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The Heatwave by Kate Riordan

Published : 3rd September 2020

Publisher : Michael Jospeh Penguin

Format : Kindle, Audio, Hardback, Paperback

Genre : Thriller

* All words highlighted in Grey are links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites.


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.

My Review

This was such a great read, absolutely thriller of the year so far for me.

Sylvie lives happily in London with her daughter Emma when one day she receives a call from the lawyer in France that her childhood home, La Reverie has had a fire and that she will need to come and get it sorted to make it safe.

Anybody else would consider this a perfect opportunity. Its the holidays, the weather is hot, it would be a lovely break away from the London hustle and bustle, but not Sylvie. She dreads going back to that place because it hold nothing but bad memories for her and she fears it will stir up memories in Emma that are long forgotten.

Sylvie and Emmas dad, Greg split up when Emma was little and he now lives in France permanently with his new family, Sylvie calls him and asks if he can have Emma whilst she goes to sort things out but he refuses so she has no choice but to take her with her.

When they arrive Sylvie instantly feels the dread that she thought she had left behind. Her first born Elodie was raised here and her presence is felt everywhere.

It isn't long before Sylvie is convinced she is seeing Elodie in the corner of her eye, or shift the feeling that she is being watched.

The town certainly hasn't forgotten about Elodie and there memories are just as sharp and hurtful when Sylvie ventures into the village for some food with Emma.

Emma is convinced that Elodie died of an illness and Sylvie wants to keep it that way, because the truth is so much worse.

Then one evening, on the way back from a night out at the circus Sylvie's worse dreams come true and she has to face all the fears, anger and regret that she believed she once buried and that bad feeling of dread, of being scared for her life and for Emmas has come back and she isn't sure wether she needs to trust her instincts and run or stay and see what happens..

Why I Loved It

This was a brilliantly twisty thriller. Packed full of suspense, I was kept on the edge of my seat the entire time... to the point where at the end I was literally screaming in my head "noooooooo"

I loved how the story was written in such a descriptive manner that you truly feel you are caught up in the heatwave within that French village and can literally feel the lump in your throat suspense as the story progresses.

Kate truly captures yours imagination and forces you to see with your own eyes as you read everything that is playing out before you, keeping you gripped until the very last page, and even then leaving you with a sense of dread.




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Meet the author

Kate Riordan is a British writer and journalist.

After working on staff at the Guardian and Time Out London, she left London for the Cotswolds in order to concentrate on writing novels.

Her historical novel Fiercombe Manor (The Girl in the Photograph in the UK) was published by Harper in 2015.

Connect with Kate




Books by this author

The Girl in the Photograph

The Shadow Hour

The Red Letter

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?

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