Author: Kate Riordan
Published by: Grand Central Publishing on Aug. 18, 2020
Source: Grand Central Publishing
Book Rating: 8.5/10
Under the scorching French sun, a tense homecoming unearths a long-buried family secret in this deliciously propulsive beach read of a mother’s greatest fear brought to life.
Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was manipulative. Elodie is dead.
When Sylvie Durand receives a letter calling her back to her crumbling family home in the South of France, she knows she has to go. In the middle of a sweltering 1990’s summer marked by unusual fires across the countryside, she returns to La Reverie with her youngest daughter Emma in tow, ignoring the deep sense of dread she feels for this place she’s long tried to forget.
As memories of the events that shattered their family a decade earlier threaten to come to the surface, Sylvie struggles to shield Emma from the truth of what really happened all those years ago. In every corner of the house, Sylvie can’t escape the specter of Elodie, her first child. Elodie, born amid the ’68 Paris riots with one blue eye and one brown, and mysteriously dead by fourteen. Elodie, who reminded the small village of one those Manson girls. Elodie who knew exactly how to get what she wanted. As the fires creep towards the villa, it’s clear to Sylvie that something isn’t quite right at La Reverie . . . And there is a much greater threat closer to home.
Rich in unforgettable characters, The Heatwave alternates between the past and present, grappling with what it means to love and fear a child in equal measure. With the lush landscape and nostalgia of a heady vacation read, Kate Riordan has woven a gripping page-turner with gorgeous prose that turns the idea of a summer novel on its head.
Gripping, unnerving, and chillingly suspenseful!
The Heatwave is an intense, slow-burning thriller that takes you into the life of Sylvie Durand, a middle-aged, single mum who after a sudden fire at the family estate, La Reverie, in the south of France must finally return home to confront all the memories, secrets, and tragedies that are buried there.
The prose is tight and edgy. The characters are secretive, consumed, and troubled. And the plot, told through an unreliable narrator and using a past/present, back-and-forth style builds and unravels subtly into a tension-filled tale full of unexpected twists, suspicious personalities, familial drama, deception, guilt, violence, manipulation, and the complex, sometimes toxic relationships that can occur between family members.
Overall, The Heatwave is an engrossing, cunning, sinister novel by Riordan that keeps you enthralled from the very first page and is a menacing, highly entertaining, eerily atmospheric read.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.