Employees at the Orsk furniture superstore arrive each morning to find their stock destroyed. Security cameras record nothing strange overnight, and the corporate office is breathing down the store managers’ necks. So three employees volunteer to camp out overnight and regularly patrol the showroom floor to catch the culprit in the act. But their nine-hour shift slowly goes from creepy to horrifying when they realize exactly what goes on inside Orsk when everyone leaves for the night.
Horrorstor and I got off to a rocky start. The writing was repetitive initially, and I was lost as to why the main character (Amy) disliked her manager. But as soon as Amy and the others started their overnight shift, the story picked up. I put the book down a couple of times to do chores; it didn’t stay closed for long, though.
The strong point here was how it eased into the feeling of “something’s not quite right” before jumping right into things hitting the fan. That transition was actually more interesting than the full-out horror portion. Horrorstor dropped subtle, individual hints easy enough for me and the characters to brush off. Once things went south, all of those little hints added up to create a massive hint about the bad guy.
As for the format as an Ikea-type catalog for Orsk, it bordered on gimmicky. The profile of Orsk products at the beginning of each chapter showcased the change in tone and that worked for me. But the inclusion of order forms, coupons, and store maps didn’t really contribute anything.
The way that Horrorstor ended has me crossing my fingers for a sequel. There’s still plenty to be explored, and the characters seems poised to embark on a continuing character arc.
Horrorstor would be perfect for a reader interested in a modern haunted house story that supplies plenty of tension.
Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix is published by Quirk Books.