Cover Image: A Slow Fire Burning

A Slow Fire Burning

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Member Reviews

I was a huge fan of The Girl on the Train so was very excited to get my hands on Paula Hawkins’ new novel.  Like The Girl on the Train, most, if not all, of the characters were extremely unlikable.  I really was not rooting for anyone, but that didn’t dampen my love of this novel. I love a good British mystery.  This was told in different voices, from each character’s point of view which I also like.  
A vicious, brutal murder has been committed against a young man in a houseboat.  There is no shortage of suspects, from his nosy neighbor with her own dark secrets to his aunt and uncle who have their own long held motives for wanting this young man dead due to their suspicions of his involvement in a long ago tragedy.
Or could it be his no strings attached houseguest who has a dark past of her own? 
No one is without motive and through the telling of each person’s whereabouts when this murder occurs, it becomes clear who did it.  I loved this book with all its twists and turns and mostly for its pretty nasty cast of characters. 
I highly recommend this for Paula Hawkins fans and for libraries who will no doubt have patrons wanting to get on the waiting list for this very atmospheric and suspenseful novel.
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Irene was the best part of this book, though the other characters were either so sad or so damaged I often dreaded picking up the book. Casual suspense fans will find things to like, but some of the reveals were telegraphed early. Miriam felt like a main character who had been relegated to a side plot. The interstitial excerpts from The One Who Got Away didn’t have much to do with the main plot and I found that rather confusing.
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I have been anticipating a new thriller from Paula Hawkins and this one didn't disappoint. A great beach read thriller, the plot was a little hard to follow at first with all the different POVs but once I got in the groove of the writing it was really enjoyable. Leaving just enough clues along the way to piece together who the killer was I found it fun without trying too hard.
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I was so excited to get my hands on an advanced copy of this book!  The Girl on the Train is one of my all time favorite books. That was the first time I had read anything by Paula Hawkins and I was captivated by her writing and her storytelling ability. I was quite disappointed with her follow up novel, Into the Water, and worried that she might be a one hit wonder. Well, I am here to tell you that Paula Hawkins is back!  Her latest book, A Slow Fire Burning, is captivating with her signature twist at the end that you never see coming!

The design of this story is quite unusual. It actually begins with a chapter from a best-selling novel that one of the characters has written. It then progresses to a murder and the reader is introduced to a number of different characters that are all involved somehow in the victim’s life and are all hiding secrets. The author flip flops between present day with the characters involved as well as their stories from the past. I must admit it is a bit confusing at first and I had a hard time initially keeping the characters straight. It also has a very slow start ( although given the title of the book maybe that was done on purpose!) and it wasn’t until probably a third of the way in that I understood the significance of certain things and was able to get a grasp on what the author was trying to accomplish. But once I caught on, the story became impossible for me to put down.  Be prepared to be shocked at the end - you will not see it coming!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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My thanks to #Netgalley and #Riverheadbooks for this eBook in exchange for an honest review. Although it gets off to a slow start, a slow fire, if you will, A Slow Fire Burning, Paula Hawkins’ newest novel will surely be a hit.  In all honesty, A Slow Fire Burning does not have the star quality of Girl on the Train, or even Into the Water, as the characters are dark and somewhat unlikeable. That being said, the story is very well written, full of twists and turns – and there is even a novel (well, novels) written into the story. Broken people, fractured families, and loves come together to form unwitting allies and enemies . . . but which is which? Hawkins keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
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Paula Hawkins does it again! The opening was a surprise in and of itself and the beginning of a wild ride. A truly bizarre set of characters with even more bizarre motivations, but somehow you keep hoping things will turn out alright for them. A quick, delicious summer read.
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Another twisty, curvy, and great slight of hand mystery from Paul Hawkins who brought us The Girl on the Train. Prepare yourself for characters whose motives and behavior are questionable that leave you wondering, are they the one? You’re not going to find a hero or heroine to cheer on in Hawkins’ novels, and this is very similar, so you are going to have your hands full with this great mix of characters. I expect this to be a winner on the bestseller list for good reason for mystery lovers.
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This newest book by Paula Hawkins was a little hard to get through in terms of the story pace and the back-and-forth timeline, so if these things frustrate you as a reader this book is not for you.  With that said this book was filled with plot twists that culminated into a fiery ending.  Interactions between characters were at times complicated and intense and leaves the reader with great feelings of dislike.  But these unlikeable characters allows for a story with many layers and the writing creates a storyline easy to understand and follow despite the twists and turns.  Overall this was an entertaining and thrilling read.
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Read in one sitting. Another blockbuster for this author that is better than her others. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher! Really enjoyed it.
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There are times when it is hard to write a review of a book when you know it is going to be a best-seller regardless of what you write.  While Paula Hawkins has proven to be a master of writing stories filled with complex characters, the characters in this book just seemed jumbled.  It was difficult to follow who fit where in the beginning, easier than most mysteries to figure out who done it, and while the reader might have empathy for several characters, there is only one truly likeable person in the book.
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Paula Hawkins is very talented when it comes to crafting a tangled web. This wasn’t my favorite Hawkins yet, but certainly well done and engaging.
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At first I had a hard time keeping up with the many characters in this murder mystery. A young man is found brutally murdered on a boat. There are other stories going on that all tie to the main one. These side stories suggest how different people may have committed the crime. Relationships between characters range from simple and honest to strained and complex. And they are demonstrated nicely. You really feel for everyone involved. 

