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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for The Heatwave

  1. 5 out of 5

    daph pink

    ATMOSPHERIC+MOTHER DAUGHTER THRILLER+ DYSFUNCTIONAL KIDS+SET IN FRANCE= MY FAV TYPE OF BOOKS Now personally I loved this book because maybe it hit right somewhere at home. It was gripping, solid, atmospheric and thrilling; I mean what else do you expect from a thriller? Maybe a bit more suspenseful and less boring at times, well we will discuss them in detail. what I liked?(Absolutely loved these things without any doubt) 1. ATMOSPHERE:-Set in the sultry heat of Southern France(yes I said FRANC ATMOSPHERIC+MOTHER DAUGHTER THRILLER+ DYSFUNCTIONAL KIDS+SET IN FRANCE= MY FAV TYPE OF BOOKS Now personally I loved this book because maybe it hit right somewhere at home. It was gripping, solid, atmospheric and thrilling; I mean what else do you expect from a thriller? Maybe a bit more suspenseful and less boring at times, well we will discuss them in detail. what I liked?(Absolutely loved these things without any doubt) 1. ATMOSPHERE:-Set in the sultry heat of Southern France(yes I said FRANCE, you hear me it’s set in France, there wasn’t any reason why I shouldn’t have read it) the sense of place (I defy you not to believe that you are in the sweltering heat of the South of France), everything seemed to work in favor of author. It is so atmospheric and at times even claustrophobic that I found my heart racing and I loved that. 2. PLOT :-I don't want to say too much about the plot because I think this is a book that you should absolutely go into as blind as possible to experience it for all it's worth. I will just give you a little insight, in this book Kate Riordan asks what happens when you love your child when you don’t like her very much? What would you do if your firstborn child is evil to their core? Would you love them no matter what? Would you try to teach them good vs evil? Would you protect your other children from this evil? These are just a few of the situations that are touched upon in this book. It makes for a close and claustrophobic read which pulls back the layers of motherhood, parenting and marriage to reveal darkness beneath. I AM CONFUSED (things I like and disliked at same time) 3. NARRATION/WRITING/TIMLINES: The book is told in the second person point-of-view from Sylvie to Emma and catalogs the escalating events that led to the disassociation of Sylvie from her past. Actually I sort of liked and didn’t liked her writing, like in terms of building the atmosphere her writing skills are untouchable , but what sometimes took me off the nook was the second person narration. It moves back and forth in time from the present to the past and I felt that just as we were getting to the interesting reveals, we would switch time lines...but that only made me want to keep reading/listening. Isn't that always the sign of a good book? One that you just cannot put down? But at the same time that constant second person narration irritated me , I will tell you why? THINGS I ABSOLUTELY HATED IN THIS BOOK 4. TWISTS AND TURNS :- now as I have already said in my earlier reviews if by the end of the book I screamed like “WTF” it’s a 5 star for me, so its totally a personal thing, like in this book there were things happening and you start expecting a some sort of bigger revelation which I guess never came in the book. So that was slightly disheartening for me. 5. LET EMMA SPEAK:- okay so because this book is written in second person we never get an insight in Emma character, like what she feel about her sister , it’s like always what her mother says we have believe it. I wanted a few chapters from her POV too. It’s the perfect summer read and is one to savor, even though you just have to know what happens next. It’s highly recommended from me. .......................... Did somebody said France ?! Me:- adding it to my tbr! Brain:- why? Me :- ferme le trou du cul, laisse-moi passer mon temps!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    This is slow burn mystery and claustrophobic family drama with great premise took us to the South of France, a dilapidated, rambling house located on the outskirts. Just like the characters left the place because their old lives were drifting apart and slowly breaking into pieces, the house seemed like to collapse in any second, like barely breathing organism not functioning properly. The dark and eerie place mysteries and haunted by past stories, dysfunctional family dramas always work well wi This is slow burn mystery and claustrophobic family drama with great premise took us to the South of France, a dilapidated, rambling house located on the outskirts. Just like the characters left the place because their old lives were drifting apart and slowly breaking into pieces, the house seemed like to collapse in any second, like barely breathing organism not functioning properly. The dark and eerie place mysteries and haunted by past stories, dysfunctional family dramas always work well with me and they’re giving us enough material to hook up and give our full focus to those stories. However this book’s big jumps between present and past and one person narration and story’s aimless direction made me lose my concentration and disappointed me a little bit. We learned at the beginning Sylvie and her daughter Emma reluctantly returned to the house where they escaped nearly a decade ago. Then with the help of flashbacks we’re introduced to Sylvie’s other daughter Elodie and her husband. I wish we had narrations of those two daughters because they were remarkable characters and interestingly we learn more about the emotional depth and inner motives of Sylvie by reading the chapters about Elodie. In my opinion, if we could know more about daughters’ feelings, it would be more helpful for us to empathize with the characters and gather the missing pieces of their family story. There are some predictable twists and ending was a little bit light and haphazard for me. I was expecting something more gripping, emotional and meaningful. Overall: The premise and the characterization of the story were delightful but I wish it may be told with more narrations because this story belongs to a family! So reading everything from Sylvie’s perspective was not enough for me and in the middle I got a little lost with the story’s direction as well. So I’m gonna give solid three stars. It was not a bad reading. I mostly enjoyed high tension, slow building family mystery and most of the characters’ back stories but the flat ending and confusing time jumps made me cut my points. But I still want to read other books of the author because she can create well-developed characters and family dynamics which reflect her true writings skills. Special thanks to NetGalley and Grand Central Publishing for sharing this ARC with me in exchange my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I loved this! Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy. Quick thoughts? I think you may have seen this one around getting rave reviews? I’m adding mine to the pot- it’s chilling, completely original, tautly paced, and so very compelling. No wonder everyone has been loving it! I loved the characters, the family secrets, and the unforgiving tension and suspense! I’ll miss warm summer days and sandals, and Heatwave was the perfect send-off to summer! Many of my reviews can also be found on my bl I loved this! Thank you to the publisher for the gifted copy. Quick thoughts? I think you may have seen this one around getting rave reviews? I’m adding mine to the pot- it’s chilling, completely original, tautly paced, and so very compelling. No wonder everyone has been loving it! I loved the characters, the family secrets, and the unforgiving tension and suspense! I’ll miss warm summer days and sandals, and Heatwave was the perfect send-off to summer! Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    The first half of Riordan's dark mystery certainly lived upto the glowing reviews, I was really enjoying this atmospheric family drama - the 90's Provence setting felt particularly creepy. Sylvie returns to the family home in Southern France for the first time since her eldest daughters Elodie's death, she is accompanied by her other daughter Emma. The slow burn was really effective during Part One as the crumbling house hauntingly holds secrets. As the narrative jumps between from the current 1993 The first half of Riordan's dark mystery certainly lived upto the glowing reviews, I was really enjoying this atmospheric family drama - the 90's Provence setting felt particularly creepy. Sylvie returns to the family home in Southern France for the first time since her eldest daughters Elodie's death, she is accompanied by her other daughter Emma. The slow burn was really effective during Part One as the crumbling house hauntingly holds secrets. As the narrative jumps between from the current 1993 setting to the families past (predominantly in the 70's) slowly reveals the difficult childhood Elodie had and how each parent responded differently. It's Part Two where the novel lost me. Not giving any spoilers but with the turn that the story took, I was expecting the pace to pick up slightly. Clearly this is a well written book with plenty of attention to detail that will divide opinion - seems like I'm in the minority.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diana • Book of Secrets

