Book Review: Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari

Dark academia at its best, with a truly disturbing ending.

Katie Lattari is the author of two novels, DARK THINGS I ADORE (September 2021), her thriller debut, and AMERICAN VAUDEVILLE (2016), a small press work. Her short stories have appeared in such places as NOO Journal, The Bend, Cabildo Quarterly, and more. She lives in Maine with her husband Kevin.

A clever revenge tale with a twist you won't see coming!

I waited to read this book in the fall for the full effect and it didn’t disappoint. With a hot drink and a warm blanket, I settled in to read this dark psychological thriller. Dark Things I adore is split between two timelines, thirty years apart, three narratives (Audra, Max, and Juniper), while also using an art thesis as a structural device (something I’ve never seen before). The story follows Audra, a naturally gifted art student who extends an invitation to Max, her highly respected art professor, to view her thesis work at her private home in Maine. Max is quick to say yes, having somewhat of an obsessive attraction to her, and the two embark on a flirtatious journey to a remote location where Audra has prepared the perfect trap.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was definitely rooting for Audra, the protagonist, drawn to her fiery, vengeful personality. For having a large cast of supporting characters, the author made it easy and interesting to follow along, creating a rich history that was deeply satisfying when all the details fell into place. It was a slow burn with a deeply immersive world, one that was essential in order to fully understand the motives behind Audra’s actions. The scenes between her and Max were particularly tense, and I was gripped from beginning to end as the reasoning behind her plans was revealed, proving to be of a much darker and more personal nature.

The scene that sticks with me is the climax between Audra and Max. After realizing what her thesis work represented, and how it tied into the past timeline, it was especially disturbing to picture as everything unfolded. I was definitely gripped throughout, and even though the book is on the longer side, it was necessary in order to understand the full impact of each timeline and carefully reveal how the characters related to each other.

4/5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

For readers who love revenge, dark academia, and slow-burning suspense.

Published SEPTember 14th, 2021

Synopsis:

Three campfire secrets. Two witnesses. One dead in the trees. And the woman, thirty years later, bent on making the guilty finally pay.

1988. A group of outcasts gather at a small, prestigious arts camp nestled in the Maine woods. They’re the painters: bright, hopeful, teeming with potential. But secrets and dark ambitions rise like smoke from a campfire, and the truths they tell will come back to haunt them in ways more deadly than they dreamed.

2018. Esteemed art professor Max Durant arrives at his protégé’s remote home to view her graduate thesis collection. He knows Audra is beautiful and brilliant. He knows being invited into her private world is a rare gift. But he doesn’t know that Audra has engineered every aspect of their weekend together. Every detail, every conversation. Audra has woven the perfect web.

Only Audra knows what happened that summer in 1988. Max’s secret, and the dark things that followed. And even though it won’t be easy, Audra knows someone must pay.

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