Avatar. He has a long and distinctive film and television career. He has done voice-over work on video games and narrates a wide variety of audiobooks.  

SYNOPSIS

Heart-Shaped Box is a paranormal tiptoe though the life of a 50 something rock-star named Jude Coyne; aka Judas. Judas lives a semi-reclusive existence in Piecliff, New York. At the story’s inception, he has a small retinue consisting of his girlfriend Georgia and his loquacious Californian Personal Assistant, Danny.

Judas has a macabre occult and disturbing collection of objet d’art. At Danny’s suggestion, he decides to purchase another item for his assemblage from a popular online bidding site. It is an unusual item; as it is claimed to be a haunted suit. Unknowingly to Judas, the suit belonged to the stepfather of his dead ex-girlfriend. With the arrival of the artifact; a perfect storm of past and present events conspires together to propel Judas into a living nightmare.

The paranormal antagonist is a literal Swiss Army Knife of the supernatural realm. Craddock McDermott was the stepfather of Florida, who committed suicide after her breakup with Judas. The specter uses his life skills to bring hell into the head, heart and soul of Jude Coyne. In an all out blood vendetta from the grave; only the death of Coyne and his helpers will satisfy the lust for revenge. Judas seems ill equipped to defend himself. No matter how far or how fast he runs from McDermott, he can never escape. McDermott is not only behind him, but also in him; in his mind.

Florida’s decline after her breakup with Judas and the impact of subsequent events pulls at the heartstrings with just the right amount of pathos. I found the telephone call from Florida’s sister to be among the most chilling chapters of the book. Easy banter, quickly replaced with unrestrained vitriol and a promise of rightful revenge to follow.

CONCLUSION

Heart-Shaped Box is another winner from the pen of Joe Hill.

Overtly graphic, unflinchingly morose and disturbingly dark, the characters are perfectly sculpted. “The Devil is in the details,” as they say and this is never truer than when describing Heart-Shaped Box. It is every bit as much of a psychological thriller as a paranormal tale of terror. It is always unpredictable, atmospheric throughout with taut tracts that will haunt you in your dreams.

The narrator Stephen Lang was engaging and performed his role with some élan. He managed to bring a sophistication and an angle to the tale by enhancing the written word and bringing the characters to life.

Listening to Heart-Shaped Box, there is an inevitability and a fatality to the whole thing; a feeling that you are on an out of control roller-coaster in Christmasland. Most perverse of all is; you never want to jump off until the ride is over.

Does Judas manage to prevent the death of those who help or support him? I guess you will have to listen or read for yourself to find out.

The whole package works. Just lay back, listen and let the story take you with the help of a fine up and coming writer and a magnificent narrator. If you love skillfully written tales of horror with a twist why not let Heart-Shaped Box be your next audiobook journey? With Hill’s work, the chills come as standard.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

OTHER AUDIOBOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

PREVIOUS REVIEW OF A WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

THE RESCUE – REVIEW

LITERCURIOUS BOOK REVIEW

TitleThe Rescue
AuthorSteven Konkoly
PublisherThomas & Mercer (April 1, 2019)
FormatKindle, Audiobook, Paperback, Hardcover, MP3 CD
Pages / File390 / 4581 KB
LanguageEnglish
GenreThriller, Suspense, Drama
ASINB07GJL19B4

AUTHOR

Steven Konkoly is a Naval veteran. He attended the US Naval Academy and served eight years on active duty. He earned his degree in English literature. He is a Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and USA Today bestselling author. His chosen genre for his work is thrillers.

SYNOPSIS

The Rescue is the first book in a trilogy. It is about a former CIA operative, Ryan Decker, that now runs an international mercenary force specializing in kidnap rescues. On this particular mission things go incredibly wrong. Ryan finds himself being incarcerated and in constant danger of being assassinated. Everyone he knows and their families, have been murdered in the most vicious of manners. His own wife and son are dead, and his daughter refuses to acknowledge his existence. He is all alone.

Somehow, he gets released from prison early and this is where the book really takes off. With the help of a private investigator, Harlow Mackenzie, he tries to unravel what happened years ago. Harlow just happens to be a girl his organization saved from the Russian Mafia’s child trafficking ring years ago; she never forgot the man who saved her. Chased by the Russian Mafia and another Mercenary group, they struggle to survive and uncover who masterminded his downfall.

CONCLUSION

Full of political backstabbing, cruel Mafia murder, another US spy firm maneuvering for military dominance and human trafficking; The Rescue has everything a thriller needs to be successful. Steven Konkoly has crafted a masterful thriller which will keep the reader engaged from beginning to end.

I must admit that when I started reading this book; I was not that impressed. However, after only the first chapter, I could not put it down. Steven’s writing reminds me a lot of Tom Clancy. The mystery, intrigue and thrills are non-stop. The battle between not-so-good and evil is full of twists and turns, thrill and suspense.

If you like a good spy thriller, then this is definitely a book for you.  

Book 2 in this series is The Raid released October 8, 2019. Book 3 is The Mountain due to be released July 14, 2020.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

OTHER BOOKS BY THIS AUTHOR

(These books are free to read or listen too with Kindle Unlimited)