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A Slow Fire Burning

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for A Slow Fire Burning

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kristin (KC)

    No cover No title No blurb And, still, I couldn't possibly want to read this more... No cover No title No blurb And, still, I couldn't possibly want to read this more...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** This was my third Paula Hawkins book and while I found it somewhat slow going, the writing was superb. It was the pacing and the large cast of unlikable and unreliable narrators that bogged this one down for me a bit. Otherwise this would probably have been a 5*. I thought the title was very apropo because of the slow burn of anger, hatred, jealousy and deceit brewing within these characters. We start in this book at the ending and follow through the back stories of all ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** This was my third Paula Hawkins book and while I found it somewhat slow going, the writing was superb. It was the pacing and the large cast of unlikable and unreliable narrators that bogged this one down for me a bit. Otherwise this would probably have been a 5*. I thought the title was very apropo because of the slow burn of anger, hatred, jealousy and deceit brewing within these characters. We start in this book at the ending and follow through the back stories of all of the characters, switching back and forth also through various timelines. Then we also have a “book within a book” which was incredibly clever and well done. All of these things makes for a well written but sometimes hard to follow narrative. Even knowing the ending does not take away from the shock value at the end of the novel. Because no matter how many red herrings the author threw at me, I DID NOT SEE THIS ENDING COMING!!!!!!!! The main cast of characters: Theo Myerson and his wife Carla, who had the start of an incredible marriage, until their young son Ben died accidentally at only 3 years of age. They are both hiding enough secrets to bury any average human being. You may think you know their secrets, BUT JUST WAIT UNTIL THE ENDING!!!!!!!!!! Laura is a poor young soul. She was in a horrific accident at the age of ten which left her with some brain damage, causing all kinds of unacceptable and out of control incidents to occur. She was also left with a terrible limp, all of which left her with a terrible self image. Add to this a mother who is not supportive and a father who is emotionally absent and you have one troubled young woman. Miriam is a middle aged woman, living just several boats down from the boat where Daniel is brutally murdered. She sees, hears and knows a lot. She also has a vendetta against at least one of the characters. Angela is Carla’s sister, living a lonely and unhappy life. She lived with her son Daniel until recent years when Daniel went to live on his own. They had a caustic, unhealthy relationship. Daniel himself is hard to read. We begin to learn more about him, his unhappy and caustic relationship with his mother, his aunt Carla and others, but don’t really understand him even at the end. This is a very cerebral mystery so I wouldn’t recommend reading this after several glasses of wine, or whatever unless you reason better this way!! You will need to think, untangle story lines and understand this myriad cast of characters and convoluted but ultimately brilliantly written novel. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Krystin Rachel

    I know literally nothing about this, but I WANT IT. I know literally nothing about this, but I WANT IT.

  4. 5 out of 5

    karen

    NOW AVAILABLE!!! hawkins' debut thriller The Girl on the Train came out hot on the heels of the film-adaptation of Gone Girl, when the psych suspense market was craving MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE, and it became a runaway bestseller that everyone either loved or loved to hate, but its success ushered in a WAVE of twisty suspense novels trying to hitch a ride aboard the gone girl on the (gravy) train, so many of which unabashedly featured the word "girl" or "woman" in their titles. her follow-up, Into NOW AVAILABLE!!! hawkins' debut thriller The Girl on the Train came out hot on the heels of the film-adaptation of Gone Girl, when the psych suspense market was craving MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE, and it became a runaway bestseller that everyone either loved or loved to hate, but its success ushered in a WAVE of twisty suspense novels trying to hitch a ride aboard the gone girl on the (gravy) train, so many of which unabashedly featured the word "girl" or "woman" in their titles. her follow-up, Into the Water, was a much quieter release, and wasn't even a mystery, IMO; it was a character-driven investigation of a situation that happened to have a body count, in a similar vein to ivy pochoda's exquisite These Women. (i reviewed both of these books for l.a. review of books and i used plenty of capital letters. links to hawkins and pochoda, if you're interested) A Slow Fire Burning is a return to the twisty twisty murder myst'ry style that put hawkins on the map, with a large cast of unlikable, unreliable characters full of secrets and hidden agendas, carefully clipped clues and misdirection. there aren't any trains this time, but there are SEVERAL boats. it also features a mystery novelist character who gives a little meta-commentary on the genre as well as roadmap to the novel itself: It was a book that exposed the way the sympathies of the reader might be manipulated, laying bare how quickly we jump to conclusions about guilt and innocence, power and responsibility. there's even a novel-within-the-novel, giving the book an unusual shape hawkins seems to anticipate will invite criticism, which she cheekily addresses, using the novelist character: "I thought it was so interesting, the way you turned the whole thing around, you know, telling the story backward in some parts and forwards in others, letting us see inside the killer's head—that was so brilliant! At first you, like, you don't know what's going on, but then it's just like...woah. So cool. I loved the way you turned everything on its head, playing with our sympathies and empathies and all that business." "Really?" Theo laughed, faking incredulity. "I thought everybody thought that was a terrible idea." "Well, I didn't. I thought it was clever. A new way to tell a story like that, makes you think, doesn't it?" the title, however, does not describe the book—this fire burns fast—a highly engaging page-turner that whisks the reader to and fro—edging close to the truth before shifting the focus away each time in a delicious flurry of NOT YET, MY LOVELIES! unsympathetic characters, unintended consequences, unexpected connections...and murrrrderrrrrr. i dug it. come to my blog!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lisa of Troy

