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I Am Dust Reader Reviews

I Am Dust

Miriam Smith

Louise Beech’s latest psychological thriller is ghostly, mysterious, emotional, atmospheric and has a touch of the supernatural. I was emotionally drained by the ending, so powerful, poignant and beguiling. Very apt and so well written.

Louise Beech’s latest psychological thriller is ghostly, mysterious, emotional, atmospheric and has a touch of the supernatural. After enjoying her previous unique novel Call Me Star Girl and always having enjoyed her beautifully written stories, I was just desperate to read I Am Dust. Set within a working theatre involving secrets, betrayals and hauntings this was a fabulous read. I particularly enjoyed the story being told from the perspective of an usher working in the theatre whilst the plays were performing. A setting I haven’t read about before and was hugely interesting.

The story of an actress haunting the theatre after being murdered backstage was very intriguing and had me turning the pages with intense trepidation. Hundreds of theatres up and down the country must have their own tales of hauntings, including my own home city’s ‘The Sunderland Empire’, where it’s rumoured Sid James haunts the building after dying onstage.

When three teenagers in 2005 tempt fate with an ouija board, are they releasing consequences that will have fatal repercussions for them later in life? I’ve always been fascinated by contacting spirits but never dared tried the experience myself so I found the premise very alluring.

The characters were really well portrayed and each one was original and likeable. I totally fell in love with Chloe, she was scarred, troubled but very endearing and I was with her in spirit every step of the story. Chester was a wonderful addition to the cast with his humour and lovely personality and could picture him quite clearly.

I was emotionally drained by the ending, so powerful, poignant and beguiling. Very apt and so well written.

Louise’s stories just keep getting better and better and I can’t wait for her next novel which will be another guaranteed tear-jerker.

S. Harper

WARNING!! This compulsively dark tale is not for the faint-hearted. It may well come back to haunt you!

Another stunning tale from Louise Beech. Completely different from her previous novels but equally bewitching, I Am Dust delves deeper than before into the dark, obsessive side of love and lust. Exploring disturbing topics such as self-harm and witchcraft, this is a compelling and somewhat terrifying read. I felt a sense of foreboding each time I opened the book and I certainly wouldn’t recommend reading whilst alone or in a darkened room - you may well find yourself looking over your shoulder and second-guessing those shadows lurking in the corners!

We move between Chloe’s current life as an usher at the reputedly haunted Dean Wilson Theatre and her teenage years when she attended a theatre group there with her friends Jess and Ryan. Looking back, we observe a pivotal point in their friendship, when sinister forces outside of their control take over and their innocence is lost forever. Yet Chloe has little recollection of the past, that is until friendships are rekindled and the mists shrouding her memories begin to clear. But what has Chloe forgotten and why? The sense of menace grows as this atmospheric tale reaches its stunning climax. It will truly take your breath away.

Maxine Broadbent

Thought-provoking, intense, exciting and very very compelling, I found this an engrossing and captivating read and strongly recommend it.

I really enjoyed I Am Dust. It was a totally treat and the first of Louise Beech's books I have read. What a brilliant writer she is, marrying complicated situations and plots with a riveting conclusion. At the same time, she encourages the reader to empathise with a host of varied and sometimes flawed characters.

Chloe Dee works as an usher in a somewhat rundown regional theatre. The Dean Wilson Theatre is supposedly haunted by an actress, Morgan Miller who, some years before, was murdered there in her dressing room, on the opening night of the musical 'Dust'. The killer was never found. After twenty years the same musical is returning to the same theatre.

The story is told in two different time frames - 2005 when Morgan died and the present. In 2005 three teenagers, including Chloe, begin to play with a homemade Ouija board - and the book essentially deals with the consequences, but now Chloe is also facing her own monsters, sinister messages on the theatre radio and hallucinations. She is fearful of what is going to happen. Different genres are seamlessly interwoven as the action moves between characters.

Hannah Symonds

A new author to me but one I will most certainly be reading more of.

A new author to me but one I will most certainly be reading more of. It is set back from 2005 to 2019, where we see the main character Chloe as a teenager back to the present where she is a theatre usher. I liked how the different timelines in the story interweave between each other and we see how the past impacts on the future for Chloe and her friends. It is an emotional story that will leave you needing a tissue or two.

Nikki Telling

Dark, dramatic and delightful. A thriller that has it all with magic, murder and melancholy.

Set in two acts and written by an author who still works as an usher in a theatre, I was transported to the theatre from the first page.

Three teenage friends toy with an Ouija board in a dusty, old theatre. What do they bring to the shadows behind the curtains? A play with the lead role seemingly cursed by the murder of the lead actress is brought back to the very theatre where the crime was committed some twenty years later. But is that the only thing that is brought back to the theatre?

Chloe Dee is an usher in the modern-day and finds herself in the middle of the action. Murder, mystery and magic abound and none of these dark acts are too far placed from Chloe's own past. It is a story full of theatrical anticipation and atmosphere that brings the past and present crashing together.

I loved reading this book and cannot rate it highly enough. It is creepy, eerie and so atmospherically written that I was left with such a sense of longing for what could have been. Chloe's character is broken and heartbreaking and totally real. Her sadness is balanced by her wonderfully funny gossip of a friend Chester but this is a dark and wonderful thriller.

I had a tear in my eye at the end of this wonderful book - it must have been the dust.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781913193218
Publication date: 16th April 2020
Author: Louise Beech
Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 300 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, Spine-Chilling Fiction, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Thriller / suspense, Horror & ghost stories,