    THE HEATWAVE is a completely absorbing family drama and simmering psychological thriller! In the summer of 1993, Sylvie and her teenage daughter, Emma, return to their home in the South of France after a ten year absence. After she learns of some vandalism on the property, Sylvie decides it's time to fix up La Reverie and sell it. This is a difficult place to face again, as it's filled with painful memories of the tragedy involving her troubled first child, Elodie. Emma remembers very little abou THE HEATWAVE is a completely absorbing family drama and simmering psychological thriller! In the summer of 1993, Sylvie and her teenage daughter, Emma, return to their home in the South of France after a ten year absence. After she learns of some vandalism on the property, Sylvie decides it's time to fix up La Reverie and sell it. This is a difficult place to face again, as it's filled with painful memories of the tragedy involving her troubled first child, Elodie. Emma remembers very little about her older sister, and Sylvie's not sure how much longer she can shield her from their disturbing family secrets. "I would die for her, without hesitation. I am her mother. It's just that, sometimes, I wish I wasn't. I am her mother but I wish I wasn't." The story is told from Sylvie's point of view in alternating time periods — during the summer of 1993, and then 1968 forward — as we learn about the disturbing mother/daughter relationship between Sylvie and Elodie during her childhood. What does a mother do if her child is evil? How far would she go to protect one daughter from the other? Elodie's character was truly creepy! The tension surrounding what she might do next was unsettling. THE HEATWAVE is an atmospheric Gothic suspense with an amazing and unique setting. The characters and their conflicts are memorable, the writing and descriptions are gorgeous (I enjoyed the French mixed in), and the reveal at the end was perfect. Highly recommended. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cortney LaScola - The Bookworm Myrtle Beach

