Radiant Heat

Books on Tape. Jan. 2024. 10:10 hrs. ISBN 9780593746981. $85.50. M
Alison King survives a devastating wildfire in her Australian home by sheltering under a wet blanket, emerging to find a scorched landscape, with downed trees blocking her long driveway. As she picks her way toward the main road, she finds a car crushed under a toppled tree. She doesn’t know the dead woman inside the vehicle, but she bears an uncanny resemblance to Alison, and it appears that the woman was coming to see her. But why? Alison needs to find out. By her own admission, Alison always makes the worst decisions. She chooses the bad boyfriend. She drinks to excess. She puts off decisions. Instead of letting the police do their job, she conducts her own dangerous investigation, unearthing clues that return her to a past she would rather forget. Australian actor Tamsin Carroll communicates the harshness of the Australian landscape, delivering a gripping character study of an occasionally frustrating yet compelling protagonist.
VERDICT Collins’s claustrophobic debut is recommended for those seeking a layered psychological mystery that touches on topics such as sexual abuse, stalking, and the power of nature’s fury.
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