    Well well I guess this is why you shouldn't judge a book by the first 50%..... A young man, Daniel Sutherland, has been found deceased on a houseboat. Leaving the scene of the crime is Laura, a young woman known to police. Fortunately for Daniel, there is a noisy neighbor Miriam who takes detailed records of all of the comings and goings. However, Daniel's mother, Angela, died just a few weeks before Daniel in an accident. Are these deaths connected? Was it Laura? What do we really know? This was Well well I guess this is why you shouldn't judge a book by the first 50%..... A young man, Daniel Sutherland, has been found deceased on a houseboat. Leaving the scene of the crime is Laura, a young woman known to police. Fortunately for Daniel, there is a noisy neighbor Miriam who takes detailed records of all of the comings and goings. However, Daniel's mother, Angela, died just a few weeks before Daniel in an accident. Are these deaths connected? Was it Laura? What do we really know? This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 (this book as well as Survive The Night) so my hopes were HIGH. The first half of the book was extremely complicated and slow and going. There are quite a few characters to keep track of and how they are related and connected to each other. The first half of the book would have easily been rated a 2 or 3 stars, just average if not a bit overly complex. However, the last half of the book was extremely entertaining and had some twists that I was not quite expecting. At the last half of the book, it was revealed why the book was so complex. When I think back on this book, there was one character who said something that if it was not said might have changed quite a bit of the book. A Slow Fire Burning book reminds me of The Great Gatsby because it is so perfectly woven together, unexpected, but it also has characters trying to do the right thing and imperfectly loving other people. Overall, I am greatly looking forward to reading this book again. It has the complexity of The Great Gatsby - everything was set up perfectly and was surprising at the end. However, the greatness of this novel is not apparent in the first half of the book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan's Reviews

    Another heroine who is a physical, emotional and mental wreck: Hawkins had it in for poor Laura. She was constantly bashed about and yes, she did make almost nothing but poor choices. Her father and mother were emotional train wrecks themselves. Talk about a cat chasing its tail. I have to say that after a while, I got tired of the continuous bouts of extreme violence that Laura endured. Towards the end, I thought the worst was over, but... no, poor Laura! A lot of the plot relies on the mental in Another heroine who is a physical, emotional and mental wreck: Hawkins had it in for poor Laura. She was constantly bashed about and yes, she did make almost nothing but poor choices. Her father and mother were emotional train wrecks themselves. Talk about a cat chasing its tail. I have to say that after a while, I got tired of the continuous bouts of extreme violence that Laura endured. Towards the end, I thought the worst was over, but... no, poor Laura! A lot of the plot relies on the mental instability or vagueness of many of its characters. The various characters and their backstories were interesting, but the reason for the crime still escapes me: I really had to suspend my disbelief to accept the summing up. And Theo? What was that all about, seriously: all this atonement for so many past sins? I just put it down to the mental instability of the murderer and all the supporting cast members in this long, drawn out drama. I can't say I enjoyed this one. It took quite a while to get through. I'm rating this a 3.5 stars out of 5, rounded down to a 3.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dallas Strawn

