The Heatwave by Kate Riordan


About the Book

In Provence, under a sweltering sun, Sylvie returns to the crumbling family home of La Reverie. In her hand is the letter that summoned her, and by her side is Emma, her youngest daughter.

Yet every corner of the house is haunted by the spectre of Elodie, her first child. Beautiful, manipulative Elodie, whose long-ago death the villagers still whisper about.

Sylvie has tried to put the past behind her. But like the spreading forest fires, memories of Elodie seem to be creeping ever closer.

Because there’s a secret Sylvie has concealed about what happened to Elodie all those summers ago . . .

What I thought

There are two books due for publication around this time both with the same title, so don’t get confused between the two, or maybe you could read both.  The one that I’m reviewing here is due for publication a little earlier than the other one and is written by Kate Riordan who already has a number of books published.  If this one is anything to go by, I would like to try another of the authors previous books.

Set in the south of France in the family home where the protagonist Sylvie grew up with her sister, this is a very atmospheric and sinister read.  Perhaps a slow burner but nevertheless it always keeps you wanting to read more.  It is, to some extent, a time slip story, but it’s more the protagonist looking back over time since the birth of her first daughter.  The present is set in 1993, and I’m not really sure why that is.

I would hate to give anything of the story away so can’t say too much. In fact, I’ve tried to write more but it really is one of those books you have to read knowing little more than what the publishers summary of the book tells you. So I’m going to leave it at that.  It’s gripping, it is unnerving and I enjoyed the way the story evolves, little by little.

The way the book is narrated was a bit of a strange one for me and it did occasionally lead to confusion in parts when I was reading it.  Sylvie, the girls’ mother is the narrator in the story but it’s told as if she’s talking to her youngest daughter, so the narrative is in the second person.  It did take some getting used to but it enhanced the fact that really the whole story is an apology to both her daughters. Sylvie holds on to both guilt and a deep sorrow for the family’s situation, but with fear and a sense of foreboding never far away.

So I don’t want to say any more.  It was an intense read, with a very climactic ending and I really enjoyed it.

♥ Happy Reading ♥

Thank you to Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for an advance copy of the book via Netgalley.

The book is out for publication in e-book on 23 April and in paperback on 9 July 2020.  You can pre-order it now on Amazon

4 thoughts on “The Heatwave by Kate Riordan

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