Boy in the Box by Marc E. Fitch is a slow-burning tale of horror. Centered around a group of adults who are haunted by the mistakes of their past in more ways than one, this is one you’ll want to read with a stiff drink!
Full disclosure: I was sent an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way.
Let’s dive in!
My Thoughts on Boy in the Box by Marc E. Fitch
This story begins at a funeral. Our main character, Jonathan, is mourning the loss of his friend, Gene. However, the very first line is, Gene Hendrickson was not a good man,” so the dark tone had been set right then and there. From that very first page, it’s very clear that something is wrong… Something is haunting this group of men.
As the tale continues, we learn about an episode out in the woods when the group had rented a cabin to go hunting for Jonathan’s bachelor party. What happens out there in the woods changes their lives forever.
Though the men returned to their lives and tried as hard as they could to forget the incident, they receive news years later that force them to go back to the cabin. Their group of four had already been brought down to three. Would all three men make it back out of the woods alive?
I have to admit right off the bat, that I’m not a huge fan of slow-burning tales. During this COVID situation, my attention span is extra finicky. So while reading this book, I unfortunately kept losing attention as my mind would stray and think about something random. Many times, I had to flip back and page and re-read. There were just so many sections that were about the characters and their lives, their work, or their families that popped up suddenly. I know it was to help build the characters backstory a bit more, but they seemed so random and they were so drawn out that I didn’t care much for them.
I really enjoyed the authors use of description. I found myself both in awe and frustrated by how the use of description kept slowing the story down. On one hand, I loved how elaborate the description was especially when it came to the scenery. But on the other hand, I just wanted to get to the action! Though I will say that the description, whether done purposefully or not, actually added to the suspense for me!
There were many phrases or thoughts that the main character had that seemed pretty repetitive to me. But to put myself in the MC’s shoes, I would definitely be thinking the same thoughts over and over again, so it made sense! I just wish it had happened a bit less frequently to stay more focused on the plot.
This book overall made me feel very unsettled. I mean, to be out in the middle of uninhabited densely wooded areas with no one else around for miles and miles? Spooky!
There were many situations where the main characters felt that they were being watched and that made it really tense. I kept waiting for something to jump out at them or for something to attack them, but the fact that this “thing” was just something that was always on the periphery made it that much more suspenseful!
There were a few very haunting scenes that I LOVED. But I will let you discover those for yourself if you give this one a read. Let me just say… the one scene at the lake… that sends a chill down my spine just thinking about it!
My Favorite Passages from Boy in the Box
It wasn’t just hunters who shoot to kill; courts and newspapers can sometimes do worse than a gun.
A tree falling in the forest may or may not make a sound, but the death of a child reverberates the world over with or without a witness.
Conner was speaking in platitudes, Johnathan thought. Ripping lines he’d heard countless times in made-for-television movies or paperback thrillers. It made the whole notion of it more unreal, as if it were all scripted and they were just reading their lines. He had no choice but to continue.
The forest had retaken and everything, covered every previous step and trail, twisted and rearranged the landscape like a puzzle put together all wrong.
My Final Thoughts on Boy in the Box
I’m personally not a huge fan of slower horror, so this one wasn’t a major hit for me. When it all comes down to it, I wish that the story had focused more on the surrounding area and the supernatural beings in the woods. That was such an interesting element, but I felt that it was kind of buried under all of the characters and their repeated thoughts of regrets, their fears, and the dramas of their everyday lives.
That being said, I would still definitely recommend this one to fans of slow-burn novels with elements of the supernatural! Especially if you’re looking to read something unsettling!
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Thanks for reading!
And thanks again to Flame Tree Press for sending me a copy of this one! I can’t wait to see what Marc E. Fitch does next!