[REVIEW] Boy in the Box – by Marc E. Fitch

This reviews initially appeared on http://www.deadheadreviews.com.

*4 out of 5*

Some secrets just won’t stay buried…

During a hunting trip, four friends bury a secret, containing the body of a young boy. Ten years later and they all remain haunted by the accident, one that has gradually worsened their lives and relationships. Circumstances come to light, and the group must return to the mountains to make sure their box is never uncovered. However, things are made all the more complicated by a supernatural element – something evil has been plotting against the friends for years.

This was my first time reading anything by Fitch. He is quite a writer, one that excels in atmosphere and detailed characters. The force that follows our cast is one kept under the veil for much of the story, but it remains an unsettling shadow over the reader throughout. When more of its nature and “face” is revealed, the evil becomes all the more frightening and, well, cool. I definitely liked that aspect of the story, as well as the overall concept.

The only real issue with Boy in the Box is its length; half its word count could be cut without any negative impact to the story. Fitch has a tendency to ramble on about background information regarding characters and settings that don’t play any significant part to what is happening. It feels like filler, the kind that bores and removes you from the story. If Fitch were to have made this a novella instead, I can confidently say it would be a contender for book of the year.

Despite its length, Fitch has crafted something that becomes truly haunting and emotionally jarring. If Boy in the Box were to be adapted into a movie, I think the product would be a phenomenal and atmospherically crushing one. If you enjoy slow-burns, this one is especially recommended. Don’t expect a lot of action, but do prepare for a wonderful sense of unease.

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