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Summary

Two weeks at a stunning villa, in the South of France, was supposed to heal the rifts in this fractured family. Flaky croissants and rich, black coffee every morning before long days by the sparkling pool. Balmy candlelit dinners, once the kids have gone to bed.

But Nora is shaking, as she gathers her family around the large, oak table on the terrace, at the front of the villa. Her two daughters eye her suspiciously as she tops up her wine and clears her throat to speak. But when she opens her mouth, the secret Nora came here to tell won’t come out....

©2022 Clare Boyd (P)2022 Bookouture, an imprint of Storyfire Ltd.

What listeners say about The Villa

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Family drama about illness and kids not a thriller

After devouring the beyond excellent "Hot Water" by Christopher Fowler, I was looking forward to a another vicarious holiday in the sunny South of France with mystery, menace and tricky twists and turns to intrigue, excite and delight. In other words ...a destination thriller.

However although "The Villa" is listed and promoted as a "thriller" I found it very far from that.

There are books in which there are families and then there books where it seems to be all about the business of being a family, parents mithering over children, loads of details of everyday school pick ups, packed lunches and general grind of parenting which are the meat of the book rather than part of a plot. "The Villa" seems to lean firmly towards the latter with much immersion in the day to day dynamics of a multi generational family and I got so bored with family drama I never got to see even the hint of the promised thriller.

Full disclosure, I put it on, liked the narration, endured the pre holiday description of a tea-obsessed character who turned down the offer of a seemingly fabulous trip to Costa Rica and bitter post divorce mum and daughters moving into a grim house they think is not good enough for them and are depressed about.

Then there was a depressing blow by blow account of what it is like to go to an airport with three children, a sister and a mum. It is so long since I have been in an airport but I did not need a refresher course on how stressful and unpleasant it can be especially as by this time there was family fighting .............. YAWN.

Yes you guessed it ... I fell asleep . Then when I woke up it was all about someone breaking the news that they have cancer.

That is enough for me so I am returning this audiobook asap
There is enough real illness and sadness in the world without reading about made up grinding awfulness.

I was looking for a bit of escapism, skulduggery in the sun and this is more depressing and hard work than my own life in the rain and bitter cold. I am sure some people love domestic drama and hearing about families dealing with illness but perhaps it might have been better not to call the book a thriller or set it in a potentially glamorous location as this has just been such a disappointment for a whodunnit fan looking for something to cheer them up.

This sadly is the third in a run of disappointing books "The Curfew" by TM Logan (more how to raise a teenager than thriller) and "The Club" by Ellery Lloyd which while it does have murder, glamorous celebs and luxurious location, took a turn for the cartoonishly far-fetched fairly early on.

Oh dear ... for those people who love thrillers and the idea of immersing yourself in a luxurious villa in the South of France wheer tension crackles and the plot roils and boils like a cauldron of vipers then I suggest you give "The Villa" a miss and immediately grab the fabulous "Hot Water" by Christopher Fowler, which I so wish I was still reading or at least could find one even half as good.

Audible - could you please have a think about re-categorising this book as, although I gave up quite early on, it really seems devoid of any thrills at all and certainly no suspense or mystery I could detect.

5 people found this helpful

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No Excitement

I spent the whole time waiting for something good to happen. It seemed as though it was building up to something but I was disappointed

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The worst listen ever

I can honestly say I hated this book. The story is horrible and is definitely not a thriller.
I didn’t like any of the characters especially the grandmother. The grandmother’s crime is unforgivable.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this! Karen Cass was OUTSTANDING as always 👏🏽💯

The title and picture of this book drew me in straight away, and then to see my favourite narrator Karen Cass reading it was the reason i went ahead and got this book😊 it’s definitely not a thriller which it was under that category, but i loved every second of it and couldn’t stop listening! Nearly done it in 1 day! Karen was utterly utterly absolutely OUTSTANDING, as she always is👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 and the story was so good! Thank you Clare Boyd for a brilliant story! I’m gutted it’s finished 😩😊thank you Karen Cass, you have an AMAZING talent, you made this book what it was for sure!🥰👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 thank you audible for another BRILLIANT book!!! 10/10 from me🤗👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽♥️♥️♥️xxxx