Good book for group book discussion.
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This book was a little confusing at first but then I really got into it. It isn’t my favorite of this author but worth the read.
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The discourse around this book concerns me. When it's official blurb and the New York Times preview of this title both stress that there is going to be a HUGE TWIST, it ruined the whole thing for me. Because I was expecting a HUGE TWIST, I played every version of what this book might be in my mind. So which part was the twist? I honestly don't know! I was so invested in what I thought was going to happen that I missed out on what actually was happening. This review only adds to the TWIST-O-RAMA surrounding this book. For that I am sorry.
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After a brutal crime is committed on a London houseboat, numerous friends, family, neighbors, and lovers seem to have motive behind the fatal stabbing. With an increasingly growing suspect pool, the lies begin to unravel, revenge appears likely, and secrets revealed. A Slow Fire Burning will certainly be a breakout hit this summer. For fans of Shari Lapena and Mary Kubica.
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This just didn't hit the mark with me. I found the story slow and I just couldn't find myself to truly care about the characters.
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I was hoping for a good read from the author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water, but I don't think this one quite measures up.  I had a difficult time keeping the characters straight in this murder mystery, plus the story is told out of sync, with action jumping from the past to the present and back again.  This writing style seems to be almost a requirement in recent novels.  In fact, one of the characters in this book even complains about it: "...all the to-ing and fro-ing, all that jumping around in the timeline...Just start at the beginning, for god's sake.  Why couldn't people just tell a story straight any longer, start to finish?" (Kindle location 3133) Amen to that!  There is also a novel-within-a-novel trick that is important to the story, another writing style that is gaining popularity in current works: Anthony Horowitz's novels about Susan Ryeland, and the upcoming, and excellent, The Plot, by Jean Hanff Korelitz.  Overall, A Slow Fire Burning is a less-than-riveting murder mystery.  Thanks to NetGalley and Riverhead Books for providing an ARC.
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This is a really well-written book, and an interesting and intriguing mystery. But I didn't love it, because it is unrelentingly dark and depressing. Every character is so broken and in despair.
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I have a love/hate relationship with unreliable narrators, in the sense that I hate not knowing what is the truth, but in reality I actually love it. Does that make sense? Anyway, true to Paula Hawkins, this book was incredibly written and completely enthralling. Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read the advanced copy of this!
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This is my third Hawkins novel and I will probably be in the minority but I was a bit disappointed in this one.  It was the pacing and the extremely large cast of unlikable, unrelatable and unreliable narrators that bogged this one down for me a bit.  

I thought the title was very apt in many ways. Because of the slow burn of anger, hatred, jealousy and deceit of the characters it was very apropo. 

FOR ME IT ALSO DESCRIBED THE READING EXPERIENCE. I did not find it a page turner as I did “The Girl on The Train”, but I had also both read and listened to that novel.

We start in this book at the ending and follow through the back stories of all of the characters, switching back and forth also through various timelines. Then we also have a “book within a book” which was incredibly clever and well done. All of these things makes for a well written but sometimes hard to follow narrative.

Even knowing the ending does not take away from the shock value at the end of the novel. Because no matter how many red herrings the author threw at me, I DID NOT SEE THIS ENDING COMING!!!!!!!!

The main cast of characters:

Theo Myerson and his wife Carla, who had the start of an incredible marriage, until their young son Ben died accidentally at only 3 years of age. They are both hiding enough secrets to bury any average human being. You may think you know their secrets, BUT JUST WAIT UNTIL THE ENDING!!!!!!!!!!

Laura is a poor young soul. She was in a horrific accident at the age of ten which left her with some brain damage, causing all kinds of unacceptable and out of control incidents to occur.  She was also left with a terrible limp, all of which left her with a terrible self image. Add to this a mother who is not supportive and a father who is emotionally absent and you have one troubled young woman.

Miriam is a middle aged woman, living just several boats down from the boat where Daniel is brutally murdered. She sees, hears and knows a lot. She also has a vendetta against at least one of the characters.

Angela is Carla’s sister, living a lonely and unhappy life. She lived with her sone Daniel until recent years when Daniel went to live on his own. They had a caustic, unhealthy relationship.

Daniel himself is hard to read. 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. OF COURSE WE WILL NEVER REALLY KNOW HIM NOW!!

This is a very cerebral mystery so I wouldn’t recommend reading this after several glasses of wine, or whatever unless you reason better this way!!  You will need to think, untangle story lines and understand this myriad cast of characters and convoluted but ultimately brilliantly written novel.

This novel is set to publish on August 31, 2021

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.
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