Title: The Heatwave
Author: Kate Riordan
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Date of Publication: (paperback) September 2020
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
Format reviewed: e-ARC
Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was troubled. Elodie is dead.
Sylvie hasn’t been back to her crumbling French family home in years. Not since the death of her eldest daughter Elodie.
Every corner of the old house feels haunted by memories of her – memories she has tried to forget.
But as temperatures rise, and forest fires rage through the French countryside, a long-buried family secret is about to come to light.
Because there’s something Sylvie’s been hiding about what really happened to Elodie that summer.
And it could change everything.
This novel is a great example of a claustrophobic read. A French house, a scorching summer, stifling memories that give every scene a distorted image. I could feel the burn of it all while reading. Jumping from memories starting in the late 60s to 1993, we discover Sylvie Durand’s life. It was both fun and weird for me to read about the south of France and see those little French sentences here and there. I am familiar with those hot summers, and thought the author did a nice job capturing the atmosphere.
The heat is not the only thing wrapped around the characters and the house. Memories are intoxicating Sylvie as she re-enters the house of her past with her teenage daughter. It is clear from the start that she doesn’t want to be there, as if the house itself represented something bad. So bad that this Frenchie decided to move to England years ago, while her very British ex-husband lives in Paris. This detail made me smile. I can see the appeal of my home country, but I would pick the UK a million times!
Back to the house… something happened, and it takes a while to know what. Oh, I had my suspicions, but the revelation came late. The slow place matched the rhythm of the days when the sun is so strong all you can do is wait for the respite offered by the evening. After a while, though, I felt it started to drag too much and was hoping for more action.
In this book, the emphasis is on the psychology. Sylvie is forced to deal with what happened to her first daughter, her ghost still very much present in the house. When things finally started to happen, I was relieved, but the tension was never strong enough and I failed to connect to the characters.
I would say The Heatwave is perfect to take on holiday!
I enjoyed this book
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. I would also like to apologize for the delay, WordPress had made the post invisible.
Grab your copy now! (currently 0,99 in eBook at the time this post is published)
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