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Heatstroke Reviews

Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth

Heatstroke: an intoxicating story of obsession over one hot summer

Hazel Barkworth

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Headline Review
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
Publication date: 28 May 2020
ISBN: 9781472265609

A dazzling debut novel of a dark love affair, set to ignite debate this summer.

4 stars out of 5
Phoebe Luckhust
21 May 2020

"A summer sizzler set in suburban Surrey"

This is Barkworth’s first novel and she’s hit the format out of the park: Heatstroke is pacy and gripping, with neat use of enigmatic flashbacks. The characters of Rachel and Mia are elegantly drawn, with Barkworth capturing the intensity of a mother-teen daughter relationship, and Mia’s tics and language are well-observed, as are the parochial preoccupations of the other local mums. It’s a stylish thriller with plenty of secrets; certainly, it’ll spice up a staycation.


4 stars out of 5
15 May 2020

"A thought-provoking debut"

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a light summer story. It's an atmospheric read that will draw you into its tangled web. At the beginning of summer, 15-year-old schoolgirl Lily goes missing. Rachel is Lily's teacher, and her daughter, Mia, is one of Lily's best friends. As Rachel becomes fixated on Lily's absence, secrets, desires and obsessions surface. Does Rachel know more than she's letting on? A thought-provoking debut.