Stephen King’s son a talent in his own right

  Joe Hill is the new kid on the block, but this is a very special author who’s definitely going places. Hill happens to be the son of Stephen King, and, as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. His first horror novel, “Heart-Shaped Box,” is proof of that.
  Few writers are capable of turning out such a stark, terrifying novel their first time at bat. As a reader and a book critic, I can tell that this author poured his heart and soul into the writing of “Heart-Shaped Box,” and maybe a little blood, too. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit if Joe Hill had sold his soul to the devil for a No. 1 best-seller.
  The story deals with aging metal rocker Judas Coyne, who has a macabre collection of artifacts pertaining to murder and death. When his assistant tells him about a ghost being auctioned off the Internet, Judas quickly decides to put in the highest bid and buys himself a black Johnny Cash type suit that arrives by UPS a few days later in a heart-shaped box. What’s attached to the suit, however, turns out to be more than even the rocker bargained for. The suit used to belong to an old preacher named Craddock who was familiar with the ways of the supernatural. Craddock now wants revenge for the apparent suicide of his stepdaughter, Anna, who used to live with Judas and never got over him after she was kicked out and sent back to her family in Florida. Now, the ghost of Craddock wants to hurt Judas in the worst possible way, not to mention anyone who attempts to help him. For years Judas Coyne and his band sang about death, now death is about to pay a visit to Judas and to those around him. The only chance Judas has is to figure out a way to fight back.
  “Heart-Shaped Box” is a grand beginning for Hill. The skill of this writer is enormous and his command of the English language is positively awe-inspiring. He puts together crisp, tight sentences that display a sheer brilliance for imagery and creates the type of characters that literally haunt your subconscious. Hill is so good that the reader could easily believe that he’s been turning out novels for years, or that maybe he’s channeling his father.
  This is a man who was born to write, and thank God he’s chosen the horror genre as his field of endeavor. I can only hope that Hill will stick with horror because this area of fiction certainly needs young blood to give it new life.
  I’m going to eagerly await Joe Hill’s second novel, and my guess is that it will be even better than his first, which is going to be a tough act to follow.       

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