Dark Circles

Books on Tape. May 2022. 15:54 hrs. ISBN 9780593507063. $95. THRILLER
Former starlet Olivia Reed has outlived her days as a Hollywood darling and faces the reality of becoming a has-been disgrace. Checking into an upscale retreat, she hopes to reclaim her peace and reform her image, but instead witnesses authorities retrieving from the scenic lakeshore the body of someone who apparently died by suicide. Discovering that this is only the latest in a string of suspicious deaths linked to the retreat, she launches an investigation, bringing her fans along in real-time via podcast. Dolan-Leach (We Went to the Woods) employs lush detail and a likable narrator to draw readers deeply into this psychological suspense. Featuring staticky interviews and tinny podcasts, complete with theme music and commercials, this work fairly begs to be enjoyed via audio. Narrated primarily by Alex McKenna, a handful of additional narrators feature in podcast interviews, though the female voices are difficult to distinguish. While McKenna’s blasé voice is a perfect match for the sardonic tone of the narrative, the storyline demands a faster pace than she delivers.
VERDICT This audio will appeal to listeners seeking a creepy cult story that is as entertaining as it is eerie. Recommended for fans of Riley Sager, Janelle Brown, and Lisa Jewell.
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