Review: Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

This book was everything I wanted in a book right now!



Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly

Published July 2019

Dark Fiction  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon 

Source: Purchased
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 2 Cents For Free!

“Come on. Run screaming into the night with me.”


Theme Music is my kind of book. Admittedly, my kind of book changes with the wind but today my kind of book is snarky and bloody and emotional and a rollercoaster of “what the hell is happening here?!!”

The prologue was HORRIFYING and it completely hooked me. Read it, if you love it I think you’re going to love the book. If it’s too much to take, read the book anyway but don’t blame me! This book contains one of the best prologues I’ve read in maybe forever. It made me cringe, laugh and question my sanity for the laughter. That’s some skill right there and it continues throughout the book. I LOVED the dark humor of the heroine so much. Words cannot express how much. Without it, this book may have been entirely too dark to handle at this point in my life. As written, it was my kind of perfection.

I don’t want to spoil the book for you so I’m going to be my typical lazy self and tell you very little. Win/win, right? You should be spending your time reading the book instead of my stupid review, anyway. So here’s the plot. It’s a simple one on the surface but it’s really not simple at all. Dixie rents a house. It is probably haunted. This is why she moves in despite a brief moment where she thinks perhaps this maybe isn’t the best of plans.

“I don’t think it’s right for me... To disturb the dead.

But she does it anyway, haha! See why I love Dixie? She begins to investigate the decades-old murders and discovers the truth may not be the truth she’s always assumed was the truth. How’s that for a sentence?! Ha, reviewer of the year award right there. Anyway, that’s all I’m saying and it’s likely too much.

This book has echoes of The Amityville Horror and The Haunting of Hill House and all of those chilling and blood-splattered haunted house stories we all love so much but it is told from Dixie’s point of view and as much as we might love her, we’re not always sure we can trust her but through it all, I never doubted my kinship with her. She’s morbid and she’s obsessed and she keeps the reader, as well as everyone around her, a little off-kilter.

“I only lied to you because I didn’t want to tell you the truth.”

This is no doubt a wonderfully obsessive, creepy haunted house tale but it’s absolutely captivating and immersive because of the writing. Dixie drags you into her head and her whacked out world and you fall right in never quite knowing if Dixie is telling herself the truth. She also has a beautiful way of attributing scents to people, one that isn’t included nearly enough in the horror novels I typically read. “There was a warm, somnolent maple scent filling the air around him. Garrett smelled like that sometimes, too, as though he had been baking all night at a low temperature.” I don’t why but I LOVED that lovely sensory description so very much.

I loved this book with all that’s left of my heart if I haven’t made that clear enough yet. I will not say a negative thing. It kept me guessing throughout. My notes are filled with all the wrong guesses and here I was thinking I was getting better at this mystery game having read way too many lurid thrillers of late! The author was able to pull me in at a time when my brain was terribly distracted by - oh everything. She caught my attention with the creeps and the humor but she kept me with the strong emotional ties and the originally written heroine.

Amazing stuff. Go read it! And then make all of your horror pals read it.

5 out of 5




Comments

  1. I loved the quotes you pulled...especially that one about Garrett. Just might have to give this one a try. :)

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  2. It sounds really good. I love a good psychological thriller.

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  3. Yes please! I need this one and amazingly, I just finished Amityville Horror yesterday. So glad you loved this one and bring on the snark!

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  4. I hadn't heard of this author. Thanks for the heads up. Sounds like a great read.

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  5. Sounds amazing. You definitely win reviewer of the year for this one๐Ÿ˜

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  6. Yay!! I love this book! It was so unexpected. :)

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  7. I love your review because I can feel your excitement lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  8. Okay I'm almost afraid to read the prologue now... :)

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  9. Sounds very creepy...great review Bark!

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  10. This sounds like mu kind of book too. Thanks for steering me to the author!

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  11. I would not have picked this one up without your review - it's so funny. Thanks for the recommendation!

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