Monday, July 20, 2020

Review: The Heatwave by Kate Riordan

"A sultry, gorgeously written and hugely atmospheric thriller with a dark, compelling mystery at its heart."-Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party and The Guest List

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.

TITLE: The Heatwave
AUTHOR: Kate Riordan
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing
PUBLISH DATE: August 18, 2020
GENRE: Thriller, Mystery
PAGES: 352

The Heatwave by Kate Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Heatwave by Kate Riordan is a haunting mystery that is slow to reveal itself but so worth the wait. I loved the tense family drama that takes place in the dilapidated old home of La Reverie – “To Dream” - in the South of France. When Sylvie and her teen daughter, Emma are summoned back to La Reverie, we find out that Sylvie had an older daughter, Elodie, and from the moment they arrive, Elodie’s presence is known in a haunting and elusive way.

The atmosphere is tangible, a beautiful setting, a decaying old home that is seeped in memories with a landscape that is spectacular in its beauty and glory. It was easy to transport myself there and immerse myself in to the story. The characters are fascinating but Elodie herself the most fascinating of all; smart and beautiful but so very troubled. Her relationship with Sylvie is difficult at best and there are secrets to be revealed in the book that I’ll leave the reader to discover.

I’m keeping this short because I think this is a book that the reader should go into blind. Know this, though, do not be misled by the gorgeous breezy summer cover. The Heatwave has depth and complexity along with being a twisty slow burn thriller.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for gifting me a copy of The Heatwave in exchange for my review.

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