Regular price: $22.67

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Oliver Marks has just served 10 years in jail - for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he's released, he's greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless. Intelligent, thrilling, and richly detailed, If We Were Villains is a captivating story of the enduring power and passion of words.

©2017 M. L. Rio (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Much like Donna Tartt's The Secret History, M. L. Rio's sparkling debut is a richly layered story of love, friendship, and obsession.... If We Were Villains will keep you riveted through its final, electrifying moments." (Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, New York Times best-selling author of The Nest)

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    60
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

If I Were a Numb-Skulled Nelly-belled Nincompoop


Might Have Been Entitled

If I Were a Numb-Skulled Nelly-Belled Nincompoop ...
(But Alas, I Shan't Spoil It for You.)

2.5 bumped up to 3 for debut novel.

The book was heavy on histrionics for narrative fiction (as opposed to a play); too predictable to be a mystery novel; definitely too hokey for literary fiction. For example, without warning, the characters in the midst of regular dialogue tend to break into pages of lines from Shakespeare.

Plus, I just never connected with any of the characters.

Nevertheless, the story should much please Shakespearean "folly-fallen, foot-lickers," and all fans of soapy suspense.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I never write reviews, but...

What would have made If We Were Villains better?

This is a ZERO star story! The characters are terrible, self-involved people and the story is even worse...I just wanted it to be over. I can't get my time back, but I will most certainly ask for my credit back. Nothing can save this book, it belongs in a literary dust bin!

Would you ever listen to anything by M. L. Rio again?

NO!

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Robert Petkoff?

No one, not even Jim Dale, could fix what is wrong with this story. It's not the fault of the narrator, the writing is terrible!

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger, disappointment and sheer boredom.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wow

I loved this roller coaster of a book. The word choice kept me captivated. I don't go crazy over fine art and Shakespeare, though this book had a spell over me with all its passion that made me want too! I highly recommend listening to this gem!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Slow building tragedy

The narration by Robert Petkoff absolutely makes this story emotionally compelling. The plot itself is quite reminiscent of "The Secret History", using Shakespeare and theatre as a backdrop. I found the story a little over-long, especially as the outcome was signaled well before the end. Excellent character development, and Robert Petkoff gave each character a recognizable voice.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narration OUT of this WORLD

The Masterful narration managed to make a full emotional story even more believable. I found myself immersed fully .

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

amazing

I really enjoyed this audio book. the voice was prefect the plot and characters really suck you into this world. I would recommend this to anyone.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Make it to the end!

Pretentious, lofty, and soul achingly heartfelt, Is We Were Villains was both exactly what I expected, and not at all what I thought.
I like many other reviewers here (perhaps review readers as well) found this book in search of something similar to The Secret History, which I read a few years ago, and have always since cherished. Fans of such novel will, I think, find solace in this book as well.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

just wow!

guessed the ending early bc I know Shakespeare and was so wrapped up I couldn't put it down. I so, so hoped I was wrong and sobbed silently the last chapter. heart wrenching and beautifully human. a must read!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Thoroughly enjoyed

The performance is outstanding and the characters true in their self-absorption and willful disregard for anyone and anything outside their small world. It feels very much like colllege days. The author does an excellent job drawing the reader into their world.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

slow start for a non-thesbein but great story

I have never read Shakespeare but have a new perspective. Well worth a listen.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful