Hope you’re all having a good week. I am well into packing the house up ready for the move now but managing to squeeze in a bit of reading and odd other things as well. I’m drowning in cardboard boxes and bubble wrap but I’m super excited!
Thank you to @louise_candlish and @simonschusterUK for this advanced copy of The Heights in return for an honest review. The Heights is due to be published on 1st September 2021 and you can get a copy here.
The Heights is a very tall, very expensive apartment building in London. Overlooking the Thames and with a view of the Shard it is no wonder that it houses some pretty well off people. Ellen has a client in the building opposite and whilst at an appointment she spots the tenant of the penthouse out on the roof terrace. She recognises him but she knows it’s impossible to be the man she thinks it is. Because that man has been dead for two years. She knows this to be true because she killed him.
General Thoughts 🤔
Gosh this book caused some arguments. Not with anyone else, just me arguing with myself. I like to think of myself as a rational person and so for the majority of the time I just could not get on board with Ellen’s actions. At the same time, I empathised with what she was going through and I can’t relate to that and therefore don’t know how I would react if in the same position. Either way, this book was fantastically written and I can’t imagine that anyone would be able to read it without questioning themselves.
The timing and tension in this psychological thriller was perfect. It wasn’t fast paced, it was more like watching a train crash in slow motion which resulted in a lot of breath holding and lots of quick reading as I raced to find out what the outcome of the train crash would be. It ended with a cracking twist at the end which I admit I didn’t see coming until it was right in front of me.
I found Ellen’s character really intriguing and it was her that made me ask myself a tonne of questions. I don’t think I’ve read a character before who has so much love and hate in equal measure. Ultimately I don’t think Ellen ever faced her own grief and instead focused all of her hate and efforts towards Kieran and I think the people around her were dragged along on that ride, whether they wanted to be or not.
Vic was Ellen’s ex partner and the father of their son Lucas. My opinion of Vic switched pretty drastically about half way through the book. I couldn’t understand why he was so keen to go along with Ellen’s plans until I read his own point of view and then it all started to make sense. Although Vic harboured his own resentment towards Kieran, he didn’t seem like the type of man to act irrationally.
Writing Style ✍️
The way this book was structured was probably one of my favourite things about it. The majority is told from Ellen’s perspective and written in first person. Interspersed with those chapters are snippets from a newspaper article that has been written about her a couple of years down the line. The rest of the book is told from Vic’s perspective, but this doesn’t start until about half way through. It was when I read Vic’s perspective that I started to question everything that had come before it. I thought that the way Louise Candlish pieced all of this together was superbly clever and was what kept the tension taut throughout.
Conclusion & Scoring 🎖️
I am a bit of a Louise Candlish fan girl, I’ll admit. I feel like she’s peaking right now and the last couple of books have been her best yet. I loved The Heights and look forward to what is to come from her next!