“A perfect family. A devastating secret.”
Published on 5th January 2023, The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath is set in the tranquil town of Queen’s Point in southern Australia and told over two timelines. In the summer of 2000, the Whitlam family mark the end of the season with a lavish party in their clifftop mansion. Here, clutching her first glass of real champagne, the summer breeze intoxicating on her skin, sixteen-year-old Lucy Ross is kissed for the very first time. And then, in the shadows of the rose garden, she sees something she shouldn’t.
In Winter 2019, after two decades of silence, Lucy is back in Queen’s Point. She hasn’t planned on staying long. But when human remains wash up on the freezing beach, the police close the town. Unable to leave, Lucy is forced to rekindle old friendships – and examine old truths – she has long ago tried to forget. As long-buried secrets start to surface, Lucy must decide. Will she confront the past and tell the truth? Or will she still do anything to protect the people she loves?
Thank you to NetGalley for a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
An engrossing and atmospheric thriller centred around family, The Summer Party immediately drew me in with its beautiful coastal setting, its privileged characters with layers of secrecy, and an intriguing premise oozing with mystery.
Alternating between two timelines, the pace is fast and constantly keeps you guessing. There are a lot of characters to suspect, and all have two sides to their personalities. They may be wealthy and privileged, but I also found them very engaging. But while they all seem welcoming to Lucy, it’s obvious that they are all hiding something and I really enjoyed seeing these characters come apart.
I also really enjoyed the Australian setting which is brilliantly detailed, with the beautifully tranquil atmosphere adding more weight and intensity to the already puzzling mystery.
As Heath’s debut adult novel, I definitely look forward to reading more by her in the future. This was a really enjoyable thriller and a great one to save for a holiday read later in the year!
The Summer Party by Rebecca Heath
Release Date: 5th January 2023
Print Length: 384 pages
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Publisher: Head Of Zeus