Book Review

A Slow Fire Burning

A Slow Fire Burning

Author: Paula Hawkins

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Publication Date: August 31, 2021

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Thank you to libro.fm for providing me with an ALC of this book. I am offering my honest opinion voluntarily.

CONTENT WARNING: blood, murder, alcoholism, death of a child, infertility, mention of miscarriage, mention of suicide, brief mention of harm to/death of an animal

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The scorching new thriller from the number-one New York Times’ best-selling author of ‘The Girl on the Train’.

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?

Look what you started.

While it took a little bit for me to fully get invested in the story, I truly enjoyed the ride. See what I did there? Since Paula Hawkins also wrote The Girl on the Train? Lol 

There are various POVs, although the voices are distinct enough to make it easy to differentiate between the characters. Each of them is unlikable in their own way, with major character flaws and hidden secrets. In addition, there is no shortage of unreliable narrators. It made it really hard to pin down who the villain was, when everyone looked a bit guilty of something. I had my eye on someone for much of the story, but … I think we all know how that goes when reading a well-crafted mystery. And let me tell you: this is a truly well-crafted story.

Although there weren’t really any moments that made me actually gasp, the story was full of twists and turns that had me constantly second-guessing every assumption that I had made. There is another story running through this one; a story that one of the characters has written, and I promise, it’s relevant to the plot. It’s completely distinct from what is going on, and it amps up the tension running through the book. Speaking of tension, there was so much going on that it constantly had me waiting to find out what happened next. 

Hawkins successfully avoided the story feeling choppy, which is always a risk when using multiple POVs. She skillfully manipulated the tension levels throughout the story, constantly casting suspicion from one character to another, making each one look as though they were hiding something (because everyone had something to hide in this story). I was always wondering what else they had to hide and just what they were capable of. 

The story was done really well and held my interest from start to finish. I couldn’t put it down, especially as I got closer to the end. The narrator, Rosamund Pike, did a fantastic job of voicing a variety of characters and making them all clearly different. This is definitely not a book to miss. The ending will surprise you. 

You can get a copy of this audiobook through my link at Libro.fm here.

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