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If We Were Villains

By M. L. Rio
If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio digital book - Fable

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Publisher Description

“Much like Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, M. L. Rio’s sparkling debut is a richly layered story of love, friendship, and obsession...will keep you riveted through its final, electrifying moments.”
—Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author of The Nest

"Nerdily (and winningly) in love with Shakespeare…Readable, smart.”
New York Times Book Review

On the day Oliver Marks is released from jail, the man who put him there is waiting at the door. Detective Colborne wants to know the truth, and after ten years, Oliver is finally ready to tell it.

A decade ago: Oliver is one of seven young Shakespearean actors at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place of keen ambition and fierce competition. In this secluded world of firelight and leather-bound books, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingénue, extras.

But in their fourth and final year, good-natured rivalries turn ugly, and on opening night real violence invades the students’ world of make-believe. In the morning, the fourth-years find themselves facing their very own tragedy, and their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, each other, and themselves that they are innocent.

If We Were Villains was named one of Bustle's Best Thriller Novels of the Year, and Mystery Scene says, "A well-written and gripping ode to the stage...A fascinating, unorthodox take on rivalry, friendship, and truth."

7332 Reviews

Surprised Face with Open Mouth
Multi-layered charactersTwistyDark settingHomophobia
Loudly Crying Face
Diverse charactersMulti-layered charactersBeautifully writtenAddictiveSuspensefulDark settingImmersive settingHeartbreakingRomanticSelf-harm
Loudly Crying Face“This BOOK! The crying face is both good and sad: good because the story was so engaging and beautifully written I felt so incredibly attached to these characters through out. I don’t think I’ve cried to any book (or book ending) the way I have with this one. I don’t think this will be for everyone, some of the themes that it touches on can get dark and there’s elements of nonlinear story telling, (which I know can be a pass for some people). But if you want a beautifully written, engaging, suspenseful story with beautifully written, fleshed-out characters, I highly recommend”
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenDescriptive writingSuspensefulDarkViolence
Surprised Face with Open Mouth
Multi-layered charactersBeautifully writtenSuspensefulDark
Surprised Face with Open Mouth
SuspensefulDark setting

About M. L. Rio

M. L. Rio has worked in bookstores and theatres for years, and holds a master's in Shakespeare studies from King’s College London. If We Were Villains is her debut novel.

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