cover image The Anatomy of Desire

The Anatomy of Desire

L.R. Dorn. Morrow, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-304192-9

Centered on the world of social media influencers, the pseudonymous Dorn’s remarkable debut takes the form of a true crime docuseries. Cleo Ray, who’s bisexual and has risen from a humble background to become a successful fitness coach and social media influencer, and her lesbian girlfriend, Beck Alden, row their rented canoe to a secluded cove on Serene Lake near Bishop, Calif. The canoe is later found overturned, with Beck’s bruised body floating nearby. Cleo flees to the town of Mammoth Lakes to rendezvous with her YouTube star boyfriend for a camping trip, never mentioning Beck or the canoe incident. Before long, the sheriff investigating the drowning finds and arrests Cleo. Cleo’s uncle, the owner of a talent management agency, hires a high-powered L.A. defense attorney to represent her. The riveting trial, during which Cleo constantly changes her story, comes down to circumstantial evidence. The prosecutor even brings the canoe into the courtroom to reenact the crime. With no witnesses to the murder, readers will breathlessly await the verdict. Dorn, the pen name of husband-and-wife team Matt Dorff and Suzanne Dunn, is definitely a writer to watch. (May)