    Oh boy, this was a disappointment. It took her 4 years to write this?? I hate to say it, but, A Slow Fire Burning....is a slow hot mess. Once a big Hawkins fan here, I loved Girl on the Train, idolized that book. Wasn't as impressed with Into the Water like many others. But this one....ugh. Way too many POVs, time jumps, and just so much unnecessary drivel confusing the reader more and more. A rather predictable tale of murder and revenge..... The ending didn't shock me at all. It was going to be Oh boy, this was a disappointment. It took her 4 years to write this?? I hate to say it, but, A Slow Fire Burning....is a slow hot mess. Once a big Hawkins fan here, I loved Girl on the Train, idolized that book. Wasn't as impressed with Into the Water like many others. But this one....ugh. Way too many POVs, time jumps, and just so much unnecessary drivel confusing the reader more and more. A rather predictable tale of murder and revenge..... The ending didn't shock me at all. It was going to be 3 stars til I got to the end. 🤷🏻‍♂️🥱😴 2.5 ⭐️ for this snoozefest.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    A young man in his twenties is found stabbed to death on the houseboat where he had been living. I admit that I've always been entranced by the idea of living in one, minus the murder of course. A woman who lives in another of the boats is the one to find his body and at first glimpse she seems like the typical busy body type of person, always looking, judging. Soon though, there will be two other women involved, unreliable narrators all. There are connections between these women and the dead ma A young man in his twenties is found stabbed to death on the houseboat where he had been living. I admit that I've always been entranced by the idea of living in one, minus the murder of course. A woman who lives in another of the boats is the one to find his body and at first glimpse she seems like the typical busy body type of person, always looking, judging. Soon though, there will be two other women involved, unreliable narrators all. There are connections between these women and the dead man, but these are uncovered slowly. The atmosphere is dark, the small group of characters unlikable, harboring secrets and truths. The young woman Laura, a tragic past, I felt sorry for and Irene a older woman, with a big heart, the only character I actually liked. There are many misdirections which change the story in small and big ways. A book within a book which also serves to confuse. The pacing is slow, but there are constant revelations and the truths are slowly revealed. Can't say I loved it but did find the characters and their motivations interesting. Tragic and frustrating in measure. ARC from Edelweiss.

  9. 5 out of 5

    L.A.

    **4.5** Paula Hawkins earned her label of a psychodramatic writer when she blew us away with The Girl on the Train. A Slow Fire Burning is an atmospheric, suspenseful, psychotic thriller that will have you gripping the edge of your seat. To say I was not confused is an understatement, but I remember having that same feeling with her first one, but yet it reels you in at a tantalizing rate of emotions that you will revel in this when your finished. Jealousy and deceit are the catalyst for this pow **4.5** Paula Hawkins earned her label of a psychodramatic writer when she blew us away with The Girl on the Train. A Slow Fire Burning is an atmospheric, suspenseful, psychotic thriller that will have you gripping the edge of your seat. To say I was not confused is an understatement, but I remember having that same feeling with her first one, but yet it reels you in at a tantalizing rate of emotions that you will revel in this when your finished. Jealousy and deceit are the catalyst for this powerful book. With a number of unlikeable characters that are complicated and deemed as troubling, it was hard to cheer for any of them. Theo and Carla have an unhealthy marriage that appears on and off due to an accidental death of their 3 year old son left in the care of her sister Angela and her son Daniel. Angela allows her bad habits to interfere with the love and care for her son... revealing a terrible cycle of child neglect. The book revolves around the gruesome scene of Daniel's death occurring on a London houseboat he was living in. There are numerous characters seen leaving the crime scene reportedly by his nosey neighbor Miriam, who has a side story of her own tying the Twist and turns and complicating who did it. The author sets in motion a number of scenarios and vindictive reasons to commit the crime. One of the most unpredictable and saddest characters in the book is Laura. Deeply damaged mentally and physically in a car accident and left abandoned by her mother and father. Her life is complicated and scarred by a number of abusive events. She confides and cared for by Irene, another character with a tie-in and side story. *******a dog is brutally killed in a jealous rage by one of the characters******* Tie-in all of these characters in a spellbinding, psychotic thriller and pick one out of the bunch narrowing it down into a guilty and not guilty pile, you will undoubtedly need to tear it down and restart with many surprising second guesses. That ending!!!! There is no turning back when you start this one. A clever in-take ...it's a "book within a book". Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group Riverhead for this incredible ARC in exchange for mt honest opinion.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tucker (TuckerTheReader)

    will this book ever be published? *********** still no title? So mysterious... I LOVE IT *********** This book comes out in four months and there's no title, synopsis or cover. Why do I sense that this will be pushed back. *********** October 2019!? Can't she wrote instead of... You know... Eating or sleeping? Is that too much to ask? | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram will this book ever be published? *********** still no title? So mysterious... I LOVE IT *********** This book comes out in four months and there's no title, synopsis or cover. Why do I sense that this will be pushed back. *********** October 2019!? Can't she wrote instead of... You know... Eating or sleeping? Is that too much to ask? | Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    There is a murder because of course there is. Tenuous connections, deception, and betrayal embroil members of a family, a pitiable young woman, and a meddlesome middle-aged spinster in the investigation that ensues. Moving back and forth in time, the characters’ backstories are slowly revealed as Hawkins turns you every which way but loose. There is even a book within in a book. I was held breathless.

