I wanted an audiobook for my husband, Paul, and I to listen to on our road trip to my mother’s funeral. We were travelling between Christmas and New Year with the added fun of a surge in Covid cases making new travel restrictions be enforced daily! Our trip took us from our home in Northern Ireland, through the republic of Ireland, via ferry from Dublin to Wales, driving through Wales into the north of England for the funeral. Staying two nights in a Premier Inn, then doing the whole journey in reverse. We had to get special permission from the Irish Embassy to be allowed back since Ireland have a travel ban from mainland UK, plus extra customs checks now that Brexit is taking hold, and throw in some snow and ice on the roads – it was quite the trip!!
I have loved both reading and listening to Grady Hendrix books, and I chose this for our trip because it was just the right length at 6 and a half hours, and I hoped Paul would like it. It was the perfect choice. Set in an Ikea-like vast furniture store in America, the book builds tension and engagement as we get to know the main characters, all employees of the furniture store, and with them try to solve the mystery of why strange things seem to happen in the store overnight. A handful of characters end up spending the night in the store to investigate, and what a night it turns out to be!
It’s a really well written horror story, with great characterisation, quite a lot of humour as well as genuine tension and excitement. There were some quite gory moments as you would expect from the genre, and some really fun and increasingly strange adverts for products available at the store at the beginning of each chapter. Paul is a great movie watcher, but not really into reading fiction, but he, like me really enjoyed the book and was keen to start it up again after we’d paused to concentrate on a difficult bit of navigating. It had just the right level of surreal to perfectly fit with our trip and it kept us occupied and distracted on what might otherwise have been a more stressful journey.