Unbury Carol: A Novel - Josh Malerman

The premise of this book sounded horrifying and I knew I just had to read it. A woman with a rare condition falls into a deathlike coma, her husband attempts to have her buried alive, but the only other person who knows about her condition is the outlaw, James Moxie. Moxie has to race against time to get to Carol before she is buried alive while staying one step ahead of the man hired to kill him.


I did have some questions regarding this woman's choice to only tell one or two people of her condition. What if something happened to the only person who knows? I would be absolutely terrified of waking up in a coffin and make certain enough people knew. I would take every precaution I could! Inside the coma Carol is completely aware of all that is going on around her. She can hear every word her creep of a husband says. She knows if she doesn't wake up soon, she will wake inside a pitch black coffin with no way out.


This book was very unsettling for a variety of reasons. Moxie is haunted by a faceless man determined to keep him from going back to Carol, continually playing on his guilt and shame for leaving her all those years ago. Smoke, the legless man for hire tracking Moxie is seeking revenge and wreaking havoc along the way. He is a nasty little man with unconventional methods and an obsession with watching things burn.


This is definitely not your usual western, or horror, or fantasy. I'm not even sure how to describe a book like this. I was intrigued and had to keep reading, I needed to know how this one would end. I did enjoy the end, but I can't say all my questions were answered to satisfaction. For example, you get the general idea of how Moxie pulled off the "magic trick" that made him a legend (shooting a man without ever pulling the trigger), but you don't really get the full details and you are left attempting to fill in the blanks. Not a big deal, I just prefer to have the details.


If you're looking for something outside the box, this is it. This book is definitely in a class all its own.