  12. 5 out of 5

    alka ☂

    no one: not even a single soul: me: sorry if this is your favorite book but I AM DRAGGING IT TO JAIL!!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Smith

    I’d enjoyed the author’s hugely successful mystery thriller The Girl on the Train and so despite my normal aversion to fiction set in the UK (too close to home, not escapist enough, yadda yadda yadda) I was excited to get hold of this one. It kicks off with the discovery of a body on a houseboat in London. It’s clearly a case of murder, so for the police it’s now simply a case of identifying who had both the opportunity and the motive. We are soon to meet a small cast of characters who seem to I’d enjoyed the author’s hugely successful mystery thriller The Girl on the Train and so despite my normal aversion to fiction set in the UK (too close to home, not escapist enough, yadda yadda yadda) I was excited to get hold of this one. It kicks off with the discovery of a body on a houseboat in London. It’s clearly a case of murder, so for the police it’s now simply a case of identifying who had both the opportunity and the motive. We are soon to meet a small cast of characters who seem to have both – or do they? We have the nosy neighbour who had found the body, a young woman who’d had a recent one night stand on the victim's boat and an aunt who seems to be nursing a whole bag of resentment, for reasons we are to discover later. And there are other linked characters too who are perhaps worthy of consideration. Could one of these be the killer or are we being sold a shoal of red herrings? Well, it’s a complicated tale and readers will need to pay close attention if they’re to have a chance of successfully resolving this one. There are a number of separate storylines running in parallel as we step back and forth in time. I found it a little confusing, in truth, though I confess I am easily lost if too much information is put on the table. Each person the spotlight falls on seems to be hiding something and as additional information is progressively fed in I found that my perception of what was going on in the background was subtly (or sometime not so subtly) challenged. The characters – all of them – are a pretty dislikeable bunch and I didn’t find myself becoming sympathetic to the cause of any of them. So this, added to the complicated way in which the story is told, had the effect of distracting me to the point I’d put the book down and not pick it up again for some time. There wasn’t a moment that I felt like giving up, but neither was I in a hurry to burn the midnight oil working through the outstanding text. I was expecting a big surprise, a major twist and I suppose it is here. But the reason I frame it in this way is that it came and went before I’d realised that that's what it was. I can’t say it was an explosive moment for me and that’s perhaps because there are many minor twists here and this one sort of melded in with the crowd. In retrospect it did explained things, it was the moment all should have become clear in my mind (as I’m sure it will in the minds of more switched-on readers). One highlight is that the audio version I listened to was impeccably narrated by the brilliant actress Rosumund Pike. But in summary, I enjoyed this tale but I didn’t love it. It didn’t do for me what The Girl on the Trian did. I’ll be interested to see what others think of it: I expect some will absolutely love it though others might feel as I do, that it rather passed them by. My thanks to Penguin Random House UK Audio, Transworld Digital and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    Oh so this is......finally happening?? Wow okay yes...we’re cool, we’re calm, we’re chill— Oh so this is......finally happening?? Wow okay yes...we’re cool, we’re calm, we’re chill—

