“The Heights” by Louise Candlish – Book Review

Ellen Saint and Vic Gordon have a son named Lucas. They separated when he was quite young and now Ellen is married to Justin Saint and they have a daughter together named Freya. They live in South London.

When Lucas starts sixth form, he is led ‘astray’ by another pupil, Kieran Watts. Kieran presents as evil. His personality comes across as menacing, and he speaks in roadman, a type of gangster jargon. Kieran and Lucas like to party and do drugs. The fear of every parent. Ellen hates her beloved son’s friend with a passion.

When Lucas is only nineteen, the worst happens, Ellen is determined to have her revenge and she resorts to extreme measures to do so…

Though I found I did not enjoy this novel near as much as the author’s previous “Our House“, it was still quite an enjoyable read.

I truly relished the actual story (“The Heights“), but didn’t care for how it was within another story (“Saint or Sinner?”). When the narrator strayed from “The Heights” to address the reader directly I felt like I had been rudely awakened from a good dream with a cold bucket of water to the face. I’ve never been a fan of when the reader/watcher is directly addressed – whether it be in a novel or on screen.

“Do I have your sympathy at all, dear reader? It’s so hard to judge. How proper writers do it, I really don’t know.”

I struggled to care for the protagonist, Ellen Saint, even though she should have been a sympathetic character due to the loss of her son. She seemed cold, eccentric, and appeared calculating in her approach for retribution.

The setting was expertly described, and the characters well rendered.

The feeling of menace and injustice was well portrayed. This was a revenge tale that showed the consequences of obsessively harbouring grudges.

Candlish is renown for her plot twists and with this one she ran true to form.

Though this wasn’t my favourite of Louise Candlish’s novels, it in no way deterred me from reading more of her work. I look forward to her next thriller.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Atria Books/Simon & Schuster  via Edelweiss.

Publication date: March 1, 2022    Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781982174125   ASIN: B09842RWGB     416 pages

Louise Candlish was born in Hexham, Northumberland, and grew up in the Midlands town of Northampton. She studied English at University College London and lives in Herne Hill in South London with her husband and daughter. She is the author of twelve novels.
Besides books, the things Louise likes best are: coffee; TV; cats and dogs; salted caramel; France (especially the Ile de Re); Italy (especially Sicily); tennis; soup; Vanity Fair magazine; ‘Book at Bedtime’; lasagne; heavy metal; ‘The Archers’; driving towards the sea (but not into it); anything at the Royal Opera House; white wine; Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (or, failing that, a Starbar).

Follow Louise Candlish on Twitter.


About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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8 Responses to “The Heights” by Louise Candlish – Book Review

  1. Carla says:

    I have this book coming up next week and my anticipation is a bit lower after reading your thoughts, Lynne. I agree, I don’t want to be addressed when reading, especially when immersed in a story. I guess I shall see how it goes. As always, thanks for your wonderful, thorough review.


  2. nsfordwriter says:

    I found this rather over-hyped! Actually I wasn’t expecting to like it because I didn’t like Our House but I wanted to give the author another try 🙂


  3. Wilson Rod and Mary says:

    Thanks for the review, I think I might pass on this book even though I have read several of Louise Candlish’s books. In the past you have “labeled” books “uplift” books. I would like to read more of those kinds of books, do you have a list that you could share with me? Thanks, Mary


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: “The Heights” by Louise Candlish – Book Review @AtriaBooks #TheHeights #Edelweiss #BookReview – Imobiliare 24

  5. Pingback: “The Heights” by Louise Candlish – Book Review @AtriaBooks #TheHeights #Edelweiss #BookReview – Book Library

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