Author: Grady Hendrix
You don’t have to wait long for creepy things to start happening in “Horrorstör”. Employees of Orsk, a knock-off IKEA, have been dealing with weird things since the store opened. Staff keep getting lost on the floor, are receiving text messages that say “help” from blocked numbers and the furniture is trashed while the store is closed. Amy, a disenchanted employee, can care less about all this. Her main goal is to fly under manager Basil’s radar until her transfer comes in. When corporate sets a date for a team of evaluators to visit, Basil panics. He’s desperate to figure out who is vandalizing the store before corporate’s arrival. So, he bribes Amy into staying overnight with him to catch the culprit. As the night deepens, Amy begins to realize they’re trapped inside the building with a malevolent entity bent on “reconditioning” them.
Seeing as I’ve definitely gotten lost in the twisting labyrinth of an IKEA store before, I loved the idea of a haunted knock-off version. Orsk’s similar windowless floor layout is what made it such a great setting for a ghost story. It was easily believable that the characters would have such a hard time escaping the store, especially in the dark with things hunting them.
For anyone who has worked in retail before, you’ll easily recognize the characters featured (the manager who has 100% fed into the corporate lingo, the older employee who has worked at the store for years, etc). These were great character launching pads that let you easily feel like you already knew them. However, I appreciated that Hendrix expanded on each of these archetypes, as the story progressed. Each character had defining moments that kept them from being one dimensional and added some complexity to the story.
If you’re in the mood for a good horror book this fall, I would definitely recommend picking-up “Horrorstör”. The gore is pretty low, as is the creepiness. So, if you have a low tolerance for scary or gory things, you should be ok with this one.