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The Heatwave

Narrated by: Miranda Raison
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The Heatwave is coming.... This summer's perfect poolside listening - a captivating story of a long-buried family secret.

In Provence, under a sweltering sun, Sylvie returns to the crumbling family home of La Reverie. In her hand is the letter that summoned her, and by her side is Emma, her youngest daughter.

Yet every corner of the house is haunted by the spectre of Elodie, her first child. Beautiful, manipulative Elodie, whose long-ago death the villagers still whisper about.

Sylvie has tried to put the past behind her. But like the spreading forest fires, memories of Elodie seem to be creeping ever closer.

Because there's a secret Sylvie has concealed about what happened to Elodie all those summers ago....

©2020 Kate Riordan (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Exquisite writing and a compelling story that will keep you up late into the night!" (Katie Fforde, best-selling author of A Rose Petal Summer)

"[H]umming with heat, secrets and suspense. I loved it." (Dinah Jeffries, best-selling author of The Tea Planter's Wife)

"Sultry, atmospheric and unsettling - a book to lose yourself in this summer." (Erin Kelly, best-selling author of He Said She Said)

What listeners say about The Heatwave

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

Simply in a class of its own - OUTSTANDING!

What a fabulous treat "The Heatwave" is. I gave it 5 stars all round but if I could I would have given it 100 stars as simply in a different league from the thrillers which I usually read and enjoy.

What made it so very special?

Firstly the narration was just top notch. My French is not great but Miranda Raison sounded fluent to me, both in the small amounts of French and the French accent was seamless and just so beautiful to listen too.

Secondly the location. In these days where foreign holidays seem like an impossible dream, this audio book effortlessly whisked me away to the south of France in a sizzling heatwave. Oh the joy of it! The descriptions of the sounds and smells, gentle breezes, cicadas chirping, oppressive heat, welcome chill of the pool, the snacks, the gorgeous house, the spooky barn. I feel I may have got a tan from just listening to all the evocative and delightful descriptions which just immerses the listener into a different, magical and thrilling world.

Thirdly the way the menace, suspense and intrigue ramped up without it being gory or grisly. I think this is the real magic of the book and genius of the author. It casts a terrifying spell without resorting to cheap thrills or horror and yet it is terrifying, brooding and unsettling with mounting tension which is as stifling as the titular heatwave itself.

It puts me in mind of fabulous classics by Daphne du Maurier and even Wilkie Collins as well as Agatha Christie at her best. and I saw it in my mind much like one of the great Hitchcock movies, stylish, thrilling, haunting, atmospheric and steeped in so much scintillating suspense

There is real depth to it and while it has a romantic faded nostalgic feel to it in places with the old family home the topic are very much of the moment and very zeitguisty and fresh. I loved the way that although this story with it's fabulous twists and unexpected revelations is about a family it is just about as far from a kitchen sink drama as you can.

I immediately gave it to my mother as soon as I had finished it and she polished it off in two sittings and loved it just as much as I did. My mother is super fussy and loses interest in many books and just could not be bothered to finish them or complains about narration or sloppy editing but she had not one complaint about this excellent book and agreed it was really head and shoulders above any thriller she had read for many years.

I get through quite a lot of murder, mystery, suspenseful psychological thrillers and I really enjoy a lot of them and rate them as 5 stars - but this book really was just so much more haunting, rich and immersive and it slipped and slid, twisted and turned as unpredictably as a sleek eel slithering though shady, sun-dappled seaweed - simply sensational!

This book is going onto my all time favourite books and with Miranda Raison's sublime narration it really is a delicious, irresistible treat best enjoyed sitting in the sun with a glass of wine, maybe a little fine french cheese, ripe tomatoes and a crusty baguette!!!

This unique book is perfection!

I simply cannot recommend it enough - 1,000 stars!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn’t stop listening!💯😁

Narrator AMAZING!!💯👏🏽😁I actually got this thinking it would be about sun, holiday etc and its not.... but WOW it was great! Thoroughly enjoyed this book and I actually couldn’t stop listening and was doing extra jobs in the house so i could listen more😁 The narrator done an AMAZING job too💯👏🏽she was exceptional! I could actually relate to alot of the things the main character says so it had me engrossed. Brilliant author and brilliant narrator! Really really enjoyed it! Thank you to audible for ANOTHER fabulous book!🤗💯👏🏽😁♥️ps im very fussy and hard to please!😊xxxxxxxxx

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent

Intriguing , page turning, enhanced by Maranda Raisen as narrator
I didn’t expect the ending as it turned out , which was refreshing as there’s nothing worse than knowing the ending before you get to it!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Well written and narrated. An enjoyable and gripping story. Very evocative of the area. Well crafted ,credible characters. My first experience of Kate Riordan's work. Will definitely be looking out for more!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Intelligently written and excellently narrated

This is a brooding and unsettling, psychological suspense, and Miranda Raison’s narration is sublime. Her beautiful voice and glorious French accent are so easy to listen to.

Interestingly told from a mother’s perspective to her youngest daughter, this is not simply a compellingly tense family saga but so much more. There is real depth to the story. The atmosphere is palpable with an evocative sense of place; the story capturing the zeitgeist of the early 1990s in the South of France during an oppressively sizzling heatwave. The old family home casts a romantic and faded nostalgic backdrop to a mystery, which, as it unravels, becomes ever more sinister and unnerving, and caused me to have great sympathy for Sylvie, the mother. With its fabulous twists and unexpected revelations, the mounting tension is heightened by atmospheric flashbacks, and as wild fires encroach ever nearer, threatening not only the surrounding area but also the house itself, there is an impending sense of dread.

‘The Heatwave’ felt very menacing and foreboding without resorting to grisly horror tactics, which only made it the more terrifying. Stylish, thrilling, haunting, atmospheric and steeped in suspense, it kept me listening long into the night.

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YAWN

Sorry but weird story, don’t t rate it at all.
Very disappointed after the good reviews.

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A new author discovered

A tense gripping tale, not always easy listening but brilliantly constructed. The quality of writing was excellent, bring to life the french countryside.
Narration was powerful.
Will listen to more books by this author.

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The Heatwave

I found this book really slow and repetitive. I was glad when it was finally over.

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Fantastique!

Narration was superb! being bilingual and having lived in Belgium as a child, it was such a joy to hear French treated as it should be, rather than the accent mimicked as it usually is. the story was great as well; kept me guessing! the language and atmosphere were sublime - both eras perfectly captured. just loved it- great characters. Merci!

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Unexpected and gripping plot line

I have read most of Kate Riordan's books, and enjoyed everyone. This is no exception. So well written, so captivating and so enthralling.