“I like this one,” I said. “It feels like home already.”
Theme Music is what every thriller/horror novelist wishes they could write. It’s obscure, unapologetic and knife-wielding. The author’s writing is extremely sharp it terrified me. And that rarely occurs.
Without further ado, welcome to the Wheeler House.
The layout of this place is so wonderfully detailed throughout the story and, just like any of the characters that dwell inside it, has an extraordinarily haunting sense of self. From Dixie’s recollection, this is the house where her father grabbed an axe and massacred her family at the breakfast table as Badfinger’s Baby Blue played in the background.
Little does she know that coming back to her childhood home, fifteen years later, will dredge up sinister memories and, most importantly, the awful truth of what really happened on the day of her family’s massacre.
This book is truly boundary-breaking by poking fun at the thriller genre. It just knew how to be a thriller and a horror novel. In her debut, Vandelly proves herself as a master of both. I loved how the author focused on Dixie as the main investigator of our murder mystery; she features but minimizes detective/police involvement in order to give her an opportunity to rely on her own set of skills to learn the truth. I think that that’s what made Dixie a true heroine.
The entire ending was chilling, and the suspense scenes were abundant. It felt like something out of a Wes Craven movie. The horror element explains the aftermath of our heroine’s past trauma and how it psychologically affects her in the present. It also felt almost necessary. I doubt that the lack of this genre in this book would’ve reached the same purpose or engraved the same emotions into the reader.
What was also interesting was the horror of the ways Dixie’s guilt -as to her father singling her out as the sole survivor of her family’s murder – manifested itself. I’ve seen my share of horror movies, but this book went beyond; what’s more terrifying than our worst nightmares infiltrating themselves into our real lives?