Hello everyone, I’m very excited to be introducing or 13th author in our line up, Ms. Margot Harrison! She is the author of one of the creepiest books of the summer, The Killer in Me. Personally I’m very excited to read The Killer in Me, with it’s new take on the genre of Mysteries and Thrillers. I hope that you love listening to this playlist as much as I did. But, before we begin, I’m going to share some information about the book.
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The Killer in Me by Margot Harrison
Genre: YA Mystery & Thriller
Page Length: 368 Pages
Publication Date: July 12th, 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.
Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf—the deserts of New Mexico.
But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?
Playlist for The Killer in Me
“Psycho Killer,” Talking Heads
This one’s kind of a no-brainer. But what I like best about it is that you can’t tell whether the narrator of the song is actually a psycho killer or just so nervous and paranoid he isn’t sure who he is anymore. (He keeps asking, “Psycho killer, qu’est-ce que c’est?” or “What is a psycho killer?”) The protagonist of The Killer in Me, Nina, is in a similar situation—unsure she can trust herself to know what’s real.
“Where the Wild Roses Grow,” Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue
Early in the book, Nina recalls an older boy telling her she looked “like the heroine of a Nick Cave song.” As she discovers when she listens to Cave’s album Murder Ballads, this is maybe not a good thing. Murder ballads are full of beautiful girls who die violently, usually at the hands of boys who claim to love them.
But the girl in this song—telling her story from beyond the grave—insists we remember her by her name and not just as a victim. This is a message Nina might find strength in as she learns about horrific murders and vows never to be a victim herself.
“Just a Girl,” No Doubt
“The moment that I step outside / so many reasons / for me to run and hide. / I can’t do the little things / I hold so dear. / ’Cause it’s all those little things / that I fear.” Girls tend to get a message that the world is full of dangers they need protection from. Nina has reason to be even more scared than most. By the end of the book, though, she’ll have faced those fears and learned she’s not “just a girl” who has to cower while some guy protects her.
“Route 66,” the Rolling Stones
Route 66 is a famous early U.S. highway that ran nearly 2,500 miles from east to west. When Nina and her friend Warren take their road trip from Vermont to New Mexico, they cover some of the same route, and Warren geeks out on Route 66 trivia. Several of the places mentioned in the song play roles in the book, such as Flagstaff (the Grand Canyon) and San Bernardino (the penitentiary).
“Walking After You,” Foo Fighters
Is it about undying support for a person who may not love you back, or stalkerish obsession? One might ask that question about this love song, and also about Warren’s feelings for Nina. I would come down on the “undying support” side, because this song appears on the soundtrack of the first X-Files movie, and I’m a Mulder/Scully shipper. As for Warren and Nina, well, you’ll just have to see.
“Where Is My Mind,” Yoav (feat. Emily Browning)
I love this cover of the classic Pixies song that sums up how it feels to dissociate from one’s own sense of reality and “lose one’s mind.” Nina gets closer and closer to this point later in the book, as new, startling information makes her question everything.
Theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Ennio Morricone
Warren is a fan of classic spaghetti Western movies and fantasizes about being Clint Eastwood in a desert showdown against the bad guy. Things don’t turn out quite that way. But you can be sure he often hears this famous theme song in his head. (Here’s the actual final showdown) from that movie, featuring a great line: “In this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend: those with loaded guns, and those who dig.”)
“Black,” Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, starring Norah Jones
I listened to this whole album—Rome—about a thousand times while writing this book. It’s the soundtrack for an imaginary movie inspired by spaghetti Westerns, and “Black” was used for a key scene in Breaking Bad. I associate this song with the wide desert sky, disturbing revelations, and guilt that no regrets can erase. All things that figure in the climax of The Killer in Me.
“Disarm,” the Smashing Pumpkins
I didn’t take the title of my book from this song—it’s a reference to the classic Jim Thompson novel The Killer Inside Me. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t ever hear the line “The killer in me is the killer in you” in my head while I was writing it. And the more I hear “Disarm,” the more it sounds like a theme song for the book’s disturbing central relationship. So when someone disarms Nina with a smile, watch out.
About the Author:
Margot Harrison was raised in the wilds of New York by lovely, nonviolent parents who somehow never managed to prevent her from staying up late to read scary books. She received literature degrees from Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley, and now lives in Vermont, where she has won four national AltWeekly Awards for her work at the newspaper Seven Days. Her favorite part of the job is, of course, reviewing scary books and movies. THE KILLER IN ME is her first novel.
Visit Margot online at www.margotharrison.com.
Thank you so much Ms. Harrison for sharing this playlist with us! I’m so glad that you were able to participate in SHTSBR! Make sure to pick up a copy of The Killer in Me at your local library and/ or bookstore and share with the hashtag #SHTSBR!