Sunday, May 2, 2021

Book Review: Anatomy Of Desire by L. R. Dorn


Claire Griffith seems to have it all, a thriving career, a gorgeous, successful boyfriend, a glamorous circle of friends. She always knew she was destined for more than the life her deeply conservative parents preached to her. Arriving in Los Angeles as a flat broke teenager, she has risen to become a popular fitness coach and social media influencer. Having rebranded herself as Cleo Ray, she stands on the threshold of achieving her most cherished dreams.

One summer day, Cleo and a young woman named Beck Alden set off in a canoe on a quiet, picture-perfect mountain lake. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water, her face cut and bruised, and Cleo is missing. Authorities suspect foul play and news about Cleo’s involvement goes viral. Who was Beck and what was the nature of her and Cleo’s relationship? Was Beck an infatuated follower who took things too far? If Cleo is innocent, why did she run? Was it an accident? Or was it murder?

As evidence of Cleo’s secret life surfaces, the world begins to see just how hard she strived to get to the top— and how fast and far the fall is from celebrity to infamy.

L. R. Dorn’s reimagining of Theodore Dreiser’s novel told in the form of a true-crime docuseries a la Serial and The Jinx—with characters speaking through the “transcripts” of recorded interviews—The Anatomy of Desire exposes the ambition, sexual passion, and dark side of success that readers will find as achingly poignant as they did a century ago


Anatomy of Desire is the debut novel by L.R. Dorn, which is the moniker of husband and wife writing team Matt Dorff and Suzanna Dunn. It is a thriller that will keep you turning the pages right from the beginning and takes on the world of social media influencers.

The key players in Anatomy of Desire include Cleo Ray, an up and coming fitness influencer

Beck Alden a hair and makeup artist in LA

Sandy Finch one of the most popular and influential influencers in social media

Cleo Ray seems to have it all, living the best life in LA.  An up-and-coming fitness influencer she has over some a bad past, that she is hiding from everyone. Things begin to change with the tragic death of Beck Alden, and her life quickly begins to crumble.

Each of the main characters written well, they are rich in character and show the struggle of being an influencer and their desire to gain more and more likes, and followers so they will be offered more money from sponsors.  ( Meanwhile here I am just wanting 10K so I can get that coveted swipe up feature on Instagram ) . The book also touched on the whole cancel culture, showing how quickly a person in that area of influence can be dropped to nothing if scandal hits them.

The entire book was written as if you were reading either a TV script or court documents ( think Daisy Jones ), this makes it a quick and easy read, but there were times I felt there needed to be a bit of filler in between to help along with the story.

The writing format does do a great job of building the story perfectly, moving us through murder, love, deception, affairs, and the fall of celebrity. What more could you possibly want in a thriller?

Anatomy of Desire, a modern take on An American Tragedy, has great courtroom drama and mystery, you def will keep reading to see how it all plays out, but the book is also thought-provoking, making it a great thriller read.

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