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Undertow Hardcover – 22 Sep 2016

3.9 out of 5 stars 71 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (22 Sept. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1786481669
  • ISBN-13: 978-1786481665
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

An immersing story, reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca . . . The "hidden currents" that keep us submerged in Undertow are not only those of the sea, but the fear and suspicion that swell catastrophically through the most intimate relationships (Observer)

Absolutely gripping, I raced through Undertow - if you've got a journey to go on, an appointment to wait for, then pick it up and watch the time disappear (Rosamund Lupton, Richard and Judy bestselling author)

A tense, gripping thriller that kept me turning the pages long into the night, desperate to know whom to trust (Tammy Cohen, author of When She Was Bad)

The market is absolutely flooded with psychological thrillers at the moment, and it takes something really special to stand out. Take a bow, Elizabeth Heathcote, because this chilling, twisty and hugely atmospheric tale is standing head and shoulders above the rest . . . This slow-burn tale sneaks up and grabs you by the throat, right when you least it expect it. Brilliant! (Heat)

Buckle up for this gripping psychological thriller (Marie Claire)

Book Description

My husband's lover. They said her death was a tragic accident. And I believed them . . . until now.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
So often you can see the end coming with psychological thrillers, but I didn't for a second, see this one. A tautly written, sophisticated drama that perfectly captured the claustrophobia and intensity of the domestic noir genre. I totally believed the characters and it kept me turning the pages until the end. I couldn't put it down!
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By Katharine Kirby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 Jun. 2016
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With more than a nod to the second Mrs. de Winter, from 'Rebecca'; Elizabeth Heathcote's gripping story centres around slightly naive and unassuming Carmen, who has married an older chap with a past, most importantly, an ex girlfriend, who met a mysterious and watery end.

Tom is a successful lawyer, a man who has a way with words. What has been left unsaid is however more worrying. His first wife, cool and organised Laura, has kept 'The Vicarage', and the custody of their three children, Mel, Jake and Mercy. When seeing them every other weekend, Carmen and Tom usually decamp to their seaside second home, a bungalow by the beach at 'St. Jude's'. All seems as good as it can be, until Carmen begins to question what actually happened to 'the one before her', Zena, a glamourous, ambitious magazine journalist who went swimming one night, only to be washed up dead on the beach shortly after, with a head wound. Neighbour Paula had found her body when out walking the dog with her daughter, which is how the story begins.

The tension racks up to bar tight as more and more secrets are revealed, in the contemporary way, by computer searches, investigations on facebook, then tracking down gossip and some busy sleuthing by Carmen. Can she trust her new husband? Is he covering up a crime? I read this in one gulp and loved it; it is an easy read in that it feels like a movie you want to watch to the end before going to bed. You might want to invest in some window locks though!
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Format: Hardcover
Undertow, by Elizabeth Heathcote, is a psychological thriller with an intriguing synopsis, a gripping opening chapter, an acceptable enough denouement, but a plot and character development that just didn’t do it for me. The manner in which the protagonist acted too often lacked plausibility, as did the reaction she encountered from certain minor characters. I struggled to maintain engagement.

Carmen is married to Tom. They both have a history. Prior to meeting her husband, Carmen had been with Nick for fifteen years. Shortly after they split up, due to Nick’s unfaithfulness, the struggling actor got his big break and is now living the celebrity lifestyle in LA. Tom’s background is a part of his and Carmen’s everyday life. He has regular contact with his three children from a twelve year marriage to Laura. However, it is not Laura and the children who his latest wife has difficulty dealing with but the memory of Zena, a beautiful young woman Tom had an affair with, who he left his family for, and who subsequently died in a drowning accident close to their coastal holiday home.

Carmen and Tom had told each other of their pasts when they met. Their romance led to marriage within months and they are trying for a baby. It is only when Carmen starts to learn of the circumstances surrounding Zena’s death that she becomes aware there is much Tom has not shared. He has not, for instance, told her that he was supected of causing his lover’s death.

Carmen is a freelance journalist struggling to find work so her desire to dig out the facts and her doggedness in approaching those who may have known Zena can be explained. What I struggled with was marrying this side of her character with the prevarications she displayed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Persuaded to read this title by Rosamund Lupton's review but was quite disappointed. The ending was strangely flat and I couldn't really understand the moral complacency of the heroine.
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Format: Paperback
As soon as I spotted the cover of Undertow, my curiosity level went through the roof. Whose death was an accident? Why is there hair on the cover? What on EARTH does ‘undertow’ mean?
Those were just some of the questions that were going through my mind, even before I had opened the book. Questions which could only get answered by paying close attention to the storyline and the information it held. But, as soon as the story began, I ended up with even more questions than I started with and I couldn’t wait to see how the storyline was going to unfold.
Carmen was a tough character to warm to, yet she exuded a lot of warmth to those around her. It just wasn’t a vibe that lingered with her once she was on her own, and of course I wondered why. Did she feel as though she had to prove herself when it came to ex-wife, Jenny, and dead ex-girlfriend, Zena?
The further I got into the book, the more unsettled I became. I knew something wasn’t right, yet I had no idea what. There were signs, little pieces of information which were a long way off from being complete. Red herrings perhaps? For me, yes. However, due to the additional vibes from Carmen as the book went on, my own reactions ended up mirroring hers. Her shock became my shock, her fear became my fear; hell yeah I was on edge but it wasn’t the uncomfortable or disturbing sort. It was the unsettled, nervous, spine tingling on edge feeling.
Pardon my bluntness but I absolutely despised Tom and everything he stood for. He was such an arrogant and nasty piece of work, yet he most certainly made his presence known in the storyline.
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