‘The Heatwave’ is the latest book by Kate Riordan.
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.
Wow, I started reading this book this morning and each time I was properly hooked, I was interrupted. So, I ended up fleeing to another room and boy was it worth it!
The story is seen through the narrative of Sylvie, who’s returned to France to pack up her family home to sell. The house had a fire in it, but there wasn’t much damage done so Sylvie and her daughter Emma set about getting the house in order. It’s there that we find out that the house doesn’t find have happy memories for Sylvie as she had another daughter called Elodie who was a difficult and troubled daughter. It’s being back in the house, that reminds Sylvie of bad times and even the small village residents don’t like to see Sylvie returned because of Elodie’s behaviour.
The story is set in 2 eras, the 1970s when Elodie was born and 1993 when Sylvie and Emma return to the house.
This book is a great psychological thriller that really pulled me attention in. I loved Sylvie, she’s a kind woman who’s primary concern is Emma, who she refers to as “you” in the story. Elodie is a severely troubled character, who lacks empathy and seems to revel in hurting people, particularly Sylvie and then Emma. Scenes with Elodie do make for upsetting and disturbing as she continually turns on her mother and Sylvie begins to lose faith in their relationship and become fearful of her daughter. Her marriage also suffers, as Elodie is a daddy’s girl with Greg unable to believe that his daughter is as bad as Sylvie maintains.
As the story progresses, I found myself racing through the pages to find out what has become of Elodie and with each short and snappy chapter, there’s a great reveal pulling the reader back in. The book is filled with vivid descriptions of the French town and cuisine and is atmospheric from the first page with the heady backdrop of the sweltering heatwave that’s getting underneath everyone’s skin.
A thrilling story about complicated relationships and a mother’s love, ‘The Heatwave’ is a sultry and complex drama that sizzles with menace and sophistication.
You can buy ‘The Heatwave’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.