    What a fantastic book! After a string of a few not so great books, I was in a bit of a reading slump, but The Heatwave cured it. It was just such a really well done, great read. If I hadn't already picked The Bookworm's summer book club pick already, I would have done this one in a heartbeat. If I had one complaint, it was the amount of French used. You could infer what they were saying, but I don't think it added anything to the story. Additionally, when two of the characters were conversing in F What a fantastic book! After a string of a few not so great books, I was in a bit of a reading slump, but The Heatwave cured it. It was just such a really well done, great read. If I hadn't already picked The Bookworm's summer book club pick already, I would have done this one in a heartbeat. If I had one complaint, it was the amount of French used. You could infer what they were saying, but I don't think it added anything to the story. Additionally, when two of the characters were conversing in French, it was typed out in italics (English), which got a little annoying after awhile. But in the grand scheme of how great this book was, that's tiny. I loved it

  7. 4 out of 5

    ʚϊɞ Shelley's ʚϊɞ Book Nook

    The Heatwave is a well written family drama/psychological thriller by Kate Riordan. I really enjoyed this book as it is written with substance, character development and deeper and darker undertones. The story is told through two timelines, the past and the present. These are my favourite kind of books. We learn of Elodie's childhood and young adulthood...can you say demon child!? The tension builds and merges in both time lines becoming more harrowing and twisted. As with the best suspense novel The Heatwave is a well written family drama/psychological thriller by Kate Riordan. I really enjoyed this book as it is written with substance, character development and deeper and darker undertones. The story is told through two timelines, the past and the present. These are my favourite kind of books. We learn of Elodie's childhood and young adulthood...can you say demon child!? The tension builds and merges in both time lines becoming more harrowing and twisted. As with the best suspense novels there are mysteries within mysteries. The juxtaposition between the past and present gives us a compelling look at how the shocking spiral of events from Elodie's childhood affected the characters in different ways. While The Heatwave certainly centers on survival there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel, as familiar bonds reconnect and the human spirit attempts to prevail in the face of evil. Thank you NetGalley, Kate Riordan and Grand Central Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own. #NetGalley

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    Honestly I loved this book so much! It opens with Sylvie receiving a letter that summons her to her old family home in the South of France, so her and her 13 year old daughter Emma have to return to the place they left many years before.  Quite early on we realise that Slyvie had another daughter, Elodie, Emma's older sister. Elodie is never talked about and Emma knows very little about her but once they head back to La Reverie, their French home, Sylvie can feel her presence and is suddenly draw Honestly I loved this book so much! It opens with Sylvie receiving a letter that summons her to her old family home in the South of France, so her and her 13 year old daughter Emma have to return to the place they left many years before.  Quite early on we realise that Slyvie had another daughter, Elodie, Emma's older sister. Elodie is never talked about and Emma knows very little about her but once they head back to La Reverie, their French home, Sylvie can feel her presence and is suddenly drawn back into the past and having to face up to it in the present.  And I'm not really going to say much more than that about the plot to be honest. I went into this one knowing there had been some good reviews and a bit of a buzz around it but not actually having a clue as to what the story would be like, and I think that's the best way to experience this book.  This book has a lot more depth than your average summer read but the storyline isn't so complicated that you can't pick it up and put it down without feeling lost, although I personally couldn't put it down at all and finished it over 3 nights. The Heatwave isn't a thriller as such but it certainly makes for a thrilling read. The writing style is beautifully descriptive and atmospheric, I could easily picture their rustic old house and feel the sweltering heat beaming down on me whilst reading it. Reading it in the sun in the garden was perfect and I think it will make a brilliant summer read!  Unfortunately the paperback release has been pushed back but it is out as an ebook now!  This book lures you in, promising to be full of mystery and secrets and it doesn't disappoint. This is definitely one of my favourite reads of the year so far and I recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of intrigue in their family dramas. 

