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Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
In Heart-Shaped Box, middle-aged former death-metal rocker Jude Coyne lives in retirement from his royalties and collects macabre items including a used hangman's noose and a snuff film. When he gets an offer to make an online purchase of a suit containing a ghost, he jumps at the chance. The suit arrives in a heart-shaped box, and it contains the real deal, an authentic ghost. The ghost terrorizes Jude, his girlfriend, and his secretary, and it turns out he has a reason to want to harm Jude. Jude struggles with the haunting, unsure of the line between reality and hallucination, and he has to deal with his own shameful past to survive the ghost. Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) has delivered a debut novel that has garnered positive reviews. The New York Times says, "Though it has the potential to fall back on tricks and pyrotechnics, Heart-Shaped Box is firmly rooted in real-world concerns. Hill elicits honest empathy for Jude, who turned his stage persona into a nightmare version of his fears and must now figure out what strength he has left for legitimate battles. This dynamic is both frightening and funny, and the book weaves together those two threads in clever ways."