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Summary

She sees everything, but can never tell anyone…a wickedly compulsive thriller from the best-selling author of the Bryant & May series.

At a beautiful villa in the south of France, Hannah Carreras works as a maid. Under strict instructions never to speak to the guests, she blends into the background - but she sees everything, including the mistress, Summer, lounging by the pool, awaiting the arrival of her married lover, Steve.

When Steve finally shows at the villa - with his family unexpectedly in tow - Summer has vanished. Steve claims he never saw her. But Steve’s wife is no fool: she knows there’s something going on. Whose tiny bikini lies by the pool? Whose perfume is in the bathroom?

Before long, the local police start asking questions, and the villa’s occupants have something to hide. Only Hannah, always listening, watching, saw broken glass and blood near the pool the day Summer disappeared. Only Hannah thinks she knows what lies are being told....

©2022 Christopher Fowler (P)2022 W F Howes

Critic reviews

“Devilishly clever.” (Val Mcdermid)

“A first-class thriller, but don’t expect any sleep.” (Sunday Telegraph)

“The writing is as ever fluid and pacey, the characterization deft and the plot fresh and ingenious." (Independent on Sunday)

What listeners say about Hot Water

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Thoroughly enjoying this and wanted to review NOW!🤗

Oh this book is SO SO good and everything i love in a book! The holiday scene and drama!🤗 i will review properly when finished but I’m already dreading it ending and will be GUTTED! Until this book i had went through about 15 books trying to get 1 i liked😩so that tells you how good it caught my attention and i was hooked from the start! Definitely looking for more from this author 👏🏽👏🏽 LOVE LOVE LOVE it!👏🏽♥️ Also the narrator is absolutely BRILLIANT! One of the very best I’ve heard! So so good!👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

3 people found this helpful

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was this really Christopher Fowler? not for me.

not what I was expecting, has he lost his humour.
bring g back the pensioners!

2 people found this helpful

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A bit disappointing

I love the Bryant and May books and read good reviews for this one so gave it a try. Whilst the writing is as ever, very good, and the narration is excellent, I was disappointed with the story. All of the characters bar one or two are not very nice people and I felt no affinity for them. The story kept me listening but I found the end very disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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Stunning, spellbinding book - loved every minute!

"Hot Water" is by far the best book I have read in a very long time and definitely head and shoulders above any others so far in 2022. I did try a Bryant and May by the same author but it just was not for me - but this is perfection!

I adored the beautiful, evocative way it was written that so eloquently and elegantly captured so many familiar feelings, atmospheres and landscapes. Oh how I would love to be able to write in such a hypnotic and spellbinding way.

The whole book reminded me in ways of a holiday where the surroundings are new and entrancing and though nothing much happens you are still swept away by the beauty and newness of it all and every moment seems momentous. Then the times when so many exciting things happen and you are swept away by the adventure of it all. In short I really do feel like I just got back from an amazing and eventful holiday in the South of France ... badly needed as it is nearly three years since my last jaunt and I have very itchy feet.

I loved also the fabulous descriptions of the characters and how multi dimensional they all were. Layers upon layers of backstory made them all so real and I really enjoyed the detailed descriptions of how they looked and what they wore so it seemed like I could really see and hear them.

The narration was sublime and though I am not very proficient in French all the pronunciation sounded very authentic and fluent to me which really added to the story. The characters really came to life also with their different voices and everything really just came beautifully to life. A few English and Spanish words were mispronounced (Almeria, fetid, redolent, Martinez etc.) which surprised me as otherwise the narration was flawless and really brought it all to life and lovely to listen to.

This book gripped me from the very start and kept me listening through the day, when I usually only listen late at night and early morning, but I could not put this down. Not only did it have plots within plots, red herrings chasing other red herrings, snapshots of dreams of lives of marriages and of desires but it was just so beautifully written that it was a joy to immerse yourself in.

The sun, the style of the South of France, the quirky characters, the relationships and the fabulously described luxurious villa and scenery which contrasted so well with the locals and village life -it would have been an amazing book with just that - but then the mystery, the brooding menace, the seething tensions and then seeing it all from so many point of view - it was all simply divine.

So many twists and turns, plots and sub plots - it simply writhed with intrigue like a basket of roiling serpents that it was a totally immersive experience. Of course it is relatively easy to build mystery but this intricately woven story just kept gloriously giving until the last secret was prised open for a genius reveal.

I am just so sorry it is over and I feel like I have just walked out of the cinema, blinking in the daylight after watching an epic movie.

Speaking of which I think this is begging to be put on the screen as the writing is so vivid I feel like I already saw it in 3D.

A galaxy of stars for this bewitching mystery - thanks so much Christopher Fowler and Rachel Atkins.

I am so hoping for another stand alone like this one soon.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

Very different from Bryant and May, whom I hugely enjoy, but equally as good . For once my guess at the ending was only half right. Would recommend this book , once you start listening you will not want to stop.

1 person found this helpful

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Good narration can't save this

On the plus side, the author writes a whole cast of characters you can't help but hate, which is the sign of a good writer. The narration is very good, and the quick pace made me want to keep going. But it's all so implausible that by the end I just wanted it to end.

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Okay but please bring back Bryant & May

Definitely worth listening to but gets a bit silly towards the end
Narrator was brilliant!

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If you enjoyed Bryant & May, then DON’T read this! Depressing.

It’s incredibly depressing, there is zero humour or warmth and none of the characters are sympathetic or likeable.

Perfectly good mystery in and of itself but don’t go into expecting the joy and depth of B&M.

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Not like previous

I wanted something in the style of Bryant and May, but this wasn't it.

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Light holiday read

Easy light listen to. This story while good in the beginning began to drag a bit by the end. Was narrated well which made it interesting but the characters were quite one dimensional.