Published: 31 August 2021
Author: Paula Hawkins
Published by: Doubleday
Length: 320 pages
Reading dates: 25-28 August 2021
‘What is wrong with you?’
Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous.
Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace?
Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.
Look what you started.
As the book begins, a young man Daniel, has been found murdered on a canal boat on the Regent’s Canal in London. Laura is the main suspect – a young woman who suffers from some mental health problems resulting from a childhood accident, she was seen fleeing his boat early one morning with blood on her clothing.
Daniel’s aunt and uncle, Carla and Theo are still reeling from the death of Carla’s sister (Daniel’s mother) just a few weeks ago and are shocked to hear of his death.
Daniel’s neighbour, Miriam was the one to discover Daniel’s body. She has reason to suspect Laura is the one who killed him but withholds evidence from the police for her own reasons.
Irene is an elderly lady still mourning the death of her husband who lived next door to Carla’s sister and has befriended Laura.
I thought A Slow Fire Burning was brilliant with amazing characterisation. Each character is introduced and we are allowed to make our assumptions about them before we gradually learn more about their backstories and the reasons they maybe behave the way they do. Interspersed within the current story is another story about an abducted teenage girl which to begin with seems out of place but it soon becomes apparent what the connection is. I liked that the majority of the story is told mostly from the point of view of a group of very different women and how they overlap in different ways as the story progresses.
I was thoroughly engrossed throughout – well-paced and full of suspense, A Slow Fire Burning was a 5-star thrilling read from me. I loved The Girl on the Train when I read it back in 2017 and have been keen to read more of Hawkins’ writing.
I was lucky enough to be sent a beautiful hardback proof copy with orange pages of this from the lovely Alison Barrow.
About the author
PAULA HAWKINS worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. She is the author of two #1 New York Times bestselling novels, Into The Water and The Girl on The Train. An international #1 bestseller, The Girl on the Train has sold 23 million copies worldwide and has been adapted into a major motion picture. Into the Water was also a Sunday Times and New York Times #1 bestseller, selling 4 million copies worldwide. Her upcoming thriller, A Slow Fire Burning, is due to be published on the 31st August 2021. Hawkins was born in Zimbabwe and now splits her time between London and Edinburgh.