2021 Reviews · contemporary fiction · crime · mystery · new release · suspense · thriller

New Release Book Review: The Heights by Louise Candlish

Title: The Heights

Author: Louise Candlish

Published: June 2nd 2021

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 448

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

FROM THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF OUR HOUSE, WINNER OF THE CRIME & THRILLER BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD, COMES A NAIL-BITING STORY OF TRAGEDY AND REVENGE

‘Impossible to resist, impossible to predict, impossible to put down… this is an author at the top of her game’ Erin Kelly, author of Watch Her Fall

He thinks he’s safe up there. 
But he’ll never be safe from you. 

The Heights is a tall, slender apartment building among the warehouses of Tower Bridge, its roof terrace so discreet you wouldn’t know it existed if you weren’t standing at the window of the flat directly opposite. But you are. And that’s when you see a man up there – a man you’d recognize anywhere. He’s older now and his appearance has subtly changed, but it’s definitely him. 

Which makes no sense at all since you know he has been dead for over two years.  

You know this for a fact.  

Because you’re the one who killed him.  

Review:

‘From the footbridge, The Heights is a natural focal point thanks to the window halfway up thickly draped with lights, the oblique glimpse beyond of a seething Christmas party.’

Dubbed by fellow writer Ruth Ware as the ‘queen of the sucker-punch twist’, Louise Candlish makes a splash yet again on the domestic thriller scene with her latest triumph, The Heights. A mesmerising tale of death, loss, revenge, fixation, choice and addiction, The Heights is a great book for psychological thriller readers.

Louise Candlish presents The Heights, a story set amongst the high-rise buildings and huge apartment blocks of Tower Bridge. At the centre of this sprawling city landscape is an understated building that becomes the site for confusion, misunderstanding, mixed feelings and high emotions. When a man is spied standing on the building by a person from his past, who was sure he was dead, so many questions begin to swirl around this situation. Why is this man alive? Why is here? Can the mystery be solved?

Northampton resident Louise Candlish is the well-respected author of over fourteen novels.  Inspired by her love of Hitchcock movies such as Rear Window and Vertigo, The Heights is a story that combines this style of entertainment with Candlish’s signature narrative direction of glossy situations, dark secrets and flawed but relatable characters. In this latest novel, Candlish explores the theme of high place phenomenon. A term I am not very well versed in, The Heights provided me with the opportunity to learn about this very interesting form of thinking which is a phobia specifically related to the urge to jump from a high place such as a cliff or the top of a tall building, even though you don’t want to. This is a fascinating angle to take narrative direction wise in my opinion.

The Heights is ultimately a revenge tale, that revolves around a life altering tragedy and how the subjects involved deal with this significant event. It looks at our primal instincts, our emotional responses, our moral compass and the restrictions placed on us via the law. With plenty of food for thought, The Heights is a conflict based read that would be great for any book club to discuss. With extreme responses, sky high emotions, human standards tested and unethical actions at stake, The Heights is a provocative tale that really blurs the lines between justice and retribution.

Set across four addictive parts, each volume of The Heights offers a different perspective to the story. The characters will have you at odds and their narration is unreliable at best, so the story issued to the reader is definitely most puzzling. The way in which this story is delivered is quite pertinent to the novel as a whole. We are also presented with a meta narrative, or a book within a book in The Heights, which adds another valuable dimension to this story. This extra line allows the story at hand to twist one way and then the next, which ultimately contributes to a high level of entertainment for the awaiting audience. I know I had no idea of where The Heights was going direction wise, but I was more than happy to surrender myself to this one for the duration.

The characters in The Heights offer a good cross section of traits for the reader to tread their way through as the story unfolds. From the neurotic and high maintenance Ellen, through to the rational but secretive Vic, Candlish makes no apologies for her unlikeable character set. However, the presentation of these figures is what carries this book over. The cast of The Heights are realistic and very flawed, which allows the reader to consider how they would react if they were placed in the same situation as the protagonists. It is a good way to take a break away from the demands of everyday life and live the life of another thanks to this page based psychological ride!

Candlish does not aim to disappoint, especially in regards to her plot twists. The Heights is a well written, carefully plotted and robust tale, that will prove to be quite challenging to discard once you have selected it to read!

The Heights by Louise Candlish was published on 2nd June 2021 by Simon & Schuster. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Heights, Louise Candlish here.

*I wish to thank Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

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