Monday, May 03, 2021

Review: Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly (audio)


Title: Theme Music
Author: T. Marie Vandelly
Narrator: Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Published: July 2019, Penguin Audio / Dutton Books
Length: 14 hours 28 minutes / 400 pages
Source: Audio via Library / Print via Netgalley

An utterly propulsive and unpredictable psychological thriller from stunning new talent T. Marie Vandelly
For the lucky among us, life is what you make of it, but for Dixie Wheeler, the theme music for her story was chosen by another long ago, on the day her father butchered her mother and brothers and then slashed a knife across his own throat. Only one-year-old Dixie was left alive, infamously known as Baby Blue for the song left playing in the aftermath of the slaughter.
Twenty-five years later, Dixie is still desperate for a connection to the family she can’t remember, so when her childhood home goes up for sale, Dixie sets aside all reason and moves in, re-creating a macabre decor with her family’s salvaged furniture. But as the ghosts of her family seemingly begin to take up residence in the home that was once theirs, Dixie starts to question her own sanity and wonders if the evil force menacing her is that of her father, or a demon of her own making.
In order to make sense of her present, Dixie becomes determined to unravel the truth of her past and seeks out the detective who originally investigated the murders. But the more she learns, the more she opens up the uncomfortable possibility that the sins of her father may belong to another, and, perhaps most tragically, to Dixie herself. As bodies begin to pile up around her, Dixie must find a way to expose the lunacy behind her family’s massacre and redeem what little remains of her soul.


My thoughts:  I have no idea why I waited so long to pick this one was an anticipated read when I first got it and then I sort of forgot I had it. That's the problem with e-books...out of sight, out of mind. Luckily, I saw that the audiobook was available at the library and I grabbed it...and I am so glad I did...I loved this book!

I don't read a ton of horror books, but this one was so good. I loved that it had so many different elements wrapped up into one - it wasn't straight up horror and I think that's why it worked for me. This one is as much a psychological thriller as it is horror and it has some paranormal elements to it that work really well, too - another element that I don't always love, but here, it almost needs to be part of the book.

I loved that this one really kept me on edge right from the start. It's a dark, creepy book and it kept me guessing all the way through. I can't imagine not only witnessing your family being murdered in your own home as a toddler, but then wanting to live in that home later as an adult. Talk about creepy! I loved that Dixie, the narrator, sometimes comes across as an unreliable narrator. It just makes things so much more suspenseful and keeps you wondering where things are heading.

This book was so good and I really am kicking myself for waiting so long to pick it up. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what comes next from this author, especially since this is her debut novel...which just shocks me. If you haven't read this one yet, add it to your list now!

Audio thoughts: This was such a great book to listen to...and Sarah Mollo-Christensen did a fantastic job narrating it. Her voice was just perfect, and she added just the right amount of tension and emotion when needed. 



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