Kate Riordan: The Heat Wave

I won this book from Meggy at Choco ‘n’ Waffles, so this review is written with thanks to her for sending The Heat Wave to me.


Elodie was beautiful. Elodie was smart. Elodie was troubled. Elodie is dead.

In Provence, under a sweltering sun, Sylvie returns to the crumbling family home of La Reverie with her youngest daughter Emma.

Yet every corner of the house is haunted by the memories of Elodie, her first child – memories she has tried to forget, but whose long-ago death the villagers certainly haven’t.

As temperatures rise, and forest fires rage through the French countryside, memories of Elodie spread further through Sylvie’s mind . . .

Because there’s something Sylvie’s been hiding about what happened to Elodie all those summers ago.

And it could change everything.


I’ve heard a lot of people talking about The Heat Wave and I wanted to see what it was about for myself. I’m very glad that I did. I’m not sure what I expected from the novel, but it was very different to what I’d anticipated.

The Heat Wave might be classified as a slow burner, with little details being fed to us gradually as the story continued. However, I was fascinated by every revelation and was really intrigued by each new question. It becomes clear very quickly that we are reading about a family with several secrets and I wanted to know what they were.

The novel has a dual timeline and flips between when Elodie was young in the 1970s and 1980s and 1993, when Elodie’s younger sister, Emma, is a teenager. As the timelines change, and the earlier timeline moves on, we get closer to discovering what has happened to make the characters into the people we see in 1993 and I loved the tension it created.

It was strange to read The Heat Wave on a day when it is snowing, but this helped to highlight how well Riordan has created her setting. Despite the cold outside, I could easily imagine the oppressive heat and the village in France where the story takes place.

I found the ending of The Heat Wave very fitting and I will be thinking of the characters, particularly Elodie, long after I turn the final page.

The Heat Wave is available from Amazon.


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