  9. 5 out of 5

    Tripfiction

    Dar, psychological novel set in PROVENCE This is bound to be a hit read in the Summer of 2020. It has all the ingredients for an engrossing read: a terrific, slightly dark setting (Provence), a narrative that builds well, and family dynamics as well as couple relationships. Greg and Sylvie are a couple from different backgrounds and they find themselves settled in Sylvie’s family home – La Rêverie – in Provence. It is an old, rambling building but they are happy enough until their daughter Elodie Dar, psychological novel set in PROVENCE This is bound to be a hit read in the Summer of 2020. It has all the ingredients for an engrossing read: a terrific, slightly dark setting (Provence), a narrative that builds well, and family dynamics as well as couple relationships. Greg and Sylvie are a couple from different backgrounds and they find themselves settled in Sylvie’s family home – La Rêverie – in Provence. It is an old, rambling building but they are happy enough until their daughter Elodie is born. From early on she is a child with attitude and she seems to have an iron will and a destructive nature for someone so small. Sylvie is at her wit’s end and takes her to see a child psychologist. Greg, however, is unwilling to hear Sylvie’s concerns and upset and their relationship struggles to withstand the challenges facing them. They go on to have a second daughter, Emma. The story opens in the early 1990s as Sylvie discovers there has been a small fire in their house in Provence (she is now living alone with Emma) and she must speed down there from London, taking Emma with her. Elodie is no longer on the scene and Emma, on the cusp of becoming a teenager, has little knowledge of the intense difficulties that her family has faced. Soon there is a shock, and mother and daughter have to come to terms with the past and ponder the future. Raging in the background are the annual fires that often descend on this part of the world and fire becomes a leitmotif in the novel. The author slots in French words and phrases, which serve to enhance the feel of being in this hot and sultry part of the world. Using smatterings of local language is really quite a skill and she does this with aplomb. One to pick up Summer 2020! Recommended.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda Harris

    Enjoyed this one. Quick read,would be perfect for a holiday , but that's not happening anytime soon. A good mystery,thriller

  11. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie

    Much more than average thriller. Fascinating look at a family in peril from a beloved member. Most highly recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gill Paul

    This powerful, original novel about a toxic mother-daughter relationship asks some difficult questions. It’s narrated in first person by a woman called Sylvie, addressing her younger daughter Emma as they return to the French home – La Réverie (Daydreaming) – that they left when Emma was small. From the moment they arrive, the place feels haunted by the ghost of Élodie, the elder daughter, and memories of her childhood come flooding back to Sylvie. Emma has never been told the truth about what h This powerful, original novel about a toxic mother-daughter relationship asks some difficult questions. It’s narrated in first person by a woman called Sylvie, addressing her younger daughter Emma as they return to the French home – La Réverie (Daydreaming) – that they left when Emma was small. From the moment they arrive, the place feels haunted by the ghost of Élodie, the elder daughter, and memories of her childhood come flooding back to Sylvie. Emma has never been told the truth about what happened to her sister, but it seems bound to emerge in this French village where everyone knows everyone else’s business. We learn that Greg, the girls’ father, didn’t always believe Sylvie’s stories about their firstborn – but should we? Is she an entirely reliable narrator? The backdrop to this intense emotional drama is the French countryside in the midst of a heatwave. It is conjured up viscerally and sensually: the buzzing of insects in the brush, the rich scent of oleander, and the smoke from the forest fire burning in the hills, all combining to create a sense of claustrophobia. Even the swimming pool, which should have brought relief from the heat, seems tainted by the past. As Emma’s asthma flares up, the sense of impending danger grows. I couldn’t stop reading this book and plan to go back and read it again soon. The writing is rich and multi-layered, but it’s the subtlety of the characterisations that hook you and won’t let you go. I’m a huge fan of Kate Riordan’s work and I genuinely think this is her best yet. A taut and stunning novel!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Wendi Lee

    What an intense novel reminiscent of the bad seed motif! Sylvie and her youngest daughter, Emma, travels back to their old home in France. Emma is enchanted, but Sylvie reluctant - she remains haunted by the memory of her eldest daughter, and what happened in that house years before. Overall, I really enjoyed this suspenseful novel! Oldest daughter Elodie is a mesmerizing character who draws through the narrative, and I truly empathized with Sylvie's conflicting emotions. I did wish the twist at What an intense novel reminiscent of the bad seed motif! Sylvie and her youngest daughter, Emma, travels back to their old home in France. Emma is enchanted, but Sylvie reluctant - she remains haunted by the memory of her eldest daughter, and what happened in that house years before. Overall, I really enjoyed this suspenseful novel! Oldest daughter Elodie is a mesmerizing character who draws through the narrative, and I truly empathized with Sylvie's conflicting emotions. I did wish the twist at the end was a little, well, twistier. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    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 pas 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. Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Eleonora

