Tuesday 21 July 2020

The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond

This book was gifted to me via Netgalley by Avon Books. 

It was a bad summer. Everyone remembers it. First the stranger arrived in town and then the first girl disappeared. At sixteen, Felicity fled to start a new life, knowing more than she ever told. But now sixteen years later, another girl has disappeared from the same town and Felicity must go back to face the past and find the killer. 

The writing is told in a dual perspective. Firstly, you have Felicity in the present day in first person and then you have her friend Jasmine, sixteen years previously in the past. That did confuse me a little to begin with, but once I got into the story, I stopped noticing it and by the end you realise why it was written in such a way. 

The story is slightly gruesome in parts and you feel the shock and horror that both Jasmine and Felicity went through, both now and in the past. It's such an addictive page turner, as you desperately hope for a good outcome. 

I really like Jasmine as a character, but I did find Felicity a bit annoying. She comes across so self absorbed and I couldn't work out why she felt the need to solve the latest mystery, but by the end, I realised how necessary that is to the plot and I'd probably have a drinking problem too, if I'd witnessed all that she had seen. Also, I was amazed that the locals were so willing to tell Felicity everything they knew about the case, especially as she appeared as a stranger to the town. The teenagers she spoke to, gave up information so freely, which seemed a little unrealistic as they are more likely to be rude and aggressive than willing to talk. Tim, Jasmine's lodger, gave me the creeps from the start, he was so mysterious and dark. 

I am really getting into these dark psychological thrillers. They are so gripping, I find it difficult to put them down. And this one wasn't any different. All the way through the book, I was following red herrings, convinced I knew who the killer was and each time I completely got it wrong. 

This is the author's first standalone novel, as I understand, she normally writes about DS Imogen Grey. I don't really enjoy detective series, so I'm not sure I would read them, but I will look out for more standalone novels by Diamond.

On the whole, I did really enjoy the book and the ending was so unexpected, I felt the story really paid off. 

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