Book - Dark Things I Adore

We're honoured to be part of the final day of Titan Books' tour to celebrate the recent release of Dark Things I Adore by Katie Lattari. Here, Katie picks some of the Dark Things she adores - her favourite macabre paintings...

Audra Colfax is the mysterious and captivating star painting student at the center of my debut thriller, Dark Things I Adore. She’s in her third and final year of a Boston-based MFA program in painting, working on her thesis collection, when she lures her predatory professor and thesis advisor, Max Durant, to her remote home in Maine. She’s told him that the invitation has been extended so that he may view her collection-in-progress and provide professional feedback – but they both know this is a ruse. Max is convinced Audra has invited him to her inner sanctum to consummate the long-simmering sexual tension he senses between them. But Max couldn’t be more wrong. Audra has lured the charismatic artist to Maine for much darker, much more devious reasons; indeed, every detail of their weekend away together is engineered toward one thing – revenge.

As Audra executes her plan, guiding Max through the broken ephemera of his sordid past, she takes him to her painting studio to look at her thesis paintings. Enmeshed in these paintings are clues, indictments, ghosts meant just for Max – the more he looks, the more chilling and unnerving they become to him, the targeted audience.

In writing Audra’s paintings in Dark Things I Adore, it got me thinking about my favorite macabre paintings. Here are five that really stand out for me.

Painting of two women holding a man down while beheading him with a sword

“Judith Beheading Holofernes” by Artemisia Gentileschi (c. 1620)

Painting of a weird red dragon man standing over a yellow glowing woman

“The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun” by William Blake (c. 1803-1805)

Painting of a naked woman standing beside a naked man lying on a bed

“The Death of Marat II” by Edvard Munch (1907)

Waist height self portrait of Kahlo. Topless but chest is open to reveal a metal spine.

“The Broken Column” by Frida Kahlo (1944)

Rodent Skull and antlers lying on a green tablecloth and white fur, nuts scattered around

“Lazybones” by Julie Beck (2015)

Dark Things I Adore cover - Black with yellow flowers on

Three campfire secrets. Two witnesses. One dead in the trees. And the woman, thirty years later, bent on making the guilty finally pay.

1988. A group of outcasts gather at a small, prestigious arts camp nestled in the Maine woods. They're the painters: bright, hopeful, teeming with potential. But secrets and dark ambitions rise like smoke from a campfire, and the truths they tell will come back to haunt them in ways more deadly than they dreamed.

2018. Esteemed art professor Max Durant arrives at his protégé's remote home to view her graduate thesis collection. He knows Audra is beautiful and brilliant. He knows being invited into her private world is a rare gift. But he doesn't know that Audra has engineered every aspect of their weekend together. Every detail, every conversation. Audra has woven the perfect web.

Only Audra knows what happened that summer in 1988. Max's secret, and the dark things that followed. And even though it won't be easy, Audra knows someone must pay.

DARK THINGS I ADORE by Katie Lattari is available now, thanks to Titan Books

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