Review – The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn

Posted May 12, 2021 by Carole in Reviews / 13 Comments

Review – The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. DornThe Anatomy of Desire by L. R. Dorn
Narrator: Full Cast
ISBN: 9780063041950
Published by HarperAudio, HarperCollins on May 11, 2021
Genres: Crime, Fiction, Literary, Psychological, Thrillers
Pages: 320
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Amazon | Audible | B&N | Kobo |

Performed docuseries style by a star-studded full cast including Santino Fontana, Shelby Young , Marin Ireland, JD Jackson, Dan Bittner, Vikas Adam, Gabra Zackman, Fred Berman, Darrell Dennis, Oliver Wyman, Jonathan Davis, Hilary Huber, and Lisa Flanagan

For fans of riveting true crime docuseries a la Serial and Making a Murderer, The Anatomy of Desire is a modern tale of crime and punishment exploring unbridled ambition, blinding passion, and the dark side of desire

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

One summer day, Cleo and a woman named Beck Alden set off in a canoe on a serene mountain lake. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water and Cleo is missing. Authorities suspect foul play, and news of Cleo’s involvement goes viral. Who was Beck? An infatuated follower? Were she and Cleo friends or lovers? Was Beck’s death an accident . . . or murder?

Told in the form of an immersive investigative docuseries, L. R. Dorn’s brilliant reimagining of Theodore Dreiser’s classic crime drama, An American Tragedy, captures the urgency and poignance of the original and rekindles it as a very contemporary and utterly mesmerizing page-turner.

I had such a good time with this book! I have listened to a few audiobooks narrated by full casts and I usually really enjoy the experience so I jumped at the chance to review this book. The really liked the idea that this book was told as if it were a podcast and I couldn’t wait to see how the story would unfold.

This book tells the story of Cleo Ray. Cleo is a very popular fitness influencer on Instagram and YouTube and her life is more than a little complicated. Cleo and Beck go out on a remote lake and Beck is found dead in the water soon after with Cleo nowhere in sight. This story chronicles the events leading up to that day and the journey to justice. The book is told as a podcast where Cleo’s life and actions are looked at in great detail.

There was plenty of excitement in this story. There were times that I thought that I had everything figured out only to learn something new that changed my whole perspective. This really was a complex story and there were a lot of surprises that popped up throughout the novel. Some characters are only met briefly but I thought that they all felt very authentic.

The full cast narration of this book really took things to the next level. This is an all-star cast of narrators and they all did an amazing job with the book. The story was narrated in a manner that it really felt like I was listening to a pod cast complete with episode breaks. I loved the back and forth between the narrators and I thought that this style of narration was perfect for this book. I feel like audio is the way to go with this book and I really enjoyed the whole experience.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that it was incredibly well done and immensely entertaining. I would not hesitate to read more of this writing pair’s work in the future.

I received a copy of this audiobook from HarperAudio via

13 responses to “Review – The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn

  1. Yeah, that does sound like a fun and interesting way to tell a mystery. I love it when new leads happen and suddenly the whole situation is flipped. Sounds great, Carole!

  2. Hooray for the full-cast narration! I can see where that would really make the whole experience more exciting and immersive. I need to see if my library has this on audio.

  3. Yay for complex stories and surprises! I also love audiobooks that have multiple narrators (Daisy Jones & the Six comes to mind), so I might pass on reading my ARC and just go for the audio. I’m so happy you enjoyed this one since I’ve been really looking forward to reading it. 🙂

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? ?

  4. I wish I could focus more on audios, but I do want to read this one regardless!! I love that it has so many twists and aspects that make up the book. It sounds fantastic.


  5. I’m reading this one right now, and the format has been a bit jarring. I think this may be one of the few times where the audio version actually works better than the written words.