I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for the new novel by Paula Hawkins on my blog today, A Slow Fire Burning. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.
‘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.
A Slow Fire Burning is a brilliant new novel by Paula Hawkins. The tension gradually builds following the discovery of the body of a young man, Daniel Sutherland, on a houseboat on Regent’s Canal. He is discovered by Miriam Lewis, who needs to tell him that he has over extended his stay. Paula expertly tells the story through the eyes of five characters. They all have some sort of connection to the man who has been found dead. But are any of them guilty of killing him? I had to find out.
Paula Hawkins draws on the atmosphere so well, creating a very dark and foreboding feeling. The characters are all very different and I found each one of them captivating. They come across as very real people, each with their own set of problems. I think it was Theo’s story which came through very strongly, for me, particularly as he is still struggling to cope with the death of his son. Theo is a writer, and had one big success with an early book in his career, but he has struggled to put pen to paper since his son died. His emotions come through very strongly on the page.
Laura was another character who I found fascinating. She has some issues with her family. She is frustrated. Whenever she calls her father, his partner, Deidre, who she doesn’t get on with, is always there, listening in and criticising her. And her mum won’t pick up the phone to her. It feels as though she is on her own. I wanted to get to the bottom of who she was and what had happened in her past. I think readers may find her a bit eccentric but there was one aspect to her character which I really liked. Laura helps look after an elderly woman, Irene and this helps portray her as a really likeable character.
All of the characters have intriguing backstories and Paula Hawkins writes them so well into her book. I never felt confused as I was reading, which can sometimes happen when a book is told from multiple viewpoints.
I had to know if any of the characters were somehow involved in Daniel’s death and why he was killed. Paula Hawkins has created an intriguing list of suspects. They don’t make it easy for the police to solve this case. I got the feeling that any one of them could be responsible for the murder. I had no idea how things were going to pan out for them. It’s what made the book so enjoyable. Paula Hawkins keeps you thinking about the characters and what their connection to the murder might be.
Although this is a slow burn, the tension simmers away in the background. It’s a story which focuses much more on the characters. They make this book such an unsettling read. Paula Hawkins expertly revealed what had happened to Daniel. I was gripped to the final pages as the whole truth became clear. It does make for an utterly gripping and unnerving finale.
If you’re a fan of Paula Hawkins writing you will love this book. Once again she has created a very clever and an utterly compelling read that will keep you hooked. This is domestic noir at its very best. I’m looking forward to reading what she writes next.
Publication date: 31st August 2021
Print length: 308 pages
A Slow Fire Burning is available to buy:
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