Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Heights

The Heights by Louise Candlish
3/1/22;416 pages
Atria Books

The Heights by Louise Candlish is a highly recommended novel about maternal obsession and revenge.

When Ellen Saint is at a client's home and sees Kieran Watts standing on a roof top terrace in the apartment building across the way she is shocked. She knows that this is not possible because he's been dead for two years, and she should know because she killed him. Kieran was responsible for her son Lucas's death and she extracted her revenge on him for his actions that impacted her son's life.

This really is a slow-burn psychological thriller that examines grief, fear, guilt, and revenge and the disastrous effects that Kieran had on her family. You will know that something bad is going to happen and as you read the reason for all of Ellen's hatred is set up. At the beginning Ellen is writing about the events as a form of therapy. Interspersed in  between  Ellen's words is the Sunday Times magazine article about Ellen and chapters following the perspective of Vic, Lucas's father.

We have no likable or relatable characters here. The first part of the novel, which is through Ellen's point-of-view is very slow. Once the second part begins, the pace picks up and we are provided with more information. The struggle is staying engaged with the first half of the novel which is very slow and some what repetitive. Things do pick up in the end but the trick is to stick with it through the beginning in order to make it to the end.

The writing is good and Candlish provides plenty of twists, but you have to endure the slow start to get to the actual psychological thriller part of the novel. Ellen's obsession with Kieran can become a bit tiresome. The key to enjoying this novel is sticking with it to the final denouement.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Atria Books

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