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Dark Things I Adore


Dark Things I Adore

Katie Lattari, a former Brooklyn resident now living in Maine, has only one previous fictional release to her name --- AMERICAN VAUDEVILLE, an independently produced novel published in 2016. I’m glad she stuck with the writing game because DARK THINGS I ADORE is one of the most interesting psychological thriller tales of revenge I have read in quite some time.

It opens with Audra, a student at the Boston Institute for the Visual Arts, waiting outside one of her lecture halls hoping to catch her favorite professor and mentor, Max Durant. Instead, she sees Max and several colleagues burst out of the hall arguing over his desire to have his art work replace a famous piece that is being moved out. It gives us a quick glimpse into who Max is, and the novel will then roll forward with the expert revenge plot that Audra has in store for him.

"DARK THINGS I ADORE is one of the most interesting psychological thriller tales of revenge I have read in quite some time."

Throughout the book, Lattari uses flashbacks from 30 years ago that feature Juniper, a young lady who is spending her summer at the Lupine Valley Arts Collective in King City, Maine. The owner and boss is Old Gus, and other artists in residence at that time are referred to by nicknames such as Moss, Ash, Toad, Mantis and Coral. The connection between this story and Audra’s desire for revenge will be slowly established.

Audra takes Max on a road trip to her home in the Maine woods, where there are secrets buried that he never thought would be unearthed --- especially by his favorite student, with whom he dreams about sleeping. While on a hike, Max not only injures his ankle but also begins receiving odd texts. Once we discover his true identity, Audra’s revenge plot will become that much sweeter. She makes it clear that “Max Durant must die.” The fun is in learning why and then watching as she sets her plan in motion before he has time to realize what is happening to him.

We also are introduced to Audra’s art thesis, which is humbly called Her Dark Things. The chapters that show us portions of her collection include haunting paintings that have specific meaning for her, as well as a sampling of poetry and diary pages from someone with the initials CD.

The last third of DARK THINGS I ADORE is a nerve-wracking ride that opens up more and more revelations about Max, Audra and her mother. It makes for some great page turning as you eagerly will race through the book to see how everything wraps up.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on September 24, 2021

Dark Things I Adore
by Katie Lattari