Tag Archives: Christopher Fowler

Hot Water by Christopher Fowler- a Review

Standard

This book by the author of the wonderful Bryant and May series is a standalone book set in the area near Nice, France,

The story was intriguing and multi-layered as Fowler’s books always are. He definitely keeps the reader entertained and on tenterhooks. Various threads come together in an intriguing way by the end of the book.

Steve is a 42 year old British man who has a desire to have a sexual relationship with an 18 year old—which, of course, is gross anyway—but it set the stage for the events of the story. Steve arranges to rent a holiday home near Nice for a business trip for his wine business. He invites the girl, Summer, to join him. The leasing agent tells him he has to rent it for two weeks, so he invites the girl for the first week and his wife and son for the second week. He is supposed to arrive a few days before his family so he can sleep with the girl.

Hannah, a 23 year old young woman, is the cleaner for the house that Steve rents. Hannah is not supposed to interact with the guests, but when she meets Summer, she breaks the rule and becomes involved in the girl’s life. Steve’ arrival is delayed and the plans change wherein he’s going to arrive a mere few hours before his family—time enough for a quickie, but then Summer has to go.

The day Steve’s family is supposed to arrive, Hannah can’t get in touch with Summer. She believes the girl left with a gay friend to stay with him now that Steve’s family is arriving. When Hannah arrives to clean, she finds items left by Summer strewn around the place.

As the week goes on, other things appear—like Summer’s phone and passport. The people in the house, Steve, his wife and son as well as Steve’s employee, Giles and his wife, are all hiding things. Everyone in the villa has issues and secrets.

Hannah becomes more and more suspicious about what really happened to her friend. A local child goes missing as well, causing Hannah to investigate that in addition to what happened to Summer. Did her friend leave voluntarily? Did she leave before anyone else arrived? Did she argue with Steve? Is she gone off with friends? Or is her body buried somewhere on the property? And how does the missing child and the gardener fit into the picture? What about the other guests, the villagers and even her boss?

This is a great, convoluted story that really appealed to this reader.  Lots to unpack and a ton of pieces to put together to get to the truth of the events that occurred in the vacation villa. I recommend this one as a fun beach read—even if you’re not in the Cote d’Azur!

“The Victoria Vanishes”- A review

Standard

I love this series of books by Christopher Fowler. The main characters are Bryant and May and they are the lead detectives of the Peculiar Crimes Unit in London. These two men are past the age of retirement but they stay on because their work is so interesting and intriguing. I’ve read all of the prior books in the series and this one is just as great as the others. 

I love this writer. He’s brilliant. He know a lot of wonderful facts about one of my favorite cities in the world, London. His mysteries are sophisticated and complicated. I like that. As someone that can see the endings coming in a lot of books I read, Fowler’s books make me think and I think that’s fantastic.

The characters are all well developed and fully fleshed out. Not only the main characters, but the minor ones as well. 

The Victoria Vanishes is a delightful read. Its premise is unique and the fact that an English pub disappears is a fun start to the tale.  I recommend this whole series.  These old detectives have a lot to offer and they’re both just wonderful characters.