cover image Dark Circles

Dark Circles

Caite Dolan-Leach. Ballantine, $28 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-35604-3

Life starts to imitate art for Liv Reed, the self-deprecating narrator of this evocative, character-propelled thriller from Dolan-Leach (Dead Letters), when a trip to rehab plunges the actor into a treacherous mystery—a story line that could have been lifted from Iroquois Falls, the TV series that catapulted her to fame. Liv has barely been at the House of Light retreat in rural central New York long enough to resign herself to a social media blackout when she sees a woman’s body being pulled from Seneca Lake by police, apparently the latest in a string of suspicious deaths if she can believe Ava Antipova, a quirky local mom who checks into the facility periodically to dry out. Her interest piqued by Ava’s suggestion of a true crime podcast, Liv launches such a project, in which she invites listeners to sleuth along with her, and begins to uncover some of the secrets people at House of Light seems dead serious about hiding. As the peril escalates for Liv, the plot thickens agreeably up to a surprising but dumbfoundingly contrived denouement. Until then, however, this page-turner’s appealing protagonist makes for sardonically amusing company. Agent: Amelia Atlas, ICM Partners. (Apr.)