    I’m sorry to say it, but this book was a disappointment for me. Set in two timelines, the past where we follow Sylvie as she tries to raise her first child, Elodie in her home, in the south of France, and the present, when she returns back to La Reverie with her youngest daughter, Emma, where she tries to ignore the flooding memories that are coming back surrounding the death of Elodie. The story was well written and slow burning, which fits perfectly with the narrative. The setting is perfect, an I’m sorry to say it, but this book was a disappointment for me. Set in two timelines, the past where we follow Sylvie as she tries to raise her first child, Elodie in her home, in the south of France, and the present, when she returns back to La Reverie with her youngest daughter, Emma, where she tries to ignore the flooding memories that are coming back surrounding the death of Elodie. The story was well written and slow burning, which fits perfectly with the narrative. The setting is perfect, and with the way the author describes the scenery, it feels like you’re there with them in the south of France. So why the three stars? Primarily because of the ending, it felt weak and flat. After all the suspense built in the previous chapters, I was expecting something more dramatic, instead in just a few pages it was like “the end”, just like that. I continued to turn the page in the kindle, trying to see if there was more, but nope, nothing. I also feel that, since we have only Sylvie POV, there is no explanation about Elodie’s behavior. I mean, yes, we have some snippets here and there, but nothing too explanatory. Just like taking a sip of juice, without drinking the whole cup, so you don’t really know if it was good or not. And, also, sometimes I got the feeling that Sylvie wasn’t a trustworthy narrator, was she imagining things or Elodie was really like that? I’m not sure.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen Foster

    Unsettling and atmospheric, this story of a broken family set during an oppressive heatwave, had me gripped from the very start. I loved the slow reveals, alternating timelines and the ominous pacing. There is a return to a neglected home in southern France, where something bad has happened, a family has fractured, and secrets have been kept.... until now. With hints of Shriver’s Kevin, the more the story and the characters unravel, the more I couldn’t tear myself away..... A sultry, edge-of-your Unsettling and atmospheric, this story of a broken family set during an oppressive heatwave, had me gripped from the very start. I loved the slow reveals, alternating timelines and the ominous pacing. There is a return to a neglected home in southern France, where something bad has happened, a family has fractured, and secrets have been kept.... until now. With hints of Shriver’s Kevin, the more the story and the characters unravel, the more I couldn’t tear myself away..... A sultry, edge-of-your-seat page turner perfect to throw in your beach bag. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the #ARC

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gill

    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. I 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.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thebooktrail

    Visit the locations in The Heatwave set in Provence Kate Riordan really does write some gripping books. This one is no different and has an extra layer of creepiness and uneasiness which is always good in a novel. At the start of the story, Sylvie goes back to her family home in Provence which is now a crumbling mess. Fires have been destroying properties around the area and Sylvie’s has also been affected. To make matters worse, she has bittersweet memories of the house as this is the village wh Visit the locations in The Heatwave set in Provence Kate Riordan really does write some gripping books. This one is no different and has an extra layer of creepiness and uneasiness which is always good in a novel. At the start of the story, Sylvie goes back to her family home in Provence which is now a crumbling mess. Fires have been destroying properties around the area and Sylvie’s has also been affected. To make matters worse, she has bittersweet memories of the house as this is the village where her first child Elodie died. Sylvie feels Elodie’s presence everywhere and even though she has come with youngest daughter Emma, she can not escape the tragedy of what happened. She’s there to sell the house and to move on at last. This all happened ten years ago but Sylvie feels as if Elodie is still there with her. Haunting her. Well, someone is. You see, Sylvie is troubled by dark recollections. We are taken back to that time and the human emotions attached to it and it’s a journey that you go on with the characters and end up finding out a very interesting state of affairs. The setting really added to the story. A crumbling house in the middle of Provence? Dreamy. And the name of the house – La Reverie – itself alludes to that. However, the beauty of the area and the stunning landscape is meant to be so peaceful and far away from the world. When it’s this nice, it’s even more effective when bad things happen. With such a small ‘cast’ of characters, the bonds between a mother and her daughters, it’s a study in what can go wrong and how fast life can go downhill. Elodie is a very interesting character. Troubled and weird from the start. There are some important things for Sylvie to face up to and examine. Welcome to Provence for a holiday stay you will not forget in a hurry!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (bookmadbarlow)

