Cover Image: Boy in the Box

Boy in the Box

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Member Reviews

I read this book a few months ago. I have been wanting to read more horror books, thus the reason I picked up this one. 

There was something mysterious and intriguing about the story but sadly, it did nothing for me. I did not have goose bumps or say awake reading this book. I would read a few chapters and put it down. So my reading was more of a stop and go pace. 

In the beginning, I was intrigued but this only lasted for about a third of the way. After that I found it hard to stick with this book. There was nothing really keeping my interest with the characters and in turn I was not interested in the story. Plus, I was disappointed that the vibe seemed more of a whisper in the "horror" or suspense aspect.
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This is my first book by this author which I enjoyed and I will be looking for more from them.  It is a good suspenseful story about the murder of a young boy by a group of men.  Now they find themselves years later having to dig up the boy and move him.  I found it hard to get into and even finish.  I was able to connect to the characters.  This story is full of details that at some points in the story dragged it down.  It took me a while to get into it but once I did and skipped some of the details I was able to enjoy the book.  It did have some twists and turns that left me sitting on the edge of my seat just waiting to see what was lurking in the shadows.  Read this book to see what happens with the group of men and the boy.
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3.5/5.0

‘Ten years ago, a mysterious and tragic hunting accident deep in the Adirondack Mountains left a boy buried in a storied piece of land known as Coombs’ Gulch and four friends with a terrible secret.’

Having not read the synopsis for BOY IN THE BOX by Marc E. Fitch, I was uncertain, in the beginning, how the story would play out, though I quickly picked up on the direction it was going to take—with a supernatural twist that was awesome!

The main issue I have with the book is the number of weighted scenes that spend a significant amount of time in the mindset of the characters and their backstories, which felt repetitive at times and slowed down pacing to a point I had difficulty staying engaged.

I can't wait to see what Marc E. Fitch comes up with next!

Thank you, NetGalley and Flame Tree Press, for loaning me an advance eBook of BOY IN THE BOX in exchange for an honest review.
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Loved this book.  Plenty of devious surprises and crackling suspense, along with interesting characters.  Just the sort of book to cause a lack of sleep, but I won't complain!  Highly recommended.

*This book was provided to me as an ARC at no charge in exchange for my honest review.  My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this program.*
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Another scary read which caused me to shake in my boots which had paranormal tinged of it. The author's writing made the story come alive. It was so true that our conscience did act as a guide and guilt never faded. An accident happened years ago caused a secret to be buried in a box... 
Brilliant characters and smooth flow of the story with creepy demon added the fear to the ambiance of the book. I had to read it in the day and  forget it at night.

Until the world crisis ends, I think I would stay away from the horrors.
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Boy in the Box was a creepy read with a bit of unreliable narrators (which of course makes it even more fun read). The plot and story starts a bit slow, but it gains momentum roughly in the middle. The storytelling is amazing, with vivid imagery and great descriptions, which adds up to the creepy-factors. The character development is well done, especially for Jonathan.

It's overall a fascinating horror novel worth the read.
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Boy in the Box is a dark and haunting story, diving deep into the recesses of the human mind. Described as a horror novel, it is much deeper than a horror story, but where the horror is much more psychological than supernatural. The story combines a psychological thriller with supernatural elements to weave an atmospheric horror story.

After a tragic hunting accident, deep in the Adirondack Mountains, four friends are left hiding a terrible secret. Now after a decade, Jonathan and brothers; Michael and Conner, must return to the place that changed their lives forever in order to keep their secret buried. What they don't realize is that they are inadvertently walking into a trap- Is it a supernatural demon or demons in their own mind?

The story builds slowly but gathers momentum around the halfway mark. The writing flows smoothly. Fitch uses vivid imagery to create an eerie wilderness, both creepy and atmospheric. The description of the haunted terrain, the constant feeling of being hunted and someone out to get you keeps you on the edge. The storytelling is excellent and the entire second half is immensely readable. More than supernatural thrills, the story relies on heightening tension between the characters and unraveling of their minds, which makes you question everything you read.

