The Heights

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Twists within twists within more twists. Maybe one twist too many? You decide, – I confess, I still haven’t made up my mind.

Ellen Saint is one “crazy obsessed mother.” Neurotic, icily consumed by her rage (superseding her remarkable fragility), plagued with anxieties, including a terrifying (and thematic to the story) fear of heights encapsulated in a syndrome known as “high place phenomenon”.

Ellen is convinced her teenage son Lucas is the unknowing victim of his evil friend, Kieran, – a situation that quickly escalates to see Kieran and Ellen squared off in a vicious game of cat-and-mouse, each, it appears, the arch-enemy and now, life-long sworn nemesis of the other.

Vic, Ellen’s former partner and the father of Lucas, a laid back, insecure and struggling-to-be-perceived-as-permissively “cool” father, doesn’t quite agree with Ellen’s viewpoint, believing instead not that “Kieran had been born evil, only that his life circumstances had produced a uniquely careless individual.”

Justin, Ellen’s current husband, and the father of her daughter, Frey, is, if anything, confused and deeply saddened by the whole situation, doing his best to remain the voice of calm reason in an Ellen-tossed sea so stormy it’s hard for the reader not to see him as somewhat of an enigma.

Hate and obsession. Motherhood. Love. Paranoia. Violence. And inevitably, death.

With Ellen and Vic’s alternating POV experiences presented to the reader, the question of course, is whose perceptions are “real” (more real?) and who should we trust?

Leaving the reader with one essential question – from dizzying heights to horrifying depths – both faces of the same bedeviling emotion?

Guaranteed to keep you guessing, this is first class psychological devilry, with so many of the afflicted clouding the landscape that it’s impossible to pick just one.

A great big thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for an ARC of this book. All thoughts presented are my own.


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