    This book really transported me to the South of France, you could feel the cloying heat whilst reading it. The atmospheric writing really made me feel uneasy as we learn about Sylvie and her daughters in a dual timelime narrative. The setting felt really claustrophobic made more so by the lack of mobile communication of the 1993 setting. I did find this a bit tough going at times, the book jumped between years and between present day and musings of the past so quickly I struggled to adjust my thin This book really transported me to the South of France, you could feel the cloying heat whilst reading it. The atmospheric writing really made me feel uneasy as we learn about Sylvie and her daughters in a dual timelime narrative. The setting felt really claustrophobic made more so by the lack of mobile communication of the 1993 setting. I did find this a bit tough going at times, the book jumped between years and between present day and musings of the past so quickly I struggled to adjust my thinking. This is a slow burn book about a family fractured by the past, but there are a few twists and turns throughout.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Toronto Bibliophile

    Just finished reading THE HEATWAVE by Kate Riordan. Thanks to Grand Central Pub for my gifted copy. Official publication date was August 18th, 2020. It's the summer of 1993 and Sylvie Durand has just received a letter regarding her family home in the South of France. The home La Reverie has been abandoned for over a decade due to some family drama and events that Sylvie would much rather forget; and not burden her daughter Emma with. However you sense she feels drawn to it, and decides to head ba Just finished reading THE HEATWAVE by Kate Riordan. Thanks to Grand Central Pub for my gifted copy. Official publication date was August 18th, 2020. It's the summer of 1993 and Sylvie Durand has just received a letter regarding her family home in the South of France. The home La Reverie has been abandoned for over a decade due to some family drama and events that Sylvie would much rather forget; and not burden her daughter Emma with. However you sense she feels drawn to it, and decides to head back to clean it out and finally put it on the market. As Sylvie and Emma start to settle in, memories of the past threaten to come to the surface. Sylvie can't seem to escape the memories of her first child Elodie. Elodie who was not a normal child. She was very manipulative, troubled and a bit disturbed. Elodie who died young...but we are not 100% sure how until the house decides to tell us. As Sylvie can't seem to go anywhere without glimpsing the past, in forgotten articles of clothing, jewelry, scents and spots around the house. Will we learn what happened all those years ago, and will Sylvie be able to move on? Will she come to understand that it wasn't her fault, and stop blaming herself for things that were out of her control? Definitely a summer read with beautiful descriptive imagery of the South of France, mixed in with eerie suspensful images of the past that draw you in. I enjoyed the flashbacks between the present and past, and could not put this book down. Finished in 24 hours. Go get your copy now! Definitely not your average thriller.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    [4.25/5] I loved how atmospheric this book was! It will transport you to the sun-baked French countryside, and you’ll never want to leave (well, aside from the growing sense of dread. 😉 It is a mystery, after all!) It’s got crumbling country cottages, back and forth timelines, family secrets, and all the tasty French food you can imagine. 🙌 This is a slow-burn, so I definitely recommend picking it up when you’re in the mood for that! Perfect for reading in the summer breeze. (Full review on my blog [4.25/5] I loved how atmospheric this book was! It will transport you to the sun-baked French countryside, and you’ll never want to leave (well, aside from the growing sense of dread. 😉 It is a mystery, after all!) It’s got crumbling country cottages, back and forth timelines, family secrets, and all the tasty French food you can imagine. 🙌 This is a slow-burn, so I definitely recommend picking it up when you’re in the mood for that! Perfect for reading in the summer breeze. (Full review on my blog at ReaderHaven.com) **Thank you Grand Central Publishing for the gifted review copy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bello Habeeb

