Published by Avon-25 June 2020. Thank you to Sabah Khan for the proof copy.
*Updated 30th July 2020 thanks to Ellie Pilcher for adding me to the Audiobook Blog Tour available on Audible.com (8hrs 18 mins)
This audiobook version is read superbly by Charlotte Worthing & I really feel she does the story justice with her tone and pace that she reads. During lockdown, I’ve enjoyed listening to audiobooks & this is no exception.
I always get excited when a Katerina Diamond book arrives to review and, this time, I was even more keen to read it as this book is a stand alone and doesn’t feature the popular Detectives Miles & Grey from her previous books.
Each chapter is a ‘Then’ flashback and a ‘Now’ flash forward; between them both, the story is knitted together to reach its breathtaking crescendo!
Felicity and Jasmine are teenagers, with completely different backgrounds. Jasmine’s family are affluent and can afford a big house; they frequently embark on altruistic working holidays where they can make a difference to local communities living in poverty. They’ve also employed a stranger, new to the area, as a handyman. Jasmine can’t believe her parents are allowing him to lodge in a property in their garden when they barely know him. He’s been perfectly civil to her but something about him puts her on edge.
In contrast, Felicity lives with her mum, who is frequently drunk and has a string of boyfriends. As a result, she spends more time at Jasmine’s than her own home. She drinks too much and craves male attention, which has given her a bit of a reputation. Despite their different family circumstances, they are best friends. They think growing up in Sidmouth is boring, even though others might think growing up in a holiday resort is fun. This summer in particular, what happens in this sleepy seaside town is far from idyllic: a girl goes missing.
Sixteen years after she flees her home, vowing never to return, Felicity hears on the news that another girl has been taken; she initially struggles with her moral compass because she has built a new life in the Lake District and has her own family now, a family who know nothing of her past. She doesn’t want to go home, but memories from that summer come flooding back and she knows she has to do the right thing and return because she knows too much.
This book is set through a sizzling British summer, which if you grew up here in the UK, you can easily relate to. The clever description makes you feel as if you are transported there between the pages. That dull heat, that makes you feel sleepy, the days when you get dressed and minutes later need to change, hanging out with your friends later because it is still light & the hot sticky nights when you can barely sleep.
Ever since I finished this book, I have been trying to articulate how it made me feel while reading it. I think you know that when you read a Katerina Diamond book, you will mostly be holding your breath throughout-that’s standard-but there is something about how she uses the weather in this tale. She cleverly personifies it to match the tension in the plot; that feeling of oppression & heat before a storm which makes the story so fantastic & believable. Whilst the stories couldn’t be more different in content, it reminded me of when I read ‘A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ by Tennessee Williams in the way the heat sets the backdrop of the story.
It seems that Katerina Diamond can do no wrong; an incredibly talented writer with the ability to use strong characterisation, and cleverly crafted edge-of-the-seat plots to come up with bestseller after bestseller: The Heatwave will be no different. I loved it. 5/5
#katerinadiamond #harpercollins #avon #bookreviewsbyboo #survivetheheatwave?