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Elizabeth Heathcote Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Undertow (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Elizabeth Heathcote is a British author that writes psychological thrillers. Heathcote is best known for the novel ‘Undertow’.

+Biography

Elizabeth Heathcote has been writing for as long as she can remember. Though fiction is somewhat of a late addition to her bibliography. Growing up in Northampton and eventually studying History at the LSE, Heathcote made her name in the field of journalism.

The author was a feature writer and editor at a multitude of magazines and newspapers. And she was pretty good at her job. However, there was a part of her that yearned to produce fiction.

And she gave into it relatively quickly, scribbling a few ideas down in her spare time. As a journalist, Heathcote specialized in the fields of relationships, health and the family. She racked up a reputation for the work she did with publications like the Observer, the Guardian, and the Independent.

Heathcote wrote a lot about women’s issues. When she finally went into the business of fiction, it was with the intention of writing psychological crime fiction. That was where her passions lay.

She desired to produce gripping stories that would keep readers guessing with their many twists and turns. And because of her background as a psychological health writer, she also sought to explore relationships in her work.

She wanted to create highly memorable characters whose associations with one another kept the story evolving. And when it was all said and done, Elizabeth Heathcote wanted to know that her books had touched lives.

She wanted to know that her crime thrillers, fictional though they were, had the capacity to tackle big life subjects. And Heathcote believes she did just that with Undertow, her debut novel which readers have said stayed with them long after they read it.

It took the mother of two years to get Undertow ready for publication. The psychological suspense novel began to take shape during the author’s time as a freelance feature writer.

The lengthy duration it took to write ‘Undertow’ isn’t a testament to Heathcote’s laziness. The author had a pretty full life at the time. Besides her freelance work, Heathcote was also working shifts at a newspaper.

She was partially fortunate that her kids were old enough to attend school at the time. But whenever they came home at 3 PM, Heathcote’s entire world stopped. Things were even worse during the school holidays.

In fact, it wasn’t until an underemployment week in 2010 that the author finally wrote the first chapter of her debut novel. Their home had a shed where they stored things. And because of how small their house was, the shed provided Heathcote the sanctuary she needed to write

It wasn’t the most comfortable of offices but the shed achieved its purpose. It gave the author an isolated location where she could dedicate her efforts to her writing. The shed was fitted with shelves to house the author’s numerous crime novels, so Heathcote had access to plenty of reading material whenever she needed inspiration.

The author eventually knocked a few chapters out in between working and caring for her children. Those chapters piqued the interest of an agent and that is where the real work began.

Elizabeth Heathcote was told that she needed to deliver a real draft. That meant she could no longer treat the ‘Undertow’ project as a hobby. She needed to get serious. And that became abundantly clear when the completion of her first draft was met with a request for additional drafts.

The shed did not make things easier. Winter came and made the prospect of leaving their warm house to write in the damp shed highly unappealing. But all that hassle was more than worth it when Elizabeth Heathcote finally completed and had her debut novel published.

+Undertow

Carmen and Tom are married. Carmen wants to believe that their marriage is happy. However, she also cannot ignore the ever-present ghost of Zena.

Zena was Tom’s mistress and she was responsible for ending his first marriage. No one would blame Carmen for remaining wary of her, not when the woman has an uncanny ability to generate some truly dark emotions.

Zena’s presence continues to linger even after she drowns in the sea. Carmen wants to put Tom’s past behind them. But that becomes all but impossible for them to do when she stumbles upon evidence suggesting that her husband might have deceived her.

She finds documents and photographs that dispute Tom’s account of things. As her paranoia grows, Carmen begins to wonder whether finding out the truth is worth it, especially if it stands to destroy her future.

Undertow is Elizabeth Heathcote’s debut novel, a book that pushes the sanity of a woman to the breaking point.

Carmen takes center stage as a happily married woman. Carmen’s previous relationship lasted fifteen years before adultery tore it apart. Carmen met Tom, they divulged one another’s darkest secrets and their burgeoning relationship eventually led to marriage.

Carmen knows about Tom’s first marriage and his three children and the fact that his affair with a beautiful woman called Zena ruined his life. Tom’s love for Zena was such that he left his family for her.

And they would have remained together except she drowned accidentally.

At the start of ‘Undertow’, Carmen is a freelance journalist. She has never questioned Tom’s narration of events about his past. But then she gets suspicious when she finds her husband’s old laptop and discovers that, not only were the circumstances of Zena’s death mysterious but that Tom was suspected of involvement in her death.

The police never found any evidence to dispute Tom’s side of the story and so Zena’s death was ruled an accidental drowning. Carmen begins to use her investigative skills to look into the murder.

She begins to identify discrepancies in his story. Now Carmen doesn’t know what to believe. There’s evidence suggesting that her husband might have committed murder. But Tom is sticking to his story, and if Carmen believes him and turns out to be wrong, then her life could be in danger.

Undertow puts readers in the mind of Carmen. The more she learns about Zena’s death, the more paranoid she gets, the more dangerous Tom seems to appear in her eyes.

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