Paula Hawkins | A Slow Fire Burning

slow fire burning paula hawkins spoilers

The Book: 

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
Published August 31st 2021 by Riverhead Books
Date read: July 13, 2021

The Characters: 

Daniel (deceased)
Carla and Theo

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

The Plot (from Goodreads):

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?

Click here for book spoilers for A Slow Fire Burning
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read A Slow Fire Burning, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist: 

Carla killed Daniel because Daniel killed Ben, her and Theo’s son. At three years old, Ben died tragically after he fell off a balcony at Angela’s house. Angela was supposed to be babysitting but she was drunk, and eight-year-old Daniel was left in charge.

Daniel had drawn a graphic novel of the day Ben died, which made it clear that he had killed him. Irene found it and knew Carla had seen it, so she went to Theo for help. Theo knew Carla had killed Daniel and confessed to the police to protect Carla.

Carla was ready to let either Laura or Theo take the fall for her, so Irene got her to confess on tape. She goes to prison.

The Ending:

Theo and Miriam find out that the person writing Theo the letters was Miriam’s attacker, Jeremy. The attacker is found dead in a houseboat, but we are left to speculate as to who did it.

The Review: 

At long last, another book by Paula Hawkins! I’ve been hoping she would write another for ages. I actually liked Into The Water better than the ever-popular The Girl on the Train, but loved both. I was so excited to see what her four-year hiatus would bring us!

Thank you to @prhaudio for this advanced listener’s copy! I didn’t know that Rosamund Pike did audiobooks, but she did an amazing job of this one. I would definitely listen to more productions by her. Since I absolutely adore this cover, I needed to get a finished copy too!

A Slow Fire Burning is very true to its title–certainly a slow burn. I thought there were enough sub-plots and side-plots to hold my interest throughout, but it did take a long time to solve the mystery. If you’re looking for fast-paced action, you might turn away from this one in the first half. The second half is worth it, though. I thought the different threads of this story came together in a satisfying way overall. There were a few loose ends I would have liked tied up, but the main arc of the story is resolved well.

Hands down, the best part of this book was Irene. She was an older character with a small but pivotal part, and I want to be just like her when I’m 80.

QOTD: Is there an author whose next book you feel like you’ve been waiting for forever?

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slow fire burning paula hawkins spoilers
slow fire burning paula hawkins spoilers

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