The Goods that is Joe Hill

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If you have yet to read any of Joe Hill’s works you are definitely missing out.  I have read two of his books recently and have been thoroughly impressed.  Hill is an award winning storyteller and his thrilling works feature elements of suspense, horror and the macabre.  His latest release Horns is truly unique as it tells the tale of a broken man who wakes one day to alcohol induced blackout only to find horns (that only he can see) have grown and have somehow become a natural part of his body.  The novel’s protagonist Ignatius Perrish is also undergoing the aftermath of enduring the horrible loss of his girlfriend who was brutally murdered.  Some townsfolk both secretly and blatantly suspect Ig of this gruesome crime.  While he struggles to make sense of this baffling experience of growing horns, he is finding that the people he interacts with are telling him their deepest, darkest secrets as easily as saying “isn’t it wonderful weather we are having”.  Whether he wants to hear it or not, these people cannot help themselves and he finds that they conveniently forget having doing so shortly after the conversation.  As Ig grasps these new “abilities”, he begins a quest to find his girlfriend’s killer and avenge her death.  This book is a fast paced and flows throughout, leaving no lulls or slow points in the story.  Hill’s other book that I have read (and loved) is Heart Shaped Box which is just as good as Horns.  Also a suspenseful, gothic thriller, Heart Shaped Box features an aging and hedonistic lead singer of a world famous heavy metal band who also dabbles in collecting dark, disturbing and potentially paranormal items.  While surfing the internet, Judas Coyne’s assistant spies an item for sale that’s perfectly coincides with his boss’s tastes; for auction is the ghost of someone’s stepfather.  This is something to good to pass up for Coyne (who for some reason I picture as the David Coverdale, the lead singer for White Snake and who my co-worker Lori pictures Rod Stewart) and he makes the purchase that will change his life forever.  Coyne has no idea what his life will now become and he will have to make hard decisions if he wants to survive.  Heart Shaped Box is definitely a scarier story than Horns, but they are each excellent in their own ways.  Both are page turners that grip the reader right away.  Right now I just borrowed his first book Twentieth Century Ghosts from the library am look forward to reading it this weekend (with margaritas of course).

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