Hello, fellow readers! I am a bit behind on reviews after travelling for a week, but I did finish Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly last week. Dutton Books was kind enough to reach out and ask me if I was interested in this debut title. The book was on my radar, but I was unsure of what the book was-horror, mystery, psychological thriller? The answer? The book is a bit of all three!
Theme Music is available to purchase now!
Description: When Dixie Wheeler was a baby, her father killed her mother and brothers and then slice his own throat. Dixie was the only survivor, called Baby Blue because of the song left play on repeat in the kitchen. As an adult, Dixie finds her family’s home listed for sale and decides to move in, recreating the decor using photographs and her family’s salvaged belongings. Strange things begin to happen in the house, and Dixie is seeing the ghosts of her family. She begins to question her own sanity and wonders if she is being haunted by the spirit of her father. Dixie reaches out to the detective who investigated her family’s murders to hopefully find closure from her past. As Dixie dig deeper into her family’s tragic history, more bodies begin to pile up, and Dixie is not so sure her father is to blame anymore.
What I Liked: This book was a pleasant surprise for me! I personally do not care for gore, but this book used this plot device to really make you feel Dixie’s pain and struggle with her mental health. So I did not feel like the detailed descriptions of the murder were for shock value-they actually served a purpose.
There is a small pool of characters in this story, but only two people struck me as suspicious. Even so, I did not figure out the ending of this book but did feel I needed suspension of disbelief to buy in to it. I was flipping pages quickly to get to the ending because this is definitely a tense thriller with some twists and turns you won’t see coming!
What I Didn’t Like: Dixie is an unreliable narrator in many ways, which I feel has been overdone in thrillers. She drinks alot and blacks out at convenient times, then wakes up not remembering anything. This trope had played itself out for me by the middle of the book, so much of the story became repetitive as Dixie continues the drink/blackout/wake up cycle frequently.
Final Thoughts: I gave this book a solid four stars! There was just a little too much “padding” to the story to make it a longer book, mostly scenes featuring the unreliable narrator trope. I definitely look forward to more books from this author because Theme Music was creepy and had some twists that I never saw coming, which is always refreshing and welcome!