Radiant Heat (Hardcover)

Radiant Heat By Sarah-Jane Collins Cover Image
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When a catastrophic wildfire suddenly rips through a woman’s hometown, she thinks she is lucky to have survived . . . until she finds a dead woman in her driveway, clutching a piece of paper with her name on it. . . .

The blaze came out of nowhere one summer afternoon, a wall of fire fed by blustering wind. Yet, somehow, Alison is alive. She rode out the fire on the damp tiles of her bathroom, her entire body swaddled in a wet woolen blanket. As flames crackled around her, the bitter char of eucalyptus settled in the back of her throat, each breath more desperate than the last. 

The wildfire that devastated the Victoria countryside Alison calls home sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to obliterate the carefully constructed life she is living. When Alison emerges from her sheltering place, she spots a soot-covered cherry red car in her driveway, and in it, a dead woman. Alison has never met Simone Arnold in her life . . . or so she thinks. So what is she doing here? 

As Alison searches for answers across Australia’s scorched bushlands, she soon learns that the fire isn’t the only threat she’s facing. . . .

About the Author

Sarah-Jane Collins is a writer, editor, and journalist from Meanjin (Brisbane), Australia, who moved to New York by way of Gadigal land (Sydney) and Narrm (Melbourne).  Her work has appeared in the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, Meanjin, Overland, and others. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University. Her fiction has won the Overland Fair Australia Prize and been short-listed for other awards. Although New York is home now, she misses the beaches of Australia, but not the spiders.

Praise For…

“A sense of blooming dread, and the deft, finely painted lines of an artist at work. This close and claustrophobic mystery captures something important about disaster – the way it can crest a hill and we find ourselves woefully unprepared. A finely observed and utterly compulsive read.”
Hayley Scrivenor, bestselling author of Dirt Creek

"Gripping from the first page, this tale of destruction, survival, and mysteries uncovered in the ashes kept me up late into the night."
Kate Alice Marshall, author of What Lies in the Woods

"Sarah-Jane Collins leans on her reporting experience on the aftermath of the Black Saturday wildfires in her native Australia, as well as stories about crimes against women in Victoria, to infuse "Radiant Heat" with precision and emotional force...the story of not only a community's recovery but a woman's reclamation of her power and her life."
LA Times

“The claustrophobic atmosphere of a raging wildfire is handled well. Fans of Jane Harper’s Australian novels will want to try this debut featuring an unreliable narrator.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“A vivid, emotionally intense, and satisfyingly cerebral psychological thriller in the manner of Tana French or Gillian Flynn, Collins’ sharp and probing debut, with an added environmental message, serves up a complex narrative of exposure and retribution.”

“Nimbly balancing character study and straight-up mystery, Collins is patient with her reveals, but never at the expense of the book's steady momentum. This is a writer to watch.”
Publishers Weekly

"Collins writes with incredible pace and precision, knowing exactly when to bring tension to a roiling boil and when to lower it to a suspenseful simmer. Radiant Heat will hook you with its lively prose and thrilling premise, but it's Collins’ unflinching portrayal of a woman in grief and rage that'll make it difficult to forget this complex debut."
Jean Kyoung Frazier, author of Pizza Girl

“Atmospheric and gut-wrenching, Radiant Heat crackles with electricity. Collins has woven a masterful tale of grief and revenge and the vulnerability of our lives battling against the force of the elements, both within ourselves and outside.” 
Melissa Larsen, author of Shutter

"A searing, gorgeous novel twisting and turning with obsession, grief, fear, and survival. Collins’ writing is as fierce as it is thoughtful. You’ll feel the blistering air in your lungs and the scorched earth beneath your feet. Radiant Heat will haunt you, long after the last page."
CJ Leede, author of Maeve Fly

"A vivid and propulsive novel that shimmers with the heat and intensity of the Australian bush, where the lingering threat of violence hangs over the raw, visceral beauty of the landscape. Collins has crafted an unforgettable tale of survival, resilience, and community in the aftermath of personal and collective grief. Radiant Heat is a thrillingly suspenseful, heartbreaking and ultimately exhilarating read."
Madelaine Lucas, author of Thirst for Salt

"Radiant Heat is sharp, intense and propulsive. Sarah-Jane Collins weaves a story of environmental catastrophe and its aftermath with a compelling mystery that raises meaningful questions about the world and the self. An impressive debut."
Sam Lipsyte, author of No One Left to Come Looking for You

"Sarah-Jane Collins’ thrilling debut heralds the arrival of a first-rate storyteller with a bright future and talent to burn."
Elissa Schappell, author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls

"Riveting. Smoldering. Chilling. By weaving a psychological thriller into a backdrop of ecological disaster, Collins ingeniously captures how the most intimate betrayals produce trauma of planetary dimensions. Radiant Heat scalds in the way only honest fiction can."
Jakob Guanzon, author of Abundance

"Fans of Tana French and Jane Harper will enjoy Sarah-Jane Collins’ excellent debut thriller, Radiant Heat. It boasts a rich setting and a complex, well-drawn heroine, but it’s the quality of Collins’ prose that sets this book apart from other entries in the genre. A huge accomplishment, and a delight to read."
Nicola Maye Goldberg, author of Nothing Can Hurt You

"A spectacular novel about survival, grief, and strength, Radiant Heat cuts to the heart of what it takes for one woman to live beyond immeasurable personal and collective violence. Here is a haunting, heart-rending mystery that moves with such breathtaking grace and force, it carries the unstoppable spread of fire itself."
Mina Seçkin, author of The Four Humors

"Sarah Jane-Collins's Radiant Heat is a smart, gripping thriller that deftly draws a connection between violences both personal and ecological. Radiant Heat is a scorching page-turner."
—Isle McElroy, author of People Collide

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593550342
ISBN-10: 059355034X
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: January 23rd, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English