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Wonderful

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bernadette Robinson

    My thanks to the Author and the Publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. I gave this a 3.5 stars or 7/10. Told in the first person, Sylvie the narrator of the story tells us her story and what happened to her first child Elodie. As she returns to her old family home in the South of France with her youngest daughter Emma, memories come flooding back of tragic mysterious events that surrounded the death of Elodie. Told as a dual time frame style story, the reader My thanks to the Author and the Publisher for a copy of this in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley. I gave this a 3.5 stars or 7/10. Told in the first person, Sylvie the narrator of the story tells us her story and what happened to her first child Elodie. As she returns to her old family home in the South of France with her youngest daughter Emma, memories come flooding back of tragic mysterious events that surrounded the death of Elodie. Told as a dual time frame style story, the reader is fed just enough to hook you in and keep you turning the pages or in my case swiping the screen as I read this on my Kindle. As Sylvie flicks from past to present in her narrative we learn that Elodie could be quite a manipulative daughter, who seemed to know how to get what she wanted most of the time. Some children always seem to know what to do to get their own way. Sylvie has always tried to protect Emma from what happened to her older sister, but will the truth come out as old memories are rekindled on the return to the property. This was a well written story that grabs the reader, yet I was expecting a little more from it if I'm honest. Its' a perfect read for the summer evenings to take us away from our day to day life. Escape into the lives of the characters and the countryside in the South of France.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This book was so interesting. I loved how the book kept you guessing, the present had hints of what happened in the past but you wouldn’t find out until later on what happened. The chapters alternate between the present and the past which I LOVED! So things would be hinted at in the present chapters and you had to wait for the past chapters to reach that time before you found out what happened. It was so clever and so different to what I’ve read before - I really enjoyed it. The character of focu This book was so interesting. I loved how the book kept you guessing, the present had hints of what happened in the past but you wouldn’t find out until later on what happened. The chapters alternate between the present and the past which I LOVED! So things would be hinted at in the present chapters and you had to wait for the past chapters to reach that time before you found out what happened. It was so clever and so different to what I’ve read before - I really enjoyed it. The character of focus Elodie, was a captivating character who was capable of so much and the book keeps you guessing about what happened to her. The twists and turns made me so surprised and I ended up obsessed with her character, regardless of how scary her character was. I wasn’t sure about Sylvie’s character but I can’t imagine what it would be like to go through what she did so it is understandable. It really shocks you how different people’s lives are. If you get chance, read Sylvie’s story, it won’t let you down.

  25. 5 out of 5

    4cats

    The Heatwave by Kate Riordan has all of the elements that suggest a summer bestseller. Sylvie lives in London with her daughter Emma, a letter arrives informing her that she has to return to her family home in Provence. Sylvie finds herself confronting a dark and dangerous past which she had hoped to bury forever. This psychological thriller has a dual narrative which moves fluidly between the past and present. A perfect summer read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Danny

    I’ve recently reviewed books from one of my closest friends AND an old uni lecturer so to continue the illusion that I’m enmeshed with some sort of literary glitterati, I thought I’d read another book I have a tenuous connection to. When applying to universities to start my career in education, I credited my own English teacher, Meryl Parker, as being the primary reason I loved books and language so much. From acting out Henry V, to casting a hypothetical adaptation of Anne Frank, through to our I’ve recently reviewed books from one of my closest friends AND an old uni lecturer so to continue the illusion that I’m enmeshed with some sort of literary glitterati, I thought I’d read another book I have a tenuous connection to. When applying to universities to start my career in education, I credited my own English teacher, Meryl Parker, as being the primary reason I loved books and language so much. From acting out Henry V, to casting a hypothetical adaptation of Anne Frank, through to our study of Gatsby and Hamlet, Ms Parker’s lessons were such an inspiration to me and, without them, I imagine my life would’ve turned out rather differently. When she wasn’t my beloved English teacher and respected Head of Year, Ms Parker was also a mother to one Kate Riordan, author of this summer’s release ‘The Heatwave’. It’s a fantastic book, simmering and smouldering with an ominous sense of dread. Written with a tense and evocative prose, Riordan crafts an enigmatic family drama, one with dark secrets and complex relationships. Though I felt the ending was a little anticlimactic and rushed, the stifling and uneasy atmosphere that Riordan creates makes this a gripping and thoroughly compelling read. It’s clear that Ms Parker’s love of English resonated as much at home as it did in our classroom: I’m sure she’s incredibly proud and rightly so- Kate is a wonderful author.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eva vs The World 🌎

