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A Slow Fire Burning

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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. It has the complexity of The Great Gatsby - everything was set up perfectly and was surprising at the end. The combination of intriguing mystery and fleshed out and equally intriguing characters was superbly executed and really elevated this rating for me. There were unbelievable occurrences, what felt like a rushed ending where parts were tied up but felt very lazily done.

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group Riverhead for this incredible ARC in exchange for mt honest opinion. A Slow Fire Burning, as the title implies, takes its time with the storytelling, concentrating instead on character back story and motivation. Miriam is a middle aged woman, living just several boats down from the boat where Daniel is brutally murdered.There’s Miriam from the neighbouring boat who “likes to keep an eye on things”; Laura, a hot-tempered young woman who slept with the victim shortly before his death; Carla, the dead man’s aunt, who is already mourning the death of her sister, Angela; and Irene, Angela’s elderly neighbour who is prone to confusion, but not so much that she doesn’t clock the goings-on next door. When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. the title, however, does not describe the book—this fire burns fast—a highly engaging page-turner that whisks the reader to and fro—edging close to the truth before shifting the focus away each time in a delicious flurry of NOT YET, MY LOVELIES!

The lives of the women was the interesting part of the story but again it didn’t offer anything particularly new and exciting. A narrowboat is not a comfortable environment for a tall man, and this was a very tall man, with a head like a cue ball and a perturbed expression, as though heÕd been expecting to do something else today, something fun, like taking his kids to the park, and now he was here with her, and he wasnÕt happy about it. Angela’s neighbor, a senior citizen named Irene, found her; likewise, the marina’s resident busybody, Mariam, found Daniel.

A Slow Fire Burning is an atmospheric, suspenseful, psychotic thriller that will have you gripping the edge of your seat. Theo and Carla have an unhealthy marriage that appears on and off due to an accidental death of their 3 year old son left in the care of her sister Angela and her son Daniel. The plot revolves around the gruesome death of Daniel Sutherland, a man in his twenties on his houseboat. Almost all the characters were damaged but not very likeable and unfortunately I just didn’t engage with any of them. This was this month’s book club pick, and I loved The Girl on the Train by the same author, which I read some time ago a couple of times, which is quite unusual for me, so I was really excited to get my hands on a copy, so much so that I bought myself a hardcover copy thinking I would love it.

You will need to think, untangle story lines and understand this myriad cast of characters and convoluted but ultimately brilliantly written novel. 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. From the first sentence to the last, this explosive , startling novel grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. There are quite a few characters to keep track of and how they are related and connected to each other.One highlight is that the audio version I listened to was impeccably narrated by the brilliant actress Rosumund Pike. With characters and a setting similar to HBO’s streaming sensation Mare of Easttown, this story seems tailor-made for the streaming treatment.

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