• Wildfire at Midnight

  • By: Mary Stewart
  • Narrated by: Lucy Paterson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (236 ratings)

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Wildfire at Midnight

By: Mary Stewart
Narrated by: Lucy Paterson
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Publisher's Summary

The pioneer of romantic suspense, Mary Stewart leads her listeners on an unforgettable ride across the Isle of Skye in this tale perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym. 

Following a heartbreaking divorce, Gianetta retreats to the Isle of Skye hoping to find tranquillity in the island's savage beauty. But shortly before her arrival a girl's body is found on the craggy slopes of the looming Blue Mountain, and with the murderer still on the loose, there's nothing to stop him from setting his sights on Gianetta next....

One arrogant wing of rock thrust itself across the sun, flinging a diagonal shadow over the bay. My eye was drawn to the great lonely bulk of the mountain in the east, stooping over the valley like a hawk. Blaven. The Blue Mountain.

©1956 Mary Stewart (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

What listeners say about Wildfire at Midnight

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent

As with all of Mary Stewart's books, the story is terrific, and characters are well drawn. The performance was great, right down to the tough-to-do Scottish accents. I just wish more of Ms. Stewart's books were available.

13 people found this helpful

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So excited!

I’ve been wanting Mary Stewart books on audible for years! I couldn’t believe it when I logged in to use my last credit and saw that they now are.

This is one of my favorite stories from her, because it’s set in Scotland - in Skye. The narrator did a great job, I thought. Can’t wait to read the next one.

5 people found this helpful

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Great to see this writer being re-released

Memorable for those of us who were around in the 1960’s and read Ms Stewart’s books. Her talent is on par with Agatha Christie and surpasses her as a romantic mystery writer. I’m waiting for many of her other books to come out in audio. She weaves a brilliant picture of place and yet it is timeless.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Maybe if you are an unsophisticated adolescent....

you might enjoy this story. I did, when I was 13 or 14, and it is embarrassing to admit that. This heroine's spunkiness beggars belief, as does her stupidity. And her willingness, even eagerness, to believe - based on zero evidence - that her ex-husband is a sick, twisted, serial killer is appalling. And her inability to shoot the real killer as he inexorably advances on her is disgusting.
Ugh.

5 people found this helpful

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Suspense and romance in the highlands of Scotland.

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart is an evocative mystery set on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. This audio book is excellently narrated by the talented Lucy Paterson.
To say this book is captivating, is an understatement! It’s very exciting, the Scottish scenery is fantastic and the characters are so interesting! It’s a fabulous book! I highly recommend it.

4 people found this helpful

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Entertaining listen but weak character development

This review contains dome spoilers. The performance was a wonderfully entertaining listen with the narrator’s voices beautifully portraying the characters’ personalities in a believable manner. The story was weak, however, with suspense due to the protagonist’s own stupidity and panic. She is the weakest and least perceptive of any of Stewart’s heroines. Not until the very end does she show any sort of sense and then only briefly. Her ex husband is manipulative and emotionally abusive which is never dealt with adequately.

Slightly abusive men are a recurring character in Stewart’s work. I suppose these men are more real than others. There really are only human beings, not the stereotypical “knights in shining armor” types. This story more than most brings this out. While the abuse is acknowledged, how it is dealt with is not obvious from the text. In fact, the heroine continues to take responsibility for others’ bad behavior, and the ex husband continues to treat her badly through the end of the story. It only stops after she almost dies and with a rather lame sounding apology. Showing how both characters had grown and worked out their problems would have made this a better book.

Having said all this, I still enjoyed Stewart’s vivid descriptions of places I will never be able to visit. I like the way she writes, with sentence that are a kind of meal to themselves. As noted, the narrator was wonderful so I was glad for the slight escape into the Scottish mountains.

2 people found this helpful

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A dark thriller from the 1950s

A lot darker than most of Mary Stewart's books. The murders are a bit gruesome with just a little bit of romance to lighten it up a bit. Set on the Island of Skye in Scotland in 1953. There is a serial murder on the loose who must be one of the small group at the hotel. Who can you trust and where can you hide? It reads like an Agatha Christie thriller. The narrator did a lovely job, especially with the accents.

2 people found this helpful

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Great mystery

Mary Stewart was an extraordinary writer and this traveling murder mystery is an exemplary example. The twists, red herrings, and suspense are grippingly fascinating.
As is often the case in Mary Stewart’s mysteries, our intrepid heroine is an ordinary woman traveling somewhere and due to her bad timing and inherent decency ends up involved in a mystery, often with murder involved, and helps solve the case. She often blunders a bit and ends up discovering the murderer while in a perilous situation. The scenery and people are written so beautifully that it is easy to get caught up in the story and see the the mountains, crevasses, choppy sea and wind blown heather and envision the characters.
The narrator was smooth and expressive although the individual voices were not all easily discerned. There were many different voices though and to her credit she was consistent with the inflections and dialects as a whole.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Narrative

Mary Stewart is such a good storyteller. This is one of her earlier works and really give color to Great Britain in the 1950s. Enough mystery and suspense for a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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great as always

Most of Mary Stewart's novels are essentially the same story, the merlin series excluded, but I love each one. The heroines are all unique and I love them all. The language is beautiful and sophisticated but the read still feels comfortable. I am pleased with this purchase.

