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Heatstroke

by Hazel Barkworth

A claustrophobic and gripping read with an intense combination of pace and beauty which really worked for me. As the temperature rises, the threat of collateral damage radiates from every page. This book grabbed my moral certainties and bounced them off the walls. Rachel spoke directly to me - but could I trust her - and what would I have done in her situation - as a mother, as a teacher?

Extract

The early mornings were different. Seven-thirty could feel like dawn. Pale light would fill the corridors; great shards of light, so perfect their edges could cut, would fall from upper windows. There was peace. The eucalyptus detergent used overnight lingered, masking every other smell that would later taint the place. That morning it felt like a benediction. Rachel inhaled the scent as if it could strip away the terror, the hideous thougths she couldn't fend off; as if it could clean her lungs, cleanse her thoughts, and make everything pure again.

Parallels

Appletree Yard by Louise Doherty
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough
Amy and Isabelle by Elizabeth Stout
 

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