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The Things We Do to Our Friends cover art

The Things We Do to Our Friends

By: Heather Darwent
Narrated by: Kristin Atherton
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

You'd die for them.

They'd kill for you...

What is the cost of an extraordinary life if others have to pay?

Clare arrives at the University of Edinburgh with a secret. This is her chance for a blank slate—to finally become who she was meant to be.

And then she meets Tabitha.

Tabitha is charismatic, beautiful and intimidatingly rich. Soon Clare is sucked into her enigmatic circle of friends and their dizzying world of champagne on rooftops and summers in France.

Her new life has begun.

Then Tabitha reveals the little project they're working on, a project they need Clare's help with. And Clare can't say no.

Because they know what she did...

An intoxicating feminist pause-resister with shades of The Secret History and Promising Young Woman, this novel will take you on a journey from Edinburgh's dazzling spires to the dripping staircases and dark alleyways of its underbelly.

©2023 Heather Darwent (P)2023 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"One of the best suspense debuts I've read . . . startlingly lovely, like a fine, dark silk shivering on your skin." (Julia Heaberlin, We Are All the Same in the Dark)

"A brilliantly unsettling and memorable protagonist." (Rosemary Hennigan)

"Sinister, compelling, utterly spellbinding. I couldn't put it down!" (Vikki Patis, Girl, Lost)

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What listeners say about The Things We Do to Our Friends

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Gripping

Amazing story start to finish and the narrator was incredible! I highly recommend this book

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Interesting story

Interesting- sometimes a little bit strange but in an enjoyable way! Narration was good, and I loved listening to a book based in Edinburgh- nostalgic for me!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Drivel

Nonsense really. I tried to get into it but Couldn’t be bothered with any of them or story. Narrator did well with weak material.

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  • Overall
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Fantastic! Creepy.

What a great story. Pulled me right in and kept me guessing. Well written. Bravo!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Dark

This is a dark story.
The narration was excellent, really did a great job of pulling off so many voices and accents!

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Masterpiece in Noir- so cleverly plotted. Loved it

There are many types of audiobooks I listen to, the highest accolade is those which I tell my husband about and then he becomes hooked, requests updates and we have many great discussions rather like a night time book club for two, as I usually listen in bed.

With this book I could barely wait for him to get back from the shower to tell him incredulously exactly what happened next and wonder at the superb writing, fiendish imagination and multi layered plotting that he had missed in this fast moving, ever shifting genius thriller!

I have no idea how long this book took to write but in terms of tightly woven plots - this is simply the most fabulous tapestry. Thankfully this amazing thriller is done perfect justice by the gifted casting of the incredibly talented Kristin Atherton was genius, as not only does she nail all the various accents and characters but her read is sensitive and compelling allowing the story to unfold without distractions.

I have sadly had to return too many excellent thrillers, including the latest by Ruth Ware and Susie Holliday, because the narrator managed to completely ruin them by being too overbearing, taking away attention from the plot with their overacting and making it all about their performance and not the story. Having had this frustrating experience makes me so appreciate that this outstanding and riveting adventure was allowed to reach its potential and indeed was enhanced by such a skilled, suited and nuanced read. I will be looking out for Kristin Atherton again as she really handled this demanding narration with great aplomb.

The opening scene had me a bit flummoxed and I wondered what I was getting into, but then the mood instantly changed and this is rather like the theme of the whole book. Like picking your way through shifting sands, you have no idea really if you are standing on solid ground, or will it all slip and slide away from you as what you thought you knew to be true evaporates like mist.

I got stuck in straight away and devoured it, thought I knew what it was all about and saw a satisfying resolution coming ... but that was just the beginning and I had not even reached Part Two.

It is simply a behemoth of a book taking place at university but with flashbacks to the protagonists earlier and later life and as I mentioned earlier it is just so cleverly and evocatively written you soon realise nothing much is as it seems as yet again the rug is pulled out from under you.

I simply cannot say when I enjoyed an audiobook more and the way the story just kept unfolding made me feel like I was on a roller coaster that lasted for days - just the next level of thrills, chills, twists, turns and marvellous misdirection.

What I really loved about it was that it was so dark and yet not gory or disturbing - just deliciously wicked. The great cast of, in the main, highly unpleasant characters were so beautifully brought to life that I saw the whole thing so clearly I could have been watching a film. Indeed I really hope someone snatches up the rights immediately as it would make an amazing movie and for all I know there is someone working on the screen play right now.

I think most of us know or know of a "Tabitha" and I think this is what brought contrast to the book as although she was devilish, her charm and charisma made the book so very, very addictive.

All the stars for this one of a kind, fabulously written, haunting, intriguing, breath-taking, genius thriller that just keeps on giving and has all the wonderful plotting amazing story telling and sheer delicious entertainment of at least six regular thrillers.

Bravo!

Please, please let there be another soon ... or there is even room for a sequel perhaps?

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18 people found this helpful

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Gripping, fun, weird

I loved it. The story was dark, twisty and enjoyable, while the overall vibe was weirdly relatable. Highly recommended.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Disturbing

the narrator was excellent, on a par with Jodie Comer as far as being able to do convincing accents but the story itself was genuinely disturbing.

I know it isn't necessary to have a likeable character to root for to enjoy the storyline but the author took that to extremes as there wasn't one single likeable character in the entire novel, save perhaps Finn who was only ever really on the periphery.

I guess I like stories that offer some kind of redemption or karma being served but the author took that theme and turned it on its head with the characters dishing out their own depraved kind of retribution. it was well plotted and well paced beginning and ending with the incident in France but honestly it left me feeling really uncomfortable in a way I can't really define - if that was the author's intention then job well done.

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Meh

I chose this book because I like Kristen’s narration after listening to the Good Girls Guide to murder books, and I wasn’t disappointed with the story telling. I was let down by the story. At no point did the author successfully make me care for any of the characters, nor was I interested in their future. None of them were likeable in the slightest. Failed at making me see the fascination with Tabitha… literally did not get it. It wasn’t gripping at all, i was counting down the hours to finish it (I never DNF) and I’m glad it’s over. Avoid.

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2 people found this helpful

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Deliciously dark

What a treat. An intriguing and dark premise revealed in a skilful and entertaining way. It is intelligent but accessible. I’m looking forward to more from this author. Excellent choice of narrator who handled a range of accents and voices impressively.

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1 person found this helpful