Posted 20 hours ago

A Slow Fire Burning

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Although fires are usually ferocious and burn fast, I expected a fast-paced book where I would fly through the pages. It was a bright morning, cold for March, though white buds on glossy new branches of plane and birch hinted at spring. Compelling and intricately plotted, it was its flawed and utterly credible women, and the warmth and wit of their irreverent voices, that I loved the most. 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. I wasn’t impressed by the writing and I found the storyline and its structure to be pretentious and confusing.

She had to lift the (always surprisingly, unpleasantly heavy) cassette out of the little toilet at the back of the boat, carry it through the cabin and out onto the towpath, and from there a full hundred yards to the loo block, where the waste had to be tipped out into the main toilet and flushed away, the cassette rinsed out to clear whatever remained. A good everyday thriller / mystery that didn’t quite hit the mark on this occasion but I do like this author. 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.

The title, “A Slow Fire Burning” reflects the emotional simmering of the female characters, all who have reasons for revenge. Her clarity does not take away from the book’s rewards; rather, it feels like everything falls into place the way it should. 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.

Eyewitness by another houseboat resident, Miriam leads to a young girl Laura, who seemingly had a very disturbing past and childhood resulting in her unpredictable behavior. A treat: utterly readable, moving in parts and saturated with the kind of localised detail that made The Girl on the Train so compelling . Pulling the door open all the way, climbing down the couple of steps to the cabin, her last hello catching in her throat as she took it all in: the boy-not a boy, a young man, really-lying on the floor, blood everywhere, a wide smile carved into his throat. Paula Hawkins bestselling debut novel The Girl on The Train, which has since been given the Hollywood treatment starring Emily Blunt, sold 23 million copies.From the beginning of the novel, I expected something big, earth shattering, surprising will happen or something so smart will come out to fool me but none of them happened.

Angela’s neighbor, a senior citizen named Irene, found her; likewise, the marina’s resident busybody, Mariam, found Daniel.A Slow Fire Burning is a hugely satisfying, brilliantly crafted novel about the entanglement of betrayal and retaliation, the damage of loss, and how tragedy reverberates in ways we can never expect. The story is narrated in the POV of various characters with each of them elucidating their innocence.

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