N0S4A2 by Joe Hill

Summary:

Charlie Manx burned a man to death in his black 1938 Rolls Royce Wraith, but that’s not the worst of it. Rumor has it that he kidnapped dozens of children, taking them to a place he calls “Christmasland.” The only child ever to escape was a very lucky girl named Victoria McQueen. Vic has a gift – she can ride her bike through the Shorter Way bridge and she’ll come out the other side wherever she needs to be, even if it’s hundreds of miles away. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her ability; no one would understand. When Charlie Manx finally dies after years in prison, his body disappears…after the autopsy. The police and media think someone stole it, but Vic knows the truth: Charlie Manx is on the road again…and he has her kid. And this time, Vic McQueen’s going after him…

My take: 4 looks

Probably the longest book I’ve ever read, it was a humdinger! Joe Hill has the honor of writing the scariest book I’ve ever read: Heart-Shaped Box. With that in mind, it was a natural choice for me to read this in the month of October.

I was not disappointed. This son of horror king Stephen King, the writing styles are very similar. Hill takes time to develop his characters, set the stage, and build anticipation, stress, and … did I say anticipation?

Victoria finds a way to find lost things, but at a cost. A cost that she doesn’t see until it is almost too late. Her father blows things up for a living, including his marriage. Lou is a big ‘ole teddy bear that we would all like to invite over for a beer. Charlie Manx and Bing Partridge are evil incarnate. On the periphery, Maggie is a completely likable drug-addict-turned-prostitute, and Agent Hutter is a no-nonsense profiler who listens to her gut when she most needs to. All of these characters meld to make one helluva story.

Highly recommended.

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