Thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: September 14th, 2021
Synopsis: A debut thriller for fans of Lucy Foley and Liz Moore, Dark Things I Adore is a stunning Gone Girl-esque tale of atonement that proves that in the grasp of manipulative men, women may momentarily fall. But in the hands of fierce women, men will be brought to their knees.
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.
A searing psychological thriller of trauma, dark academia, complicity, and revenge, Dark Things I Adore unravels the realities behind campfire legends―the horrors that happen in the dark, the girls who become cautionary tales, and the guilty who go unpunished. Until now. (Goodreads)
The title, cover, and premise of Dark Things I Adore immediately piqued my interest, so I was quite excited when my wish for this was granted on NetGalley. While I’d call it more of a slow burn suspense rather than a thriller, for the most part it lived up to my expectations.
The story unfolds through the perspectives of Audra and Max in 2018, and Juniper in 1988. The first few chapters were a little slow and I was unsure what connection tied these three characters together, but it didn’t take long for what seemed to be loose threads to start coming together. I must admit that I was much more invested in what was happening in the present day with the cat and mouse interplay between Audra and Max, especially after I guessed the main thrust of the past story. The other reason is because I love a strong female character and Audra definitely fits that criteria and more. I loved how Audra played Max (trust me, he completely deserves what happens), and although I figured out Audra’s main motive for revenge, there were still a few twists that caught me by surprise. The ending was the most shocking of all and helps make this a most memorable novel.
Dark Things I Adore takes the revenge trope, and adds some unique layers such as hidden notes and making art an integral part of the plot. It’s both character and plot driven which I loved, and I think it will stand out in the crowded field of books of this genre. I do want to warn you that this does deal with mental health issues and suicide, so some readers may have difficulty. Otherwise, Katie Lattari has come out with a wonderful debut that’s sure to appeal to fans of authors such as Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, and Gillian Flynn.