Florence, 1986. A seemingly inexplicable attack on a church fresco of Adam and Eve brings together an unlikely couple: Julia Wellbeloved, an art student, and Pino Fratelli, a semi-retired detective who longs to be back in the field. Their investigation leads them to the secret society that underpins the city: an elite underworld of excess, violence and desire.
Rich in the culture of Tuscany’s most mysterious city, The Flood takes a dazzling journey into the history of Florence, and to the darkness in Florence’s past: the night of the great flood in 1966…
This is a dazzling Italian mystery, rich with culture, intrigue and dark secrets, from an internationally bestselling crime writer at the height of his powers. David Hewson’s many bestselling works include The Killing and the Nic Costa crime series set in Rome.
This full length novel from David Hewson is an audiobook exclusive from Whole Story Audiobooks. It is narrated by Saul Reichlin, whose multi- award-winning audiobook narrations have attracted many thousands of listeners.
©2013 David Hewson (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
"Hewson is a daunting talent – a writer who is master stylist, who respects the audience’s intelligence and who effortlessly keeps the thrills coming a mile a minute" (Jeffery Deaver)
Thoroughly enjoyed the book! I love the local history and knowledges of art that is woven into David Hewson's books and the characters that occupy his mysteries. As always, it's difficult to stop listening!
Yes, but better if you have been to Florence.
The narration very good. The characters are nicely fleshed out across the story.
Detailed descriptions of interactions between characters in general.
"New characters to engage with"
There is no print version and this is disappointing because I would love to be able to annotate it for my next trip to Firenze.
I kept jumping for character to character, trying to decide who was the guilty one, which I am sure is what David was aiming at. OK ... you got me!
Well performed, although Saul needs to get his pronunciation of the Italian words right and consistent. Occasionally I felt like reaching into the speaker and giving him a good shake.
I sincerely hope that David is going to continue writing the story of these characters. I want to know what happens to them next. He does need to be nicer to Firenze, though. It is a city that you grow to love. I did.
"Not as good as te Rome series"
If you're familiar with the author you'll know that his hall-mark is to hang his crime stories on Italian art and history. This book is set in Florence and is rich in these details. I don't think this book is as good as his Rome series which are centred on detective Nic Costa and his colleagues. The latter are well-rounded characters that enliven the books whereas, apart from ex-detective Flatelli and visiting academic Julia Welbeloved, the many characters in The Flood are not memorable. I also found the writing overly florid in tone and the interplay of art and crime more contrived than usual.
Saul Reichlin is one of my favourite narrators who kept me listening.
"Best this year"
I have enjoyed Hewson's bokks set in Rome, but this one-off, set in Florence was a really great read. Beautifully read by Saul Reichlin. It led to a couple of near sleepless nights as I couldn't stop listening.
The characters, both the main ones of the Italian retired cop, Pino Fratelli, and the English student, Julia Wellbeloved, as well as the less important ones, come alive, as does the city itself.
The desecration of a fresco in 1986 appears to have links to the terrible events of the 1966 floods in Florence, and as Julia is involved by Pino, her landlord, those events are seen in an increasingly dark light.
I recently listened to Dan Brown's Inferno, also set in Florence. That read more as a travelogue, whereas I really felt I was in the city in this book
"Rich in History and Mystery...."
Student Julia Wellbeloved arrives in Florence to write a paper on vandalism to works of art, she's bright and eager and pairs up an ex-policeman on permanent sick leave, he's restless, frustrated and just wants to be of use, so latches onto an attack of a church fresco and the puzzles it throws up like a lifeline and is determined not to be put aside, but to solve the mystery.
Set in 1986 they are pulled into the goings on with the powerful untouchable Medici both past and present being inextricably linked to the great flood in 1966. This is a mystery thriller, rich in history, murder, and plot, being narrated superbly by Saul Reichin,
Pinot is a wonderful character, grumpy, taciturn, with a great sense of duty, you learn the reasons for this and why he feels he never really belonged, his story and character I lapped up. Julia's no-nonsense strong character complimented Pinot's perfectly, I liked the way she took no foolish nonsense, and her independent sometimes stubborn manner.
The telling is multi layered, with a dark undertones, well developed characters and an engaging storyline, this is my first time with David Hewson, and I want more...
"It takes time to get going, but it's worth it"
The reader paces his delivery well and one feels comfortable with his characterisations. Also there are details in the story which only become significant later and it would be worth re-listening to pick those up properly.
The description of the 1966 flood when it hit Florence. The writer brought the terrible event to life from the perspective of someone experiencing it.
The description of the walk along the long corridor which had been used by the Mediccis to walk from home to work without the incovenience of meeting any of the common people. The descriptions of the decorations were fascinating.
I found that I came to like the lead characters and did care what happened to them.
My first experience of the author's work and I shall probably listen to another of his books. The one drawback was his tendency to repeat much loved phrases, particularly his many references to "rusticated stonework".
"Endearing thriller set in Florence"
Endearing thriller set in Florence, superbly read by Saul Reichlin. Up to the usual high standards of David Hewson and Saul Reichlin. Based in comtemporary Florence, and also set the time of the flood. A senior detective is sidelined through illness, but in the charming company of a visiting scholar, sees beyond the initial act of vandalism, an unfolds several murders, both past and present. Well written, well performed, endearing and heart warming.
"Exciting and engrossing"
Set in Florence, this book tells the story of Pinot, a member of the Carabinieri on sick leave and Julia, a graduate student who arrives in the city seeking to write a paper on the reasons why art is attacked and damaged. An act of vandalism on a fresco brings them together and develops into an exciting and well rounded story. The narrative pulls in the story of the flood of Florence in 1966 and very gradually explains the reasons why Pinot is the person he is. This book has everything, murder, political intrigue, rich history and an incredible sense of place. I've never been to Florence but I feels that after listening to this book, when I eventually get there it will seem familiar.
Pinot is one of the most interesting characters I've come across. I warmed to him and rooted for him throughout and hope that there will be a follow up.
The narration by Saul Reichlin is fabulous and really added to my enjoyment.
"David Hewson is there nothing you can't do?"
the narration on this book was wonderful, what I like about audible books is sometimes the books I enjoy are in other parts of the world and I get the proper pronunciation, also I can listen whilst pottering around.
The relationship between the two main characters I really cared about Julia and Pino, I hope there's going to be another book.
What can I say Saul Reichlin is the master of audio, just brilliant in every way
what a brilliant book I do hope this is the begining of a series of more fab books
I did find this a little difficult to 'hang on to'. It has lots of Italian names and titles which needed some concentrated listening. I think it is worth a second listen, and that probably will sort the complexities out for me.
Overall it was a good story, I liked the main characters and was interested about their progress, Saul Reichlin narrates well.
"Keeps up the momentum"
I'd listen to it again - I liked the historical references & descriptions of Florence.
I thought the characters were good.
"Just what i needed"
After listening to an particularly bad audiobook (The Girl in the Spiders Web) I needed a decent book, something with a good plot structure and rich language, so listening to The Flood for the second time was the perfect Tonic. A brilliant story set against the beauty and history of Florence. The narrator added to the overall enjoyment, well worth a listen.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.