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Publisher's Summary

Under the scorching French sun, a tense homecoming unearths a long-buried family secret in this "sultry, gorgeously written" thriller of a mother's greatest fear brought to life (Lucy Foley, New York Times best-selling author of The Hunting Party and The Guest List).

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 1990s 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 14. 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 pause-resister with gorgeous prose that turns the idea of a summer novel on its head.

©2020 Kate Riordan (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Kate Riordan takes the summer thriller to the next level with The Heatwave. Mesmeric writing, beguiling characters and a plot that will make your blood run cold." —Veronica Henry, author of How to Find Love in a Bookshop

"A story that draws you in instantly and really doesn't loosen its grip, right up until the last little twist on the final page." —Iona Grey, author The Glittering Hour

"Tense and deliciously atmospheric, it unravels a mother-daughter relationship with a growing sense of menace. A gripping and thoroughly enjoyable read." —Emma Rous, author of The Au Pair

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Too much missing details

Like the character, Emma, I feel the author did not give us enough details about many things throughout the book, but mostly, the ending.

There were so many things I wanted to know more about, like Elodie’s time in treatment, if Emma really did remember more than she let on, how long did Luc help/know Elodie, did Luc remember/know what she did to him, and much more. I really wish she had explored Elodie’s mind and thoughts more.

There were always so many details the author did not even address or that she should have extended on, like Having Elodie express her “feelings” about Sylvie during the final scene, why did she choose then to finally go home, what did Emma and Greg think/feel after the final scene when the truth was made clear, Luc’s confession to everything he knew, etc.

I always wanted to see more with the Olivier character. I feel the ending with his character was just any after thought. I would have loved to see Sylvie make an effort to finally find the happiness and love she deserved.

On a positive note, the narrator was superb. Her English and French language and accents were the only reason I was able to stick with the book.

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