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  • Maggie
  • 08-12-18

An old friend, now updated with great narration

I was so pleased to discover that after all these years Mary Stewart's stand alone novels appear to be being recorded, one at a time. I've already listened to This Rough Magic, and it seems that Emilia Fox will be reading Madam, Will You Talk for us by November. Based on the first two releases, if all the books are likely to follow, it seems we could be in for an enjoyable winter!
This book is set in 1953, during the Coronation, a lifetime ago for so many, but it's still a murder mystery with a difference and whilst sorry to disagree with the other reviewer on Audible.com who also first read it in her teens, I think it does stand the test of time. It's of its time, and that was a different world, but that doesn't mean the story no longer works. It does.
The risk to climbers in the Cuillins hasn't changed, nor has the changing weather and sudden blanketing mists on Skye. It's the classic small group of people in one place (here a hotel) who have a dawning realisation that accidents are not accidents but murder - probably by one amongst them - and that slowly builds the tension. No spoilers, just give it a go.
Wildfire has never seemed, for me, to be one of the best of Ms. Stewart's stand alone novels, and the characters in the book aren't as strong as in some (such as This Rough Magic,The Ivy Tree or My Brother Michael) but they are strong enough to hold the story together. All in all, it still works
The narration is really good. I hope Lucy Paterson is commissioned to read some of the others, hopefully still to come.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Shelfseeker
  • 11-14-20

Appalling pronunciation

I've known this novel since I first read it in my teens, some 40 years ago. Within the first seven minutes of this audiobook version there were several ridiculous mispronunciations of standard English words, e.g. 'disingenuous' and 'pageantry'. How on earth does such shoddy work go unnoticed by the producer? It happens too often in Audible readings, which seem to be churned out with minimal quality control. I returned the book in order to prevent any further damage to my memory of Mary Stewart's writing.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Phil
  • 04-03-19

Dreary narration of a mediocre Stewart story

Mary Stewart is one of my favourite authors but I could hardly bear to listen to this one, due to such a monotonous and tedious narration. The story itself didn't seem to be one of her best, but perhaps it would have seemed like a better story if I hadn't been gritting my teeth to get to the end of it before my patience finally ran out with the narrator. Two stars rather than one for the performance, simply because her accents were pretty good.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-05-18

Classic Mary Stewart

A dark tale of suspense with all the right elements of intrigue, drama and romance, set against a beautifully portrayed backdrop of Skye. Excellently narrated.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs S
  • 04-13-19

Really enjoyed this

A much loved book which was very well read, even to the Scots incomprehensible names! Well done and thank you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-13-21

Wildfire at Midnight

What a great read! First book I've read by Mary Stewart. Really good - completely different from what I normally read.

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  • Catherine
  • 11-19-21

Pronunciation bad, story good

This book must hold the record for the most mispronounced words in the shortest time but if you can get beyond that, it is an enjoyable tale.

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  • Sanne Steers
  • 11-13-21

Strong voice and great thrilling story

Happy to hear such a strong voice. MaryStewart's other books are read by childish voices.

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  • Philippa
  • 01-19-21

Just as good as I remembered

I read this book about 45 years ago and it still has the same tension and intrigue now as it did then - a wonderful book

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-20-20

Great reading if an exciting story

Well read, and exciting story by Mary Stewart!
I have read this over and over and still enjoy.

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  • Philippa Clarkson
  • 09-26-19

Pretty good :-)

Mary Stewart wrote many thriller-romances which are wonderful for a bit of thinking person's escapism. This is an entertaining story set in the wild mountains of Skye, but for me it falls a bit flat compared to Mary Stewart's other books, with a somewhat insipid heroine who is not the author's usual plucky English lass. The narration was a bit ordinary. Still worth a go though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • NJC
  • 03-31-21

I cringe at the same time as I love it. Spoilers.

I truly love Mary Stewart, but these books are definitely of their time, and I do sometimes find myself wincing a little at things out of step with contemporary sensibilities. With this particular book I cringe more than usual. This one has things like the easy suspicion and essentialisation of madness for those with a family history of mental illness. Also, as in many other of her books, I'm put off by the smoking. But what stands out mostly in Wildfire at Midnight, are the dodgy gender politics, with women needing to shut up and have 'no pride' in their relationships if they want to keep their marriages to (philandering) men. Nicholas was an unequivocal jerk for the whole book, and all he has to do to win his girl back is not be the killer. A rather low bar if you ask me. 'My husband may be unfaithful, constantly derisive and emotionally abusive -- but hey, he's not a serial killer, so he's a prize'.
Still, it's a ripping yarn, told with typical Stewart finesse. She knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats.