New Fiction: Black Mad Box – Josh Malerman

Detroit-based indie rocker Malerman became an artistic double-threat with his well-received suspense debut, Bird Box. To me that book recalled the chilly, restrained horror of Shirley Jackson. USA Today thought it was “Hitchcockian. . . A notably strong study of modern psychological terror.” Either way, not bad company for debut author.

With this second book, it’s clear that Malerman is both a genre fan and that he’s not out to write the same book twice. This one starts in post WWII Detroit and follows a band called the Danes, who are all WWII vets. The Army approaches the Danes to track down the source of a mysterious and deadly sound in the desert half a world away. Suspense, conspiracies, supernatural horror—and even romance—ensue. Fans of Stephen King and 1950’s adventure pulp will love it.

In a genre not known for restraint, his uncluttered prose evokes awe and terror, and resonates with the chilling strangeness encountered in the fiction of 20th-century writers Robert Aickman and Shirley Jackson. Readers of weird, atmospheric fiction with a conspiratorial bent will enjoy Malerman’s latest offering.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“[C]ompletely unpredictable and utterly bizarre in all the best ways. Fans of off-the-wall fiction will enjoy this, and horror fans would do well to pick it up for some truly terrifying moments.”

“Malerman’s striking originality can’t be denied. Dark, brooding, and slightly unhinged, Malerman’s unusually compelling second novel is certifiably unlike any you’ll read this year.”

Black Mad Wheel (9780062259684) by Josh Malerman. $26.99 hardcover. 5/23/17 on sale