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    Paula Hawkins books seem to divide readers and reviewers. I for one really enjoyed both of her previous books and I was keen to see what she had in store for us next. A Slow Fire Burning is another slow burn with a lot of characters but it is so well constructed that it is worth sticking with. The ending is really clever and it all comes together. Unfortunately there is animal cruelty which was not necessary and it lessened my enjoyment. This is a murder mystery that has something for everyone. A Paula Hawkins books seem to divide readers and reviewers. I for one really enjoyed both of her previous books and I was keen to see what she had in store for us next. A Slow Fire Burning is another slow burn with a lot of characters but it is so well constructed that it is worth sticking with. The ending is really clever and it all comes together. Unfortunately there is animal cruelty which was not necessary and it lessened my enjoyment. This is a murder mystery that has something for everyone. A man is found murdered on a houseboat by his neighbour. We learn of 3 women in his life who have good reason to want him dead. There are unreliable and unlikeable characters, a book within a book and plenty of twists and turns. The audio was really well done, narrated by Rosamund Pike. Thanks to Libra.FM and Penguin Random House for my ALC. Released August 31st.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    I found this story to be complex and very sad. All the character's are severely flawed in a disturbing way. The first half of the book was a bit slow and it took some time to figure out each character's personality and how it played into the storyline. I found the last half of the book to be real good as everything unfolded and came together in some shocking revelations. Overall, I enjoyed this one. I found this story to be complex and very sad. All the character's are severely flawed in a disturbing way. The first half of the book was a bit slow and it took some time to figure out each character's personality and how it played into the storyline. I found the last half of the book to be real good as everything unfolded and came together in some shocking revelations. Overall, I enjoyed this one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    NILTON TEIXEIRA

    Let me just say that this book was not meant for me. I wasn’t impressed by the writing and I found the storyline and its structure to be pretentious and confusing. The dialogues were very disappointing and I was bored the whole time. Fortunately this book is small (84k words) and the chapters are not too long. As if someone else wrote it, chapter 30 was my favourite one, where I asked why couldn’t have been like that throughout the book? It was a moment of great lucidity and that was what I was expe Let me just say that this book was not meant for me. I wasn’t impressed by the writing and I found the storyline and its structure to be pretentious and confusing. The dialogues were very disappointing and I was bored the whole time. Fortunately this book is small (84k words) and the chapters are not too long. As if someone else wrote it, chapter 30 was my favourite one, where I asked why couldn’t have been like that throughout the book? It was a moment of great lucidity and that was what I was expecting from this author. Anyways, there are plenty of twists that I’m sure other readers will rave about it. A warning for those who can’t stand death of a pet. In chapter 33 a dog is killed. Although there was no suffering, I know that some readers will want to skip it. Happy reading everyone!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erin (from Long Island, NY)

    (4.5 for the audiobook) A slow burn for sure (& some pretty miserable topics,) but I couldn’t put it down! This was my first by this author & im excited because I really enjoyed her writing.. The characters drew me right in & the ending didn’t disappoint.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    4 incendiary stars for this new thriller from Paula Hawkins. Early in the book, one of the women mentions how old books are slowly self-combusting, alluding to the deterioration that occurs inside paper. That metaphor was such a striking snapshot of the book itself. One young man dies on a houseboat. Revolving in his story are neighbor Miriam, one-night-stand Laura, mother Angela, and aunt Carla. Also pulled into the orbit are Carla's ex Theo and Angela's friend/neighbor Irene. These are out mai 4 incendiary stars for this new thriller from Paula Hawkins. Early in the book, one of the women mentions how old books are slowly self-combusting, alluding to the deterioration that occurs inside paper. That metaphor was such a striking snapshot of the book itself. One young man dies on a houseboat. Revolving in his story are neighbor Miriam, one-night-stand Laura, mother Angela, and aunt Carla. Also pulled into the orbit are Carla's ex Theo and Angela's friend/neighbor Irene. These are out main characters and they connect to each other in ways both predictable and unpredictable. As with The Girl on the Train, there are unreliable accounts of events right and left. Pay attention! The police are quite bamboozled and have to finally rely on an unexpected player to catch the killer. In the mix are abduction, plagiarism, a hit and run, a hidden graphic novel, pickpocketing, bullying, and so much guilt. . . Cleverly put together and an engrossing read. Succombing already to slow fire, the acidification of the paper destroying it from within, eating away at the pages, making them brittle and breakable. It was terribly sad when you thought about it, all those stories slowly disappearing. Thank you to Riverhead Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Did I love the much over-hyped, beat-like-a-dead-horse, "The Girl on the Train?" Unashamedly yes. Did I also love Hawkins' follow-up, "Into the Water?" Unequivocally Yes. Did I jump through hoops and offer up my firstborn to get a copy of her newest release? Unrepentantly yes. And I would do it again! 😉 It may not be quite on par with "The Girl on the Train," (this one does have a rather slow start), but I still savored every page and can still say that Hawkins has yet to really disappoint me wi Did I love the much over-hyped, beat-like-a-dead-horse, "The Girl on the Train?" Unashamedly yes. Did I also love Hawkins' follow-up, "Into the Water?" Unequivocally Yes. Did I jump through hoops and offer up my firstborn to get a copy of her newest release? Unrepentantly yes. And I would do it again! 😉 It may not be quite on par with "The Girl on the Train," (this one does have a rather slow start), but I still savored every page and can still say that Hawkins has yet to really disappoint me with her follow-up works. The book begins with Daniel Sutherland found dead by his neighbor on his houseboat. Immediately you find that there are three woman in Daniel's life, all of whom harbor dark secrets, and all of whom have reason to want him dead. All three of them are extremely unreliable narrators in some way, and my head was spinning trying to figure out which one, if any, were trustworthy. It's one of the things I love about Hawkins' characters - it is always hard to tell who is capable of unspeakable acts. They are all deeply flawed but yet somehow sympathetic, as they all have significant pain and trauma in their pasts that explains their behavior and makes you want to know more about them - I was as invested in their stories as I was into finding out who killed Daniel. The story is told from their alternating POVs, but it had an easy flow to it that kept it from being confusing and disjointed. Hawkins did a masterful job at ultimately weaving the three stories together and bringing it all full circle, which makes it a compelling read that keeps you thinking about the characters long after the somewhat surprising reveal (just don't expect a huge shocking twist like in TGOT). What I truly admire about Hawkins' writing style is that while she definitely uses patterns i.e. multiple points of view and dysfunctional, unreliable narrators, she is never formulaic and somehow her stories feel fresh and new every time. I am already looking forward to the next Paula Hawkins book - good thing I have two more children to offer up! 🤣😂 4 stars.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I wanted to like it, truly, I did... but it fell way short for me. I just never connected to or cared about any of the characters.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Adrian Dooley

