BLOG TOUR: Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari

Title: Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari
Pages: 480
Published by: Titan Books
Publication date: 14th September 2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Format: Paperback
Amazon UK – Waterstones


1988. A group of outcasts gather at a small, prestigious arts camp in the Maine woods. They’re the painters: bright, hopeful, teeming with potential. But secrets and dark ambitions develop, 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 protege’s remote home to view her graduate thesis collection. He knows Audra is beautiful, brilliant, and 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.

My review:

Dark Things I Adore is a dark and twisty revenge thriller with an unpredictable ending.

The story is split between two timelines, one in 1988 and one in 2018, and it flips between them throughout. The 1988 timeline follows a group of artists who are staying at a prestigious art camp and, while at first they’re all having fun together, cracks begin to emerge and someone ends up dead. In the 2018 timeline, we are introduced to Audra and her art professor, Max Durant. Audra has invited him away for the weekend to her home and it’s clear from the get-go that both have different things in mind for their time together. While Max is expecting a romantic getaway, Audra is plotting her revenge. Max isn’t aware that Audra has pieced together what really happened during the summer of 1988 and that she knows Max was involved. She’s determined to make him, and others, pay for what happened.

I have read a few dark academia books, but this one is very unique as it provides an art setting. It was interesting to see an artist’s ambition; the desperation to succeed and how it can all fall apart in the blink of an eye. As can be expected, this book is rife with drawings and paintings, and it was very interesting to see how they tied into the overall story, particularly with Max’s character as he’s a well-known artist in the present day. Audra also taunts him with portraits without giving away the past events and it was interesting to see his reaction to them. It was clear that he wanted to forget all about his time at Lupine Valley. I was also questioning how Audra was tied into all of this and why she felt like she was the one who had to enact revenge. 

It took me a few chapters to get into the 1988 timeline, but I was interested to see how it connected to the present day. This timeline was incredibly detailed, more so than the present day one, and it took time setting the scene. You got to know all the artists staying there and their relationships. The events are told from the perspective of Juniper and there’s lots of questions surrounding her involvement too. Juniper is aware of some of the darker things that are happening at the camp, but she chooses not to step in, so there’s questions there whether some of the blame lies at her feet too. These chapters were very captivating and incredibly well-written. You can feel how charged the atmosphere is at times and the tension between certain characters. 

Both timelines were equally interesting and I wouldn’t say that one was better than the other. The present day chapters do drag a little at times, however Audra never fails to taunt Max and remind him about Lupine Valley, which propels the story forward as she forces him to revisit the past. I loved how vengeful she is and how she manipulates Max so perfectly to get what she wants and he can’t even see it. 

While the majority of the story is a slow burn, taking the time to build the setting and each character’s personality traits, the ending makes up for it. The last few chapters are riveting; the tension really ramps up as Audra reaches the last stage of her plan and what she intends to do with Max. I was questioning just how far she was willing to go to make him pay and what sort of person that makes her. 

I loved how art played such a big role in this story and how poetic the writing was at times. There’s lots of twists throughout, some of which I never saw coming. Dark Things I Adore is an exciting and tense thriller that provides plenty of suspense and will leave you hungrily turning the pages. I highly recommend this to fans of dark academia.

A massive thank you to Titan Books for sending me a copy of this book for review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour! Make sure to check out everyone else taking part in this tour.

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