The story lacked some strong characters, apart from Jonathan. The story gets overly descriptive at times like the random descriptions of work and daily life, their lives, their work, or their families and conversations that had no relevance to the story. While the intention was to create the character's backstory, it really slowed down the pace of the novel. Maybe the book could have been around 20% shorter because the story remains immensely interesting when it is focused on the friends and the forest.

Overall, This is a solid read for fans of the horror genre. If you like a creepy horror story with lots of mystery and tension, you will enjoy this book. 

Many thanks to the publishers Flame Tree Press and Netgalley for the ARC.
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The story begins with a funeral, and though it is literal I also took it as a symbol of the death of a friendship that never quite survived the events that occurred a decade earlier. Four best friends had set out for a last hurrah, before one of them tied the knot. They returned forever changed. Now the four best friends are merely three. Three who struggle to live with the secret and yet will do whatever it takes to make sure it stays hidden. It is with this goal that they set out to Coomb's Gulch, a forsaken and desolate area where they once hunted but which now holds less of nature and more of the supernatural. These earlier pages moved a bit slow for my taste but once we passed the heavy atmosphere of the road trip and reached the destination the fear factor kicked up several notches and I was hooked. You can't go to Coomb's Gulch and expect to live happily ever after, but God help you if you get out the first time and go back for more.
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Boy in the Box really creeped me out. I was on edge while reading it alone. It was great! I love horror but books in this genre don’t usually get to me as much as watching a horror film would. But how could I not be scared when the author portrayed such wonderful imagery of darkness and despair?

The actual story of the boy in the box was not what I enjoyed the most about this book, it was the themes. Under the guide of a horror story, the author showed us what a guilty conscious can do to a person, and the repercussions of the choices we make. We especially see that with Jonathan, an extremely complex character. While I enjoyed seeing the conflict within this character, I’m not really sure I liked Jonathan as a person. But that’s ok; it keeps things interesting. However, I would have liked more dialogue to better understand some of the other characters.

Overall, I enjoyed the Boy in the Box. And now that summer is coming in there is more bright hours during which to read the book. Perfect for the easily scared!
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I loved the premise of this story. Hunting accident goes wrong and returning to the scene of the crime as it were with plenty of supernatural terror mixed in. The Boy in the Box was a generally creepy read for me. I enjoyed this one from start to finish. 

A slow burner in parts, but worth the wait. The character development and plot furthering all make this a riveting read. It's got such a 'real' feeling to it. You really feel for the characters. The 'event' and then dealing with the aftermath. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the pages to life in an epic tale of tragedy. 

Another fine outing for Flame Tree Press.
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I just could not connect with this book. It was well written but I didn't feel like I could connect with the characters. Full review on Goodreads.
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Pulse Pounding Entertainment.

Boy In The Box is a one of a kind read. You are in for a creepily good time. A ghost story that is sure to haunt you. I turned the pages as fast as I could. 

I would definitely read this author again.
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I can't quite say that I enjoyed this book, but there were aspects that I did like. For me, one of my favourite things of all was the setting. While it isn't necessary for every book, I do firmly believe that you can make a strong impact in a story when your setting is an extra character. The Adirondacks made a sufficiently creepy and distressing backdrop for the story.

Four friends take a last hurrah hunting trip before a wedding, throwing a drunken stag. When they shoot not a deer but a young boy, they are in such a hurry to bury their secret - literally - that they don't think of how important it could have been to involve the police to figure out WHY a child is wandering alone in the middle of the woods.

Had they done so, taking the risk of the consequences that may have been laid against them, they might have avoided the stress and strain and even suicide that plagued them for years. How can you heal from your personal horror when you have to keep it the deepest, darkest secret within your soul?

The story itself was interesting as a thriller but soon turns into horror when they need to make their way back into the woods to hide their evidence before a new development unearths it for the world. What they find in there is far darker than anything that they've experienced so far.

