Joe Hill - Horns (3 stars)

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Joe Hill - Horns

(Victor Gollancz)

Joe Hill certainly has an eye for a story pitch. Heart-Shaped Box, his full-length debut novel of 2007, features an ageing rock star who inadvertently purchases a poltergeist over the internet, leading to some terrifying consequences. In this second work, Ignatius Perrish wakes up one hungover morning, devilish horns growing out of his temple and people telling him their dirty, dark secrets without his prompting. But what he really needs is to discover just who raped and murdered his girlfriend, a crime that he has taken the blame for. Hill reveals the killer’s identity early on, thrusting us back and forward in time to witness how the pieces in this puzzle fell into place.

Like his old man Stephen King, Hill can knock out a compulsive page-turner but this tale could surely have lost 50 pages without any permanent damage done to his plot. Creepy and showy, Horns is still a novel to grab a hold of.

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