Unbury Carol by Josh Malerman #bookreview #western #horror #TuesdayBookBlog

Carol Evers is a woman with a dark secret. She has died many times . . . but her many deaths are not final: They are comas, a waking slumber indistinguishable from death, each lasting days.

Only two people know of Carol’s eerie condition. One is her husband, Dwight, who married Carol for her fortune, and—when she lapses into another coma—plots to seize it by proclaiming her dead and quickly burying her . . . alive. The other is her lost love, the infamous outlaw James Moxie. When word of Carol’s dreadful fate reaches him, Moxie rides the Trail again to save his beloved from an early, unnatural grave.

And all the while, awake and aware, Carol fights to free herself from the crippling darkness that binds her—summoning her own fierce will to survive. As the players in this drama of life and death fight to decide her fate, Carol must in the end battle to save herself. – Goodreads.com

Somehow I missed this was a western, which I definitely don’t read, but I was captivated by Bird Box, so I’ll read anything Josh Malerman cares to write.

As with Bird Box, the author has once again created an original premise, but in this book, Carol loses all senses except hearing.  She’s completely helpless, but knows exactly what’s happening to her.  And as a claustrophobic, the thought of being buried alive and unable to move is utterly terrifying to me.  Dwight is narcissistic, selfish, spineless, and you just want to see him get what’s coming to him.  But with Smoke, Malerman has created a totally unhinged, evil lunatic, and he adds just the right touch of wickedness.

Although the beginning was a little slow-paced for my taste, the story galloped rapidly at the end and I couldn’t tear myself away until reading the last word.  Not being a western fan, I didn’t feel like this leaned heavily on that genre, but the atmosphere was still there, along with the horror/thriller elements.  Unique, clever, chilling, and highly recommended.  Unbury Carol is scheduled for release April 10th, 2018.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the digital ARC.