The Heights

Mysterious Book Report No. 483

by John Dwaine McKenna

The Heights, (Atria, PB, $17.00, 416 pages, ISBN 978-1-9821-7412-5), by internationally acclaimed and best-selling British author Louise Candlish, puts the reader right into the mind of a controlling, obsessed, and grieving woman named Ellen Saint . . . whose only son, nineteen year-old Lucas, was killed in an automobile accident.  The car was being driven by his best friend Kieran Watts . . . a young man who has never been forgiven by the ironically named mother of the dead teen, Ellen Saint.

As the novel begins, Saint—a pricey interior lighting designer with a morbid fear of heights—is at work with a client in a high-end London apartment building near the river Thames.  But as she looks up to the penthouse of the building next door and sees someone she could swear was Kieran Watts . . . the very same person that Saint had had murdered, two years earlier.

She calls her ex, Vic Gordon, who corroborated with her to hire the anonymous Albanian  hit-man who supposedly did the deed, and together, they set out to redo their earlier assassination attempt.  Saint is unable to let go of the past and blames Kieran, who she thinks is a monster, for leading her perfect son astray, into drugs and ultimately, to his death.  She is the unsympathetic, unreliable and unhinged narrator of this taut and well-constructed psychological thriller.  Read it for yourself and see why author Candlish has been called “The queen of the sucker punch thriller.”   You won’t be disappointed!

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