All in all, it felt like this could have been a five star book but I did find it a bit tedious in some parts, particularly towards the middle. I often found myself having to remind myself to keep reading it. A little tighter and a little less wordy would change my overall rating.
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My thanks to Flame Tree Press, Mr. Fitch and Netgalley.
This book broke my heart. It began with a hunting death of a child, and a cover-up. The middle was at times hard to deal with, but more often than not just a muddled mess. I don't mind characters thinking so much, as long as it leads to a truth or revelation. The ending? Well, that was even more muddled than I expected! 
This was "weirdly" the second book in a row that I'd read where friends tried to cover up a death. I hope to not read anything like this again for awhile!
I don't believe that I'm different than anyone else when I say that I'd rather confess than live with the guilt!  Ask anyone who knows me! I confess to everything! I've actually spent a few very pleasant days in jail, because I find it so difficult to lie! Actually, that was kind of a locked in vacation! The only reason I kept reading this book is because I knew there were supernatural aspects to come. I wish, oh, crikey! I do wish that I had d.n.f.d, this story! The whole damn book was sad. 
They didn't murder the child. It was an accident. Kind of a supernatural accident, but still. They not only ruined their lives, but their family and friends lives. All for a stupid cover-up. Worst thing of all? That poor dead child was never buried properly, and his family had no closure. All so these great white hunters wouldn't have to spend a few years in prison. 
Again. This book broke my cold miserable heart! 
Much as I really hated this book? I couldn't stop reading. I tried and I tried. No joy. 
Yeah, just for that alone, and for all the feels? 4 stars. Clean it up. Edit and a polish. It's easily 5. Only with some polishing!
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3 Stars

I jumped into Boy in the Box by Mark Fitch completely blind.  I did not know what to expect from the book or the author but it was from Flame Tree Press so I had high hopes for the story based on the publisher’s track record of putting out high quality books. 

The events of a single night can change a life forever.  Multiple lives, in fact.  This is what had happened ten years earlier on that fateful night.  What was supposed to be one last outing before life started pulling the four friends apart instead became one of lifelong guilt when a young boy was shot and killed.  Determined not to let the accident ruin their lives and reputations, the friends buried the boy so that no one would ever find him.  They would be past the accident forever.  Of course, life is never this easy and the men were left to deal with their guilt over the years as it worked its way into their everyday lives.  Then word came of the new development to be built where the boy was buried and the men know that they would have to take action or the past would come back to get them. 

Gene took the easy way out when he committed suicide.  This left Jonathan Hollis and brothers Michael and Conner Braddick to take care of the corpse.  As the three travel back to the scene of the accident, they are soon going to learn that the past is not so easy to leave behind.  Besieged by guilt and possibly the supernatural, the sins of the past have risen once more to threaten their future.  That night long ago cost one child his life.  The killing my not be over, though, as the night has fallen once more and is still out for blood. 

Boy in the Box is not a simple horror novel.  There are many layers to this novel and new surprises lurking round every corner.  The friends made a fateful choice years earlier but the decisions of the past never really go way.  They just slide back into the shadows and wait for the right time to strike.  Fitch understands this and crafts a novel that in some ways feels like a horror novel and others like a coming-of-age story.  It is an interesting juxtaposition, especially since the characters are too old for a coming-of-age story, but one that takes some work to get into and figure out.  This is not a novel suited for leisurely and relaxing reading.  There is lot of met on the bones of this story and the reader need to put in work to get to the core meaning of the book. 

The story has a lot of promise and there are a lot of strong themes that are touched on over the course of the novel.  The only issue that I had with the book is that it never quite seemed to come together as a compelling narrative for me.  While I found it interesting, I just could never really sink into the book and get fully invested in the story.  Maybe because it takes a lot of work to unravel the many threads that pass through the story or maybe because I never really related to the characters, the book seemed like lot of work and not an equal amount of payoff for me.  While others my enjoy the novel more than I did, I thought this was an interesting book but one that never quite lives up to its full potential.  Still, I think it is worth giving a read as long as the reader knows what he is getting into and is prepared for a story that requires a bit of a time investment to get through. 

I would like to thank Flame Tree Press and NetGalley for this review copy.  Boy in the Box is available now.
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Ten years ago, a mysterious and tragic hunting accident deep in the Adirondack Mountains left a boy buried in a storied piece of land known as Coombs' Gulch and four friends with a terrible secret. Now, Jonathan Hollis and brothers Michael and Conner Braddick must return to the place that changed their lives forever in order to keep their secret buried. What they don't realise is that they are walking into a trap - one set decades earlier by a supernatural being who is not confined by time or place: a demon that demands a sacrifice.

