‘What is wrong with you?’

Laura has spent most of her life being judged. She’s seen as hot-tempered, troubled, a loner. Some even call her dangerous.

Miriam knows that just because Laura is witnessed leaving the scene of a horrific murder with blood on her clothes, that doesn’t mean she’s a killer. Bitter experience has taught her how easy it is to get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Carla is reeling from the brutal murder of her nephew. She trusts no one: good people are capable of terrible deeds. But how far will she go to find peace?

Innocent or guilty, everyone is damaged. Some are damaged enough to kill.

Look what you started.

My Review

Laura is a strange protagonist. Having been knocked down by a car when she was 10, she has been left with a degree of brain damage, anger management issues and a pronounced limp. But the emotional scars go much deeper than the physical ones. She makes bad choices and believes nothing is her fault.

Miriam lives on a houseboat next door to the scene of a horrific murder. In fact it was Miriam who found the body. She also saw Laura leaving the scene of the crime, blood on her clothes. But that doesn’t necessarily make her a killer, does it.

Theo Myerson is a crime writer. His book The One Who Got Away was a runaway success, but not everyone was a fan. Some considered it to be misogynistic, others simply called it rubbish. One person believes it was based on her own memoir and accuses Theo of plagiarism.

Theo’s wife Carla is the aunt of the victim. Her late sister Angela was his mother. She died after falling down the stairs. But then she was an alcoholic, an accident waiting to happen.

Everyone in A Slow Fire Burning is damaged, but are they damaged enough to commit murder? And who has a motive? They all had opportunity. All except Angela’s widowed neighbour Irene. At eighty years old, everyone treats like an aged idiot. Except Laura, who swears in her presence and calls her ‘mate’.

I read this book in two sittings. It’s twisty and full of tension, suspense and surprises, but that’s what you’d expect from Paula Hawkins. I loved The Girl on the Train, but I loved this more.

About the Author

The Girl on the Train (2015) is one of the top 5 fiction hardbacks since records began: 23 million copies worldwide, 50 countries and 40+ languages, and a No.1 global bestseller. In the UK it broke the all-time record for the number of weeks at No.1 on Bookscan. Into the Water (2017) was also a global No.1 bestseller, spending twenty weeks in the Sunday Times HB fiction Top 10 and six weeks at No.1. It has sold 4 million copies worldwide.

PAULA HAWKINS worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. Her first thriller, The Girl on the Train, has been a global phenomenon, selling 23 million copies worldwide. Published in over forty languages, it has been a No.1 bestseller around the world and was a No.1 box office hit film starring Emily Blunt.

Into the Water, her second stand-alone thriller, has also been a global No.1 bestseller, spending twenty weeks in the Sunday Times hardback fiction Top 10 bestseller list, and six weeks at No.1.

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