I Am Dust is the latest novel by Louise Beech and I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour today on my blog. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
A haunted theatre
A murdered actress
Three cursed teenagers
A secret that devastates them all…
The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…
Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?
Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?
Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?
Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.
And Chloe has been watching…
If you’re looking for a writer to re-ignite or ignite a passion for reading, choose Louise Beech. I’ve now read her last two books, and she has fast become one of my favourite writers. I Am Dust is a haunting and lyrical piece of fiction. When I first started reading it, I thought I would have it finished in a matter of hours, but then I realised that this is a book to be savoured, and I deliberately slowed down. If there’s one book that you read all year, please make sure it’s one!
Set in a haunted theatre, Louise Beech immediately recreates the buzz, and the excitement as plans for a new show gets underway. The excitement mounts when it is revealed that they are scheduling a play that hasn’t been performed for two decades, but it has been forever associated with a mysterious death. Flicking back to the year 2005, a group of budding actors attempt to make contact with the dead via an Ouija Board, and they get a response that they never thought would be possible, one that will haunt them in the years ahead.
I thought the three lead characters, Chloe, Jess and Ryan, were very well rounded. As Louise takes us back to the time in 2005, when they are all members of a theatre youth club, I could see how desperate they were to solve the murder of Morgan Miller. Chloe is especially determined to find out the truth, and she doesn’t stop thinking about it.
I was also desperate to discover who killed Morgan. Although she is talked about in the past tense, as she is no longer alive, she becomes a character in her own right. And I wanted there to be justice for her.
I loved the setting of the theatre, which for me added a lot of atmosphere to the book. If I were to pick and choose between theatre and cinema, I would definitely say the theatre. There’s a buzz that you get there that isn’t quite the same when you’re sitting in a cinema watching a film. This is what I could also see in Louise Beech’s characters as well.
I’ve also always been fascinated by Ouija Boards although I don’t think I quite believe in the supernatural. The idea of communicating with the dead, though, really freaks me out, and I don’t think I would be quick, or eager, as the characters are to try one out. I could feel chills creeping up my spine as the characters sat down to try and make contact, and it did make me wonder what would happen if I tried it out. But I don’t think I’m going to be doing that any time soon.
Louise Beech has shown over the past few years that she is such a versatile writer. What she always manages to do is tell an utterly compelling story that will hold you within its grasp. I’ve already found a few reads which I’m sure are going to be in my top ten at the end of the year, and I’m certain I’ve found another. I Am Dust is pure perfection!
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication date: 16th February 2020 (kindle) 16th April 2020 (paperback)
Print length: 300 pages
I Am Dust is available to buy:
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