Thursday, December 7, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Jack-in-the-Box by William Johnstone

Author:  William Johnstone
First published in 1986 by Zebra
Re-issued by Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) in 2016

She was a beautiful child, a perfect child. With her blonde hair and baby doll prettiness, she was the picture of angelic innocence. Phillip Baxter pushed aside his uneasiness about his strangely self-possessed daughter. She was just an ordinary kid. And, to his relief, she did act like an ordinary kid when he brought home a special present for her...

Alone in her room, Nora couldn't wait to open the antique jack-in-the-box. She couldn't wait to watch the hand-carved clown's head bob back and forth, its glass eyes staring at her, its lips drawn back into an insane grin. Any other little girl might have cringed in horror. But as Nora's wide eyes mirrored the grotesque wooden face, her pink lips were curving into the same malicious smile...

Jack-in-the-Box was re-issued by Kensington  press last year along with a couple other books by Mr. Johnstone.  In the book, Phillip has a young daughter who is a pathological liar and could be described as evil incarnate.  When Phillips brings home an antique jack-in-the-box, his daughter becomes obsessed with it then bad things start to happen. 

 I did not really care for this book.  The story is very disjointed and goes off in too many directions.   The characters were forgettable.  A lot of the dialogue was awkward and forced.  As I was reading, I could pick out numerous horror movies themes that this book reminded me of.  It was almost like the author took notes from his favorite movies and rolled them into one story. I really don't recommend this one. 

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