Friday 5 June 2020

Review - Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth

Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth
Publisher: Headline
Release date: 28 May 2020
Back cover blurb: This summer burns with secrets... It is too hot to sleep. To work. To be questioned time and again by the police. At the beginning of a stifling, sultry summer, everything shifts irrevocably when Lily doesn't come home one afternoon. Rachel is Lily's teacher. Her daughter Mia is Lily's best friend. The girls are fifteen - almost women, still children. As Rachel becomes increasingly fixated on Lily's absence, she finds herself breaking fragile trusts and confronting impossible choices she never thought she'd face. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. Intoxicating and compulsive, Heatstroke is a darkly gripping, thought-provoking novel of crossed boundaries, power and betrayal, that plays with expectations at every turn.

Heatstroke is a novel thick with tension, it's shocking events happen during an oppressive heatwave that stifles it's characters, and makes for claustrophobic reading at times.

When Rachel's teenage daughter Mia asks for a sleepover, Rachel thinks nothing of it. It's a regular occurrence between Mia and her friends. She doesn't think to wonder where Mia's best friend could be, until she gets a frantic phone call from her Mother the following day.

Lily was supposed to be at Mia's sleepover, but Mia doesn't know where Lily is.

And so it begins...

Rachel is a teacher at her daughter Mia's school, so when the Police turn up asking questions, Rachel  suddenly begins her own unhealthy obsession with both Lily's disappearance as well as her own daughter's teenage life.

Lily it transpires is in a pretty unsuitable relationship. Could this be the cause of her disappearance, or is the heat making people jump to the wrong conclusions?

Heatstroke won't be a novel for everyone, but it is a solid debut, and I look forward to reading the author's next.

Heatstroke is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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