Book Review: I Am Dust by Louise Beech

Louise Beech has been on my book radar since I started blogging – she seems to be a firm blogger favourite but until I am Dust landed on my kindle I hadn’t read any of her books. A mistake. A huge mistake. And one I am going to rectify.

I am Dust was brilliant. And I read it all over a 24hrs period – which is something I so rarely ever do these days. I just couldn’t put it down last night. Don’t you just love when a book grabs your attention and doesn’t let go?!?!?!

Book Blurb:

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…

Maybe one of the most intriguing book blurbs, I’ve read this year. What do you think? Great, right?!?!

Louise Beech has an effortless style of writing, which along with fast paced short chapters allowed the story to flow beautifully. I loved the dual timelines and I very much enjoyed following Chloe’s story from her teenage years set in 2005 into the present of 2019 as a thirty year old working as an usher in her local theatre. Chloe was an interesting and damaged character who I was rooting for right from the beginning. I do love a character driven novel and Louise Beech has managed to write some very strong, very memorable characters.

I am Dust is a creepy, creepy, murder mystery, coming of age drama, ghost story, suspense novel with a very sharp paranormal edge. I have no clue what genre I would drop this into. And Louise Beech explored some difficult topics in I am Dust, including self harm, unrequited love, sexuality and peer pressure. It’s a story that has a lot going on, but it all worked and made for a great read from beginning to end.

Clever writing, great characters and a creepy setting all made for an unputdownable ghost story.

The rather eerie setting of the theatre, dark corridors and haunted dressing rooms all added to the atmosphere. I might have pulled the duvet a bit tighter around me as I read some of the chapters late at night.

If I am being super picky the plot could have been a bit tighter at points and a lot of the story felt like it was relying on coincidences to move it forward. But that is me being super picky, I really enjoyed I am Dust and I wouldn’t hesitate in the future to pick up more books from Louise Beech. She is a very talented writer. And I am Dust was a very entertaining read.

And that cover! Gorgeous.

Have you read any of Louise Beech’s other books? I am planning on picking up The Lion Tamer Who Lost very soon.

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