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.
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Best book I have read in a long time! The comparison to Donna Tartt’s ‘The Secret History’ is an obvious one, but not entirely fair - Rio is far more concise, and her story telling perhaps more satisfactory. Her characterisation, especially of her female characters, who are so often neglected, is truly amazing - while at first I had worried that the characterisation was too clumsy in the opening chapters, the development soon amazed me. This book is beyond worth the read! Thoroughly enjoyable, and full of so many twists and turns that, if you’re anything like me, it will leave you reeling, desperately writing an Apple books review at 2:38 am. In summary, I’m floored!