Schrader’s Chord

Books on Tape. Sept. 2023. 12:31 hrs. ISBN 9780593795774. $95. HORROR
Leeds’s strong debut evokes the best of Stephen King, backed by a soundtrack with a grungy guitar beat. Talent scout Charlie Remick is known for finding some of Sony’s hottest musical acts, but his life is put on hold when his estranged father dies by suicide. Charlie returns home to Seattle and learns that his father has left him four cursed records that can open a gateway to the land of the dead. After Charlie, his sister, and their two friends play the records, the clock starts ticking. These four, along with Charlie’s resurrected father, must somehow close the door before Ivan Schrader, the creator of the records, silences them all forever. Leeds deftly displays his knowledge of music and his skill at writing gory deaths and descriptions of the resurrected dead who still bear the bodily trauma that killed them. Far from being gratuitous, the violence is interwoven with layers of story and character development that will make listeners invest in the characters’ plight. Narrator George Newbern’s vocal talents keep the characters distinct, creating sympathetic individuals who oscillate from funny to frightened.
VERDICT Music and horror fans who like their ghost stories gooey and their music loud should give this story a spin.
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