EXCERPT: Craning to glimpse the man who has come out onto the terrace and stands at the clear glass balustrade, my first thought, as it always is when I witness someone poised inches from a sheer drop like that, is, ‘He’s going to throw himself off.’ He’s going to lean forward, look down, and hear the call of the void, exactly as I would. Then he’ll jump.
I say as much to Selena, and she exclaims in horror, ‘But why would he want to jump?’
‘Not him. Me. If I were standing where he is. Don’t worry. It’s nothing to do with feeling suicidal. It’s a condition. They call it high place phenomenon.’
‘What, it’s like vertigo?’
‘That’s more a sensation of spinning – like in the movie. This is a kind of irrational impulse. But not everyone has it.’ I gesture to our man on the roof terrace, as still and poised as an elite diver about to go for gold. ‘He obviously doesn’t.’
‘Well, it wouldn’t be the best place to live if he did,’ Selena says with a smirk, as he turns and walks the length of his terrace to its river-facing corner. That’s when it happens. The impossible. The grotesque. There’s a self-consciousness to the way this man lifts his chin, an exaggerated bounce to his step, that I recognize. That makes me put my hand to my mouth to muffle a gasp, my heart punching a savage rhythm in my chest.
ABOUT ‘THE HEIGHTS’: 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 Shad Thames, 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.
MY THOUGHTS: Geez, Louise! What happened? I have loved your previous books. I enjoy the ‘slow burn’, BUT ….. The Heights is just slow.
I took four days to read The Heights, for no other reason that I kept finding other things to read/do. I would put this down, and just wasn’t motivated to pick it up again.
The Heights lacks drama, suspense, which was a real disappointment after the wonderful opening chapter. I was excited by opening chapters, but as the novel ground on, I lost interest.
I felt nothing for the characters, which surprised me as I expected to have great sympathy for Ellen. Instead I actually disliked her. I tried to put myself in her place, but I don’t think that I could sustain that level of hatred and vitriol.
And the twists? Sorry Louise, but I saw them all, bar one, coming a mile off, and I wasn’t really surprised by that either.
I would like to point out that I am very much alone with my thoughts on The Heights, and that just about everyone else has loved this book. But sorry, it just didn’t work for me. However I will be right there in line for whatever Louise Candlish writes next.
I: @louisecandlish @simonschusterau
T: @louise_candlish @SimonSchusterAU
#contemporaryfiction #crime #familydrama
THE AUTHOR: Before writing fiction, I studied English at University College London and worked as an illustrated book editor and advertising copywriter.
I live in a South London neighbourhood not unlike the one in my novels with my husband, teenage daughter, and our fox-red Labrador Bertie.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Simon & Schuster Australia via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Heights by Louise Candlish. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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