A Slow Burning Fire
Book Reviews

A Slow Fire Burning, by Paula Hawkins {Book Review}

I’m sure everybody on planet earth has either read or watched The Girl on the Train. Am I right? When I saw Paula Hawkins was releasing ‘A Slow Fire Burning’, I knew that I had to get my hands on a copy.

What is A Slow Fire Burning about?

When a young man is found gruesomely murdered in a London houseboat, it triggers questions about three women who knew him. Laura is the troubled one-night-stand last seen in the victim’s home. Carla is his grief-stricken aunt, already mourning the recent death of yet another family member. And Miriam is the nosy neighbor clearly keeping secrets from the police. Three women with separate connections to the victim. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?

My Thoughts

A Slow Fire Burning is a slow burning thriller, that throws the spotlight on 3 women, who are connected in some way to a body found on a boat. This had an interesting plot, and also featured a book within a book, as every few chapters were actually an extract of the book written by of one of the characters.

The book is told from MANY POV’s and I really had to concentrate to try to remember who was who….. I’d go back a chapter and check the name, then realise who the current narrator was. This continued for a good 50+ pages. Eventually I did figure out who the characters were and then the book got easier to read.

Paula tells a good story with her writing, and she made me turn the pages as fast as possible. However, in the end I felt like the plot twist was a bit predictable and there was really so much that didn’t need to be included in the book…. even the book extracts…I didn’t find them necessary. I did find the extracts intriguing though, and they did really add to an exciting reading experience. Personally, I just don’t think those extracts, in the end, added more to the story. Does that make sense?

I think because Girl on the Train gave us this massive twist, I was expecting the same here. So that is my mistake in a way, w.r.t expectations, because even on the last page I expected some bomb to drop. I kept reading for the bomb and not reading for the story…so I ruined my own reading experience!3 stars

My rating

A Slow Burning Fire has a 3.6 star rating on Goodreads, and I give it around 3 stars as well. Paula is definitely a great storyteller, and I enjoy her writing….there were just too many characters for me. Some of them were interesting and some of them were very unlikeable! This wasn’t so much a ‘whodunnit’ I felt, than a character study on all these different people and their different circumstances and tragedies….and how they got to where they are. Even though I’m a bit on the fence about this one, I would still read anything Paula Hawkins writes!

Thank you to Penguin Random House SA and Netgalley for the review copy of this book!


I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!

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