‘Boy In The Box’ tells the story of four friends; Jonathan, Michael, Connor and Gene, who lose touch after a tragic accident which happens during a hunting trip they had organised for Jonathan’s stag party. Unable to live with the guilt, for the last ten years their lives have been haunted by the memory of the boy they left behind in the mountains. The stress, anxiety and grief have tainted not only their relationships with each other, but have also made it impossible for them to lead normal lives with their families. Despite all of the pressure to come clean about the events of that fateful night, the decision they made to keep quiet for the benefit of themselves and their families still seems like the right thing to do. But now their secret is at risk of being uncovered and the friends are forced to revisit the awful memories and go back to Coombs' Gulch with devastating consequences. 

Boy in the Box is described as a horror / thriller / suspense novel but it was actually much deeper than most horror books I have read. It was an exploration of grief and the ways in which four friends struggle to maintain normal, happy and healthy relationships after the tragic events that took place. The story builds at quite a slow pace but it has a very creepy atmosphere and I really enjoyed the way that the story made me question what was real and what was a manifestation of the grief they were all suffering. Interestingly for me, I actually preferred the exploration into the characters than some of the horror aspects. If you enjoy thrillers that have elements of the occult, or Native American culture and rituals, then this is the perfect choice, and the ending is one that will haunt me and stay in the back of my mind for a long time.
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When Gene, Jonathan, Conner and his brother Michael travel up to an isolated cabin in the  Adirondack Mountains to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of one of them, the plan is to hunt and spend his last moments of single freedom with his mates and doing manly things without any distractions.

Things don't go exactly as planned and the four of them leave with the kind of secret that burdens the soul and psyche. Killing a child and burying him in the forest isn't really something you can just get over, right? Well, some of them seem to deal with it better than others.

It becomes necessary to return to the forest to remove the clues of their crime, which thrusts the men back into the nightmare that has been following them around for years.

It's a tense horror read that creeps and swirls like a malignant fog.

Fitch lets the more sinister side of this story seep in gradually, as if the demon were playing a game of distraction. Is this a story about a murder, about deviants trying to kidnap children or something more nefarious? The misdirection is actually what makes the story so compelling, because you don't actually put all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together until the end.

Talking of the end - it throws up this horrific moral dilemma, which gives the book and the reader this last hefty slap of evil. It's an interesting walk on a very fine line between the instability of minds burdened by guilt, the supernatural and a darkness that exists all around us.
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This is a supernatural thriller that will haunt you as you read every last word. Four best friends go on a guys trip away into the woods, a place that will terrify and alter their lives forever. Alcohol gives them the nerve to go into the woods in the dark an act that they will regret for the rest of their lives. A small boy appears in the gunsights and is killed by accident. Horrified the men do some thing they feel is right at the time but an act that will burn away at them over the intervening years. Ten years later three men return to the box and its horrific contents in order to both put the past to rest and to move the box to a safer place. Over the years the layers of guilt and paranoia have wrapped around the men and their lives squeezing out all thoughts of common sense and rationality. Will their return to the scene of the crime lay the boy to rest or will his ghost haunt them forevermore. A chilling, tell around the campfire horror story that will both terrify and keep you hooked till the deadly end.
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Old friends end up coming back together after decades and they all have a secret to keep. Years ago a tragic accident happened and has haunted them ever since.

This book was incredibly dark and creepy. It’s nothing I would normally read but it kept me enthralled until the end. The book is totally mostly through Jonathan’s perspective and takes a dive into the conscience and if anything can ever be redeemed. Very dark but would recommend for fans of horror.
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Four friends go to the Adirondack mountains on a hunting trip to celebrate the upcoming wedding of one of the friends. During their stay a tragic hunting accident happens, leaving a young boy dead. The four vow to keep it a secret, which puts strain on the friendships. Ten years later three out of the four friends find themselves back at Adirondack mountains trying to put things right. 

The story was well written with a few scenes that gave me creepy feelings. I felt some parts were dragged on too long. 

Thank you Netgalley, Publisher and Author for the eArc in exchange for an honest review.
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