Tuesday, 4/18 7pm
ML Rio discusses her debut novel If We Were Villains in conversation with Daniel Wallace
If We Were Villains is a smart, upmarket literary page-turner in the tradition of The Secret History.
Oliver Marks has just served ten years for the murder of one of his closest friends - a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he's released, he's greeted by the detective who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened ten years ago.
As a young actor studying Shakespeare at an elite arts conservatory, Oliver noticed that his talented classmates seem to play the same roles onstage and off – villain, hero, tyrant, temptress – though Oliver felt doomed to always be a secondary character in someone else’s story. But when the teachers change up the casting, a good-natured rivalry turns ugly, and the plays spill dangerously over into life.
When tragedy strikes, one of the seven friends is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.
Beautifully written with a thrilling plot, If We Were Villains is a story of friendship, passion, and obsession.
M. L. Rio is currently pursuing her MA in Shakespeare Studies at King’s College London. If We Were Villains is her debut novel.