    My first Paula Hawkins novel and well, it was ok. A story of family grief, secrets, revenge, mis direction, unreliable narrators, it certainly is a slow burner and, if anything a little too long. There is so much crammed in here story wise, yet the pacing itself is very slow. The “story” within the story did little imo, only adding to the confusion. Some interesting characters and the author did manage to keep a hell of a lot of plates spinning at the one time but despite all that I wasn’t overl My first Paula Hawkins novel and well, it was ok. A story of family grief, secrets, revenge, mis direction, unreliable narrators, it certainly is a slow burner and, if anything a little too long. There is so much crammed in here story wise, yet the pacing itself is very slow. The “story” within the story did little imo, only adding to the confusion. Some interesting characters and the author did manage to keep a hell of a lot of plates spinning at the one time but despite all that I wasn’t overly engaged with the story. It feels like it’s trying too hard to be clever. Not bad but not great. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC through Netgalley.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea | thrillerbookbabe

    Thank you so much to Paula Hawkins, Riverhead Books, and Libro.fm for this twisted domestic thriller. It was such a joy to listen to on audio and I really loved the narrator. The book is about three women that are connected to the death of a man on a houseboat. The first is Laura, a woman with previous issues with the law, who’s one night stand with the victim leaves her suspicious. The second is Carla, the victim’s aunt who is surrounded by death and misfortune. Finally, there is Miriam, a nose Thank you so much to Paula Hawkins, Riverhead Books, and Libro.fm for this twisted domestic thriller. It was such a joy to listen to on audio and I really loved the narrator. The book is about three women that are connected to the death of a man on a houseboat. The first is Laura, a woman with previous issues with the law, who’s one night stand with the victim leaves her suspicious. The second is Carla, the victim’s aunt who is surrounded by death and misfortune. Finally, there is Miriam, a nosey neighbor keeping secrets from everyone, including the police. They are all connected to the victim, all have a grudge, and all want revenge for something. Thoughts: I love how twisted Paula Hawkins books are. There are so many possibilities of what happened and who did what and I love that. I couldn’t help but feel for Laura in this book, and empathized with the situation she was in. I also felt bad for both Carla and Miriam for how lonely and unfortunate their lives are. None of the characters are necessarily likable, but they are interesting to read about. The book was so well written and only made better by hearing it on audio. This book is a slow burn, which is perfect because the story is about a slow build of anger, jealousy, resentment, hate, and fear. This story has a book within a book, which is one of my favorite literary devices. Even though you know the ending from the beginning, there are tons of twists and red herrings and the ending is still surprising. The web Hawkins weaves is intricate and I enjoyed the multiple viewpoints. It is not as fast-paced as Girl on the Train, but I really enjoyed it, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next. 4-stars for this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    ✨ A ✨

