The Heatwave


By Kate Riordan

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$15.99 CAD

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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 bestselling 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 1990's 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 fourteen. 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 page-turner with gorgeous prose that turns the idea of a summer novel on its head.


  • "A sultry, gorgeously written and hugely atmospheric thriller with a dark, compelling mystery at its heart."
    Lucy Foley, New York Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party
  • "An ambitious, challenging, and ultimately deeply rewarding novel."
  • "S.J. Watson fans will want to check this one out."
    Publishers Weekly
  • "Outstanding. An absolute page-turner."
    Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of Ghosted
  • "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
  • "Sultry, atmospheric and unsettling -- a book to lose yourself in this summer."
    Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said and The Poison Tree
  • "I couldn't stop reading this book. The writing is rich and multi-layered, but it's the subtlety of the characterizations that hook you and won't let you go. A taut and stunning novel!"
    Gill Paul, bestselling author of The Secret Wife
  • "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

On Sale
Aug 18, 2020
Page Count
352 pages

Kate Riordan

About the Author

Kate Riordan is a British writer and journalist. After working on staff at the Guardian and Time Out London, she left London for the Cotswolds in order to concentrate on writing novels. Her historical novel Fiercombe Manor (The Girl in the Photograph in the UK) was published by Harper in 2015.

Learn more about this author