    4 stars. Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy of this book. “The Heatwave” by Kate Riordan is a very atmospheric novel set in Provence during a sweltering summer. Sylvie and her younger daughter Emma return to La Reverie, the crumbling house of her childhood. But just like the wildfires wreaking havoc in the area, the memories of Elodie, the elder daughter, are creeping in closer with each passing day.⠀ ⠀ Emma doesn’t know the truth about her older sister and they have never met. 4 stars. Thanks to the publisher for providing a free review copy of this book. “The Heatwave” by Kate Riordan is a very atmospheric novel set in Provence during a sweltering summer. Sylvie and her younger daughter Emma return to La Reverie, the crumbling house of her childhood. But just like the wildfires wreaking havoc in the area, the memories of Elodie, the elder daughter, are creeping in closer with each passing day.⠀ ⠀ Emma doesn’t know the truth about her older sister and they have never met. She believes Elodie is dead, but Sylvie can sure keep a secret. Their stay at La Reverie uncovers many unwanted truths about Elodie, but also Sylvie’s past and why she had chosen to keep certain things a secret. The book is told through a split timeline and the chapters from “present day” are told in first person, addressed to Emma. This was a very interesting choice of narrative, as though Sylvie tried to explain her past actions and motives. The other part of the narrative took us to the past when the protagonist met her husband Greg and the many difficulties she faced while raising their first child together. ⠀ ⠀ I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which was mostly about the struggles of motherhood, coming to terms with one’s troubled past and dealing with a dysfunctional family. The story is haunting, some parts of it extremely addictive and others falling a bit flat, like the ending, which I expected a bit more from. However, the ending was not entirely disappointing. There was a lot of tension and the book held my attention from beginning to end.⠀ ⠀ ⚠️ Content warnings: sociopathy, mention of animal cruelty and child abuse, death.⠀

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gemma Cheetham

    I loved this book and I really flew through it as it was such a page turner. I went into this book a little blind as I’m a sucker for a buddy read, but it definitely was not the book I was expecting. With a title like The Heat Wave I was expecting something lovely and an easy summer read, what I got was so so much more. It was chilling and creepy but exciting and I couldn’t wait to read on. It was written so beautifully and created such tension with each page that it totally sucked you in as if I loved this book and I really flew through it as it was such a page turner. I went into this book a little blind as I’m a sucker for a buddy read, but it definitely was not the book I was expecting. With a title like The Heat Wave I was expecting something lovely and an easy summer read, what I got was so so much more. It was chilling and creepy but exciting and I couldn’t wait to read on. It was written so beautifully and created such tension with each page that it totally sucked you in as if you were there. It makes you question how you would cope with such secrets that Sylvie did. I found I was left slightly confused the way it ended and to be honest I had to go back and read through again to make sure I had taken it all in. It almost could be left waiting for a sequel to follow... I really enjoyed it throughout I would highly recommend it!

  29. 4 out of 5

    4cats

    The Heatwave by Kate Riordan has all of the elements that suggest a summer bestseller. Sylvie lives in London with her daughter Emma, a letter arrives informing her that she has to return to her family home in Provence. Sylvie finds herself confronting a dark and dangerous past which she had hoped to bury forever. This psychological thriller has a dual narrative which moves fluidly between the past and present. A perfect summer read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bridget

    In The Heatwave, Kate Riordan gives the reader an absorbing family drama and a simmering psychological thriller. It is the summer of 1993 and after a ten-year absence Sylvie Durand and her teenage daughter, Emma, return to their home, La Reverie, in the South of France after a ten-year absence. Learning there is evidence of a fire and vandalism, Sylvie decides it's time to fix it up to sell. It is difficult for her as the house evokes painful memories of a tragedy involving her troubled firstborn In The Heatwave, Kate Riordan gives the reader an absorbing family drama and a simmering psychological thriller. It is the summer of 1993 and after a ten-year absence Sylvie Durand and her teenage daughter, Emma, return to their home, La Reverie, in the South of France after a ten-year absence. Learning there is evidence of a fire and vandalism, Sylvie decides it's time to fix it up to sell. It is difficult for her as the house evokes painful memories of a tragedy involving her troubled firstborn, Elodie. Emma doesn't really remember her older sister, and Sylvie's not sure how much longer she can shield her from their disturbing family secrets. The Heatwave was certainly a thrilling read! Kate Riordan's writing style was beautifully descriptive and atmospheric, and I could easily picture the rustic old house and feel the sultry heat, en Provence. The story unfolded gradually, told using a dual timeframe and the plotting was pitch-perfect. The level of tension was superior and from the outset I knew there would be a hidden tragedy as I followed Emma, trying to complete the picture. All in all, a brilliantly taut, clever and dark thriller that had me wondering what was going to happen next. It was a real page-turner that has a place in my best reads for 2020. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Penguin UK - Michael Joseph via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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