Heatwave by Victor Jestin

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Oscar is dead because I watched him die and did nothing. It is the end of August and the long summer holidays are drawing to a close.

Seventeen-year-old Leonard is on a camping holiday with his family in the South of France. Awkward and ill at ease, he is an outsider who creeps away from parties unnoticed after a couple of drinks. On the final Friday of the trip, unable to sleep, Leonard goes for a walk and sees one of the boys from the campsite, Oscar, hanging from the rope of a playground swing.

Leonard watches as the rope slowly strangles Oscar. Then, unable to think straight, he buries the body in the sand, and returns to his tent. The next day is the hottest in seventeen years.

Disoriented by the oppressive heat, and distracted by his desire for a girl named Luce, Leonard spends the ensuing hours trying not to unravel. A literary sensation in France, Heatwave is an unsettling and evocative novel that examines our darkest impulses.

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