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A Slow Fire Burning

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Angela’s neighbor, a senior citizen named Irene, found her; likewise, the marina’s resident busybody, Mariam, found Daniel. 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.

Pike makes deft work of these unreliable narrators who span several generations, imbuing their voices with a defensiveness and vulnerability born from past disappointments and trauma. The twists weren’t as action-packed as I was hoping they would be, but it still made for an enticing story.Harks back to peak-period Barbara Vine with its beautifully drawn characters and its offbeat London setting . 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. This being a Hawkins novel, the plot twists are sprinkled liberally to keep listeners on their toes, though the story is sustained by the humanity of these expertly narrated characters whose secrets are slowly brought to the surface.

Three women were among the last to see him - Laura, his one night stand, Miriam, his neighbor and Carla, his aunt. The barge was a mess-paint peeling, lintels rusted, chimney all a skew-while he himself looked much too clean for canal life. An unflinching look at the damage sparked by grief, loss and betrayal - and the revenge and retribution that ensues. 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.The truth was that you felt a certain way inside, and while the people who had known you your whole life still probably saw you that way, the number of new people who could appreciate you as that person, that inside person, rather than just a collection of the frailties of age, was limited. Bending down when no such response came, her attempt to peer into the cabin thwarted by the net curtain coupled with what looked like a decade's worth of city and river grime. There were unbelievable occurrences, what felt like a rushed ending where parts were tied up but felt very lazily done. The ingenious beginning snared me and I was held by the subtly powerful plot, such a difficult thing to do well and here, seemingly effortless.

An intriguing, unputdownable thriller that is as much about the compelling, damaged characters as it is about the intricate plot. Overall: maybe this book may have been promoted as contemporary fiction, I could have a chance to like it more. A Slow Fire Burning is a hugely gripping, character-based thriller, with great writing and brilliant twists. 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.Miriam is forever second-guessing the judgment of strangers who she knows see her as a lonely busybody, while Laura is chaotic and brittle-sounding, convinced that none of the calamities that befall her are ever her fault. He glanced at the bookcase filled with paperbacks, at the dusty peace lily sitting on top of it, the framed photograph of a homely couple flanking their big-boned child. And we know that Hawkins loves her unstable female characters whom the reader feels frustrated and sympathy with, in equal measure. It took a while to lace all the plot threads together and I enjoyed the second half more than the first, but overall I was gripped.

Inside her a bitter darkness bloomed as she watched, with helpless desperation, her once limitless horizons narrow. As a result she couldn’t help herself getting into trouble with both employers and police and you really feel for her as she gets involved in a houseboat murder. I wouldn't say I read an awful lot but I do know that if I had to pick a favourite author at the moment I would say Paula Hawkins. I wasn’t impressed by the writing and I found the storyline and its structure to be pretentious and confusing. This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 (this book as well as Survive The Night) so my hopes were HIGH.The third thriller from British novelist Paula Hawkins — whose debut book “The Girl on the Train” (2015) sold millions and made millions more in theaters with Emily Blunt in the starring role — “A Slow Fire Burning” continues Hawkins’ penchant for telling stories from multiple points of view. Her clarity does not take away from the book’s rewards; rather, it feels like everything falls into place the way it should. One highlight is that the audio version I listened to was impeccably narrated by the brilliant actress Rosumund Pike. In an interview with NPR, Hawkins admits that while she was walking near her London home, which is near an area of moored houseboats, she often contemplated where would be a perfect spot to hide or dispose of a body.

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