• Dark August

  • A Novel
  • By: Katie Tallo
  • Narrated by: Piper Goodeve
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Dark August is a tightly-paced cauldron of a thriller about small town corruption, murder, and mayhem, in the vein of Sharp Objects and All the Missing Girls. A macabre and confidently twisty debut." (Lisa Gabriele, internationally best-selling author of The Winters)

An electrifying, pause-resisting debut about a young woman haunted by her tragic past, who returns to her hometown and discovers that there might be more to her police detective mother’s death - and last case - than she ever could have imagined.

Augusta (Gus) Monet is living an aimless existence with her grifter boyfriend when she learns that her great grandmother - her last living relative - has just died. Ditching her boyfriend, Gus returns to the home she left as a young girl. Her inheritance turns out to be a dilapidated house and an old dog named Levi. While combing through her great grandmother’s possessions, Gus stumbles across an old trunk filled with long-lost childhood belongings. But that’s not all the trunk contains. She also discovers cold case files that belonged to her mother, a disgraced police detective who died in a car accident when Gus was eight. Gus remembers her mother obsessing over these very same documents and photographs, especially a Polaroid of a young ballerina.

When Gus spots a front-page news story about the unearthing of a body linked to one of the cold case files from her childhood trunk, she can’t resist following her mother’s clues. As she digs deeper, determined to finish her mother’s investigation, her search leads her to a deserted ghost town, which was left abandoned when the residents fled after a horrific fire. As Gus’ obsession with the case grows, she inadvertently stirs up the evils of the past, putting her life in danger. But Gus is undeterred and is committed to uncovering long-buried secrets, including the secrets surrounding a missing geology student, the young ballerina in the Polaroid, a prominent family’s devastating legacy, and a toxic blast that blew an entire town off the map. 

But is Gus ready to learn the truths that culminated on one terrible August night, more than a decade earlier, when lives were taken, and secrets were presumed buried forever...?

Dark August introduces a bold new voice and will leave listeners guessing until the final startling conclusion.

©2020 Katie Tallo (P)2020 HarperAudio

What listeners say about Dark August

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good summer read

I enjoyed this book. My one complaint is that the author relies on too many coincidences over a long span of time to make the story work.

2 people found this helpful

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3.5 stars

3.5 stars
I really liked this story. It was very detailed and well thought out and well-executed. I found myself very attached to many of the characters. Renata Corrigan, man, I'd loved to see more of her. Levi the dog? Stole my heart. Augusta was an interesting main character, young and impetuous and naive, but she had grit and drive. You could see her character growth throughout the book, at first very careless and ultimately caring quite a bit.

The whodunit piece was a tad bit easy to figure out much before it's finally revealed, but several pieces don't get locked into place until the very last, so there were still some surprises to uncover as I went along.

What really bothered me about this book was anytime it mentioned fat people, it was done so in such disgusting ways, it was very clear what the author thought of overweight people. Several different times throughout the entire book, this was something I kept noticing. I was not impressed in this aspect.

1 person found this helpful

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I should have listened to W

So should you. I too read this book many years ago. The abridgment has sucked out all the tension. Pass.

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Bad narration

The narrator almost ruined this book for me. If the story has not been so compelling I would have quit it. I kept wishing I had gotten the kindle version instead. She said everything with a small breathy voice and had very little inflection. I felt the main character was much stronger than that wimpy voice portrayed.