    I feel like we've all been waiting so long for this book. But look, we finally have a date! And I'm loving the title 🙌 •Release date: 31 August 2021• I feel like we've all been waiting so long for this book. But look, we finally have a date! And I'm loving the title 🙌 •Release date: 31 August 2021•

  25. 5 out of 5

    JasonA

    4.5 rounded up. This has been a disappointing year for thrillers, so it's nice to see one finally deliver. The first half of the book is a bit slow. There are five POV characters and there is a lot of back story to get thru, in addition to the current events. There are some time jumps between current day and past events, but it wasn't too confusing; it was pretty clear which events were "now" and what was "then." For having 5 POV characters in a 300 page book, I think Hawkins did a great job of d 4.5 rounded up. This has been a disappointing year for thrillers, so it's nice to see one finally deliver. The first half of the book is a bit slow. There are five POV characters and there is a lot of back story to get thru, in addition to the current events. There are some time jumps between current day and past events, but it wasn't too confusing; it was pretty clear which events were "now" and what was "then." For having 5 POV characters in a 300 page book, I think Hawkins did a great job of developing the main three. The other two were less developed, but enough was done for them to serve their purpose. There were also non-POV characters with their own story, so a lot got packed into a smallish novel. My biggest complaint was probably the novel inserts for The One Who Got Away. They did what they were meant to do, but it just kind of throws off the consistency in the book and they felt out of place. Anything revealed in the inserts could have been handled the same as other characters' back stories. Some of the twists you see coming and others you suspect, but the knowing didn't feel like it took away from the story. Even when I was pretty sure I knew where it was going, there was a chance I might be wrong. All of the twists felt earned and nothing felt like it came out of left field. I liked this one a lot. It had some great characters and a good story. I'd say this is easily the best new thriller I've read this year.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    Full disclaimer, I alternated between the audiobook and the physical book while reading A Slow Fire Burning . I really enjoyed Paula Hawkins' debut The Girl on the Train, but the alcoholc female protagonist troupe is sooooo 2018, so I am not sure that Paula Hawkins came grip readers on her books. She doesn’t use this troupe this time, but I feel that is probably a main selling point to why her debut did so well. I skipped Into The Water because I heard it wasn't a mystery. I was really excited Full disclaimer, I alternated between the audiobook and the physical book while reading A Slow Fire Burning . I really enjoyed Paula Hawkins' debut The Girl on the Train, but the alcoholc female protagonist troupe is sooooo 2018, so I am not sure that Paula Hawkins came grip readers on her books. She doesn’t use this troupe this time, but I feel that is probably a main selling point to why her debut did so well. I skipped Into The Water because I heard it wasn't a mystery. I was really excited to pick up A Slow Fire Burning because I heard that it is Paula Hawkins back at her mystery and suspense roots. I'm here to tell you that I think this author will be a one-hit wonder for me. I am toggling between 2 and 3 stars, but I bumped it to 3 as I didn't dislike the book, it was just a slow fire boring for me. It took almost two weeks to get through this one and that is probably the longest a book has ever taken me since I created my Goodreads / Bookstagram accounts. The story focuses on Laura (who we hear her name literally in almost every paragraph -_-) and two other women, Miriam and Carla, respectively. After a man is found dead, each of these women have motive to be the culprit. Throughout the book, we get a very deep and twisty whodunnit, which is probably why I bumped it to 3 stars. I did enjoy how Hawkins was able to humanize the characters in this story by diving deep into their psyche, but this will also provide somewhat of a lull period for readers as this book is very slow. During this time, we see how the three main protagonists relate to each other in some way (no spoilers). I think the issue that I had with the pacing was that it started off fast paced and wild, and then the fuse dimmed until the end. I've been reading a lot of books providing this storyline build up lately and it's really hit or miss so go into that preparing for a slowly drawn out story. Overall, it sounds like I'm a big complainer, but I did think the book had some great moments. It's definitely a darker type of story than I expected. We get some explicit mentions of the crimes at hand which I always appreciate. Overall this book is a character driven suspense novel and you need to go in with realistic expectations.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    The newest of Paula Hawkins creations truly is A Slow Fire Burning. While initially slow, Hawkins builds a web of unlikable characters that keep the plot twisting and turning until, like a runaway train, you crash into a fiery ending. A twisted tale of secrets, lies, resentments carried, revenge plotted, and culminating in murder... this thriller is sure to be a scorching end of summer treat. Though Hawkins always gets mixed reviews, I will tell you that she is one heck of a story teller, and you The newest of Paula Hawkins creations truly is A Slow Fire Burning. While initially slow, Hawkins builds a web of unlikable characters that keep the plot twisting and turning until, like a runaway train, you crash into a fiery ending. A twisted tale of secrets, lies, resentments carried, revenge plotted, and culminating in murder... this thriller is sure to be a scorching end of summer treat. Though Hawkins always gets mixed reviews, I will tell you that she is one heck of a story teller, and you can’t go wrong reading A Slow Fire Burning! I’d go ahead and pre-order this slow roasting thriller now as Hawkins plans to fan the flames of this gem August 31, 2021. I am so grateful to #NetGalley, #PenguinGroup #RiverheadBooks ( @riverheadbooks ) and the bonfire building wordsmith herself Paula Hawkins for sending me an electronic ARC in exchange for my honest opinions. You can see a full review on http://oceansofbooks.com on August 31, 2021. I will definitely recommend this title as it’s sure to be a summer hit.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Barring something truly disastrous, I'll be a Paula Hawkins insta-reader from now on. A Slow Fire Burning made improvements with my biggest issue with Into the Water: all the character clutter. Although there were still more than I'd prefer, ASFB focused on 3 main characters and the story felt much tighter for it. Miriam is spending her middle years in isolation on her houseboat. She broods about her abduction as a teen in which her best friend was murdered. She festers over the man who stole her Barring something truly disastrous, I'll be a Paula Hawkins insta-reader from now on. A Slow Fire Burning made improvements with my biggest issue with Into the Water: all the character clutter. Although there were still more than I'd prefer, ASFB focused on 3 main characters and the story felt much tighter for it. Miriam is spending her middle years in isolation on her houseboat. She broods about her abduction as a teen in which her best friend was murdered. She festers over the man who stole her idea for a book and smashed her dream of becoming an author. All in all, life hasn't given her much that's good... Carla looks put together, but she has never moved past the loss of her beautiful boy. While under her sister's care, he tragically fell from a balcony at the age of 5. The void where love used to be eventually destroyed her relationships with her husband, her sister and even her young nephew... Laura is in her early 20's. Hit by a car when she was twelve, she spent years re-learning to walk, talk and read. Her moods have remained unpredictable and even violent, but most disturbing is the PseudoBulbar Affect which makes her laugh or cry in inappropriate situations. These three women seem to have nothing in common except tragedy. But when a young man is discovered brutally stabbed to death at the same boat dock where Miriam lives, the lives of these women are drawn together in unpredictable ways. I loved it! The twists, the reveals, the good pace and sharp plot... A Slow Fire Burning is nearly as good as The Girl on the Train. Highly recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chandra Claypool (WhereTheReaderGrows)

