If We Were Villains: A Novel

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Flatiron Books, Apr 11, 2017 - Fiction - 368 pages
21 Reviews
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“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."

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ktreads22 - LibraryThing

Read as an audiobook, but lots of positive emotions and confusion at the end. Would like to read again in a physical copy to fully experience the story's twists and turns Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - akblanchard - LibraryThing

If We Were Villains is set at an eccentric conservatory/college that has a very exclusive program to train Shakespearean actors. The tight-knit coterie of seven students who survive the program's ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
6
Section 3
13
Section 4
83
Section 5
106
Section 6
136
Section 7
140
Section 8
145
Section 13
198
Section 14
208
Section 15
221
Section 16
225
Section 17
232
Section 18
247
Section 19
257
Section 20
263

Section 9
178
Section 10
183
Section 11
185
Section 12
190
Section 21
299
Section 22
357
Section 23
359
Copyright

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About the author (2017)

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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