If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
A vivid and immersive story of obsession perfect for fans of dark academia and Donna Tartt’s The Secret History
Oliver Marks has just served ten years for the murder of one of his closest friends – a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the detective who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened ten years ago.
As a young actor studying Shakespeare at an elite arts conservatory, Oliver noticed that his talented classmates seem to play the same roles onstage and off – villain, hero, tyrant, temptress – though Oliver felt doomed to always be a secondary character in someone else’s story. But when the teachers change up the casting, a good-natured rivalry turns ugly, and the plays spill dangerously over into life.
When tragedy strikes, one of the seven friends is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.
"Cleverly written and beautifully plotted... anyone who likes Donna Tartt s books will love If We Were Villains too."-Literary Review
"Pure pleasure." -The Sunday Express
"A tale worthy of the Bard himself...ending in one final, astonishing twist. Recommended for readers with refined literary tastes, and those looking for 'something like' Donna Tartt."-Booklist
"Pulls the reader in from the first page... A well-written and gripping ode to the stage... A fascinating, unorthodox take on rivalry, friendship, and truth, If We Were Villains will draw readers in and leave them pondering the weight of our biggest actions and their consequences."-Mystery Scene
Publisher: Titan Books