    An anticipated release, Hawkins has been a name on thriller readers lips ever since Girl On A Train. Now, I really enjoyed that book but didn't love it as much as some readers. But I was super excited to read Into The Water, which was just an ok read for me. And her latest, A SLOW FIRE BURNING, reminds me of Into the Water in terms of a very large cast and the apropos title as this is definitely a slow burn of a suspense read. One man found dead. Three women who have every reason to kill him. LET An anticipated release, Hawkins has been a name on thriller readers lips ever since Girl On A Train. Now, I really enjoyed that book but didn't love it as much as some readers. But I was super excited to read Into The Water, which was just an ok read for me. And her latest, A SLOW FIRE BURNING, reminds me of Into the Water in terms of a very large cast and the apropos title as this is definitely a slow burn of a suspense read. One man found dead. Three women who have every reason to kill him. LET'S GO! It took me a bit to get into this story as it has a very slow start. The many characters are unreliable and very unlikeable, both of which I do not mind in the least, and which makes for a very character driven book. These types of books are usually very hit or miss for me and for this particular read, it ran a bit down the middle. I really did love the premise of this and Hawkins keeps you guessing through every chapter. I think the trouble I have is the pacing, which inevitably had me checking out a bit towards the middle. So, in a weird turn of events, there's no pin pointing of why I did or didn't enjoy this book. Hawkins, as usual, does an oustanding job of throwing a lot at you and bringing it all together at the end. I am once again impressed with how she keeps this all organized as she's writing. Maybe it's my mood that didn't allow for me to enjoy this as much as I could have. Maybe I have to come to terms with the fact that she may not be the author for me. 🤷

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Review to come!

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