When iconic musical Dust is revived twenty years after the leading actress was murdered in her dressing room, a series of eerie events haunts the new cast, in a bewitching, beguiling and terrifyingly dark psychological thriller…
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…
Magical realism is my favourite genre, but I Am Dust is all out supernatural featuring dead crows, bad dreams, Ouija boards, strange voices and ghostly happenings. And I lapped it up. Every scene and every word. Brilliantly written, it revolves around three teenagers in 2005 who mess around with dark things they don’t understand (… didn’t we all? OK that’s just me then). The story jumps around from Chloe, Jess and Ryan in 2005 to Chloe in 2019 working as an usher 14 years later in the same theatre where the murder happened during a performance of the musical Dust. So who killed the lead actress Morgan Miller? We need to wait a long time to find out. I only guessed at the very end. There were some clues but neither I nor the teenagers (or their adult versions) picked them up.
There is intrigue aplenty, plus jealousy and obsession. Ryan loves Jess but not as much as he wants power and riches. Chloe also loves Jess but not as much as Jess wants fame and fortune. Is Chloe psychic? Her Aunt Rosa thought so. Or is she a witch?
There is a bit of comedy with Chloe’s friend Chester who is also an usher at the theatre and brings some light relief to the proceedings. We also touch (sensitively) on serious subjects such as self-harm and teenage suicide but are these connected to the hauntings or are they coincidences?
When Dust is revived in the same theatre in 2019 (it closed after the murder and never re-opened), many people believe the show is cursed. But is it or is this just the media keeping the myth and hype alive?
I can’t praise this book enough. It’s spooky and entertaining and I love the séance scenes with the words spelled out.
YOU THREE NEVER BE UNDER ONE ROOF
I AM DUST
About the Author
Louise’s debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015 and a top ten bestseller on Amazon. The Mountain in my Shoe longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize 2016. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon ‘quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt’. It was also a Must Read in the Sunday Express and a Book of the Year at LoveReadingUK. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express. It also shortlisted for the RNA’s Romantic Novel of the Year and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019. Call Me Star Girl hit number one on Kobo. It also longlisted for the Not The Booker Prize and won the Best magazine Big Book Award 2019. I Am Dust is out now and was a Top Six pick in Crime Monthly and a LoveReadingUK Monthly Pick.
Click here to buy I am Dust on Amazon.