Today I am bringing you something of an Indian Summer, with a rather late review of The Heatwave by Katerina Diamond. This is another of the books I listened to on my daily walks but I’ve been much better at listening than I have writing reviews. Here’s what the book is all about.
About the Book
One summer. One stranger. One killer…
Two bad things happened that summer:
A stranger arrived. And the first girl disappeared.
In the wake of the crime that rocked her community, Felicity fled, knowing more than she let on.
But sixteen years later, her new life is shattered by the news that a second girl has gone missing in her hometown.
Now Felicity must go back, to face the truth about what happened all those years ago.
Only she holds the answers – and they’re more shocking than anyone could imagine.
The heatwave is back. And so is the killer.
I know that I’m a little late with this review, and that the chances of our experiencing a heatwave right now are slim to none, in spite of global warming, but I like to think that it’s never really too late to share your thoughts on a book, especially one that makes a mark like Katerina Diamond’s The Heatwave. From the very beginning you know that this is a book full of secrets and that our protagonist, Felicity, is hiding far a deep dark secret, possibly darker than readers can initially imagine.
Following the disappearance of a teenage girl from her hometown, Felicity finds herself compelled to the place she once fled and the past she has been avoiding for years. Just whyand what drove her away from her home and her family is not clear, but for some reason she feels as though she is the only person that can discover what has happened to the young girl. As the story evolves, a dual timeline story set in the present day and in the years in which Felicity last lived in Devon. The present narrative is first person from Felicity’s point of view, the past a third person narrative following her childhood friend, Jasmine.
Now whilst I won’t say too much about the plot for fear of spoilers, I will say that Jasmine’s past is twisted and troubled, something which feeds into what is happening in the present day. Jasmine is someone who doesn’t quite fit in with her peers, having had a difficult time at school and with her parents spending each summer working on charity projects all over the world meaning that whilst she is well travelled, she has lacked the stability and the chance to spend time with friends as most people her age would. Her life is turned upside down by the presence of a new lodger, someone who both excites and unnerves her in equal measure, something the author has managed to convey brilliantly on the page.
And it is that edginess, that unease in the presence of lodger, Tim, that adds an edge to the whole story. Something bad is happening around the town, something that we are not fully privy too, and that undercurrent of tension really builds as the story progresses. Something about the whole story kind of put me on edge, my suspicions heightened, and the more I learned of what had happened in the past, the more uncertainty I felt about who could be responsible for what was happening in the present. Katerina Diamond has played it perfectly.
As psychological thrillers go, this one is as twisted as they come. Although I thought I knew what was happening, and in some respects I did guess one or two of the plot twists, there were still plenty of secrets being kept and surprises to be revealed. The author keeps the tension playing right until the end, the dramatic showdown that happens in the final chapters is both shocking and yet fitting, the truth of what happened, the sharp sting in this particular tail, powerful and likely to stun.
If you like a slow building thriller, with plenty of secrets and an unnerving layer of tension, then this could definitely be a book you want to pick up. Don’t worry about the title. In spite of this being set in a heatwave, there is plenty to chill here and that will make you feel right at home in the winter months too.
About the Author
Katerina Diamond burst onto the crime scene with her debut The Teacher, which became a Sunday Times bestseller and a number one Kindle bestseller. It was longlisted for the CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award and the Hotel Chocolat Award for ‘darkest moment’. The Teacher was followed by sequels The Secret, The Angel, The Promise, Truth or Die and Woman in the Water, all of which featured detectives Adrian Miles and Imogen Grey. The Heatwave is her first standalone thriller.