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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: Theme Music by T. Marie Vandelly @duttonbooks @jessmapreviews @TVandelly

Theme Music 
by T. Marie Vandelly

Thank you Dutton Books for this wicked book! 

Publisher: Dutton Books
Publish Date: July 23, 2019
400 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Horror, Suspense

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 Review:

I started this book before I had to leave for a weekend upstate to be a part of a wedding.  I didn't want to put this book down but I had to so I would read snippets here and there as I found time.  One of the reasons I like to binge read is because it's like watching a movie.  If you watch a movie in a lot of sections, then we don't get quite the same impact like we would had we watched it all the way through in one fell swoop.  I do think that had I read this in one sitting it would've likely been a five star read since I review with my emotions and this book is absolutely bananas and I LOVED IT.

However, since I've had time to stew on it with the traveling and activities, and because I read it in parts as I could.... I feel like there were certain things that kept me from giving this five stars.  I know some thriller readers are opposed to bringing in paranormal *things* to these stories.  Personally, as a lover of horror, I have absolutely no problem with this and quite frankly, the finer line a thriller book walks to horror, the better!

I couldn't imagine being the only witness to my family's massacre at the hands of my own father.  I certainly couldn't imagine being a baby when this happens so the only thing I know about the event is what I've been told about or veered away from.  Would I move back into that house once I saw it on the market.  I'm pretty sure that's a hell to the NO, but then we wouldn't have this book so thank you Dixie for being so damn curious!

There are certainly some elements where you need to suspend some belief.  Strangely enough this is on the living side rather than the dead.  Dismiss the legal/law side of the book and concentrate on the paranormal/psychological side and I think avid thriller readers will really enjoy this ride into the absolutely insane... or is it? **wink**


Jessica's Review:

Talk about an opening. Holy crap - that prologue really set the tone for the rest of the book. Dixie is the sole survivor from her father's massacre of her family on Thanksgiving over a decade ago. She was barely 2 years old and was the only witness to what happened. Only knowing what was told her about the event, Dixie can only let her imagination run wild with the details. Now as an adult, she was browsing through homes for sale, and there it is. The home she once lived in where the massacre took place. I mean, we'd all want to buy it and live there, right? Um, I would have to take a hard pass, but Dixie's curiosity gets the best of her and she decides to move in.

As you would expect, creepy things start to happen. Even if it wasn't a paranormal presence, I feel like your imagination would get to you being back in that house. Dixie reclaims all of her family's belongings from her aunt and brings them all back to the house. In a way of trying to feel connected to them because she was robbed of ever creating memories with her brothers and parents. I couldn't do it. Maybe you could convince me to go through their things or walk through the house once, but not live there with all of their belongings.

I think for those thriller fans out there that enjoy a paranormal element to their books will love this one. If you're a fan of the paranormal stories, then this will be a quick read with a psychological thriller element. I couldn't put it down, and it's quite the insane ride from start to finish! I can't wait for more from Vandelly.

5 stars

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