A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

‘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.


It is not often that I say this, but I was hooked on A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins from the very first page. The story and writing literally capturing my attention before the first chapter had even started. What Paula Hawkins does is set the tempo of the narrative from the opening moments and I knew instantly that this novel was going to be dark, clever and utterly compelling!

It takes a lot for a novel to stand out from the mass of books published each month, so to be able to say that this new offering by Paula Hawkins is thrilling and worthy of your hard earned money, is a testament to how much I enjoyed it.

I like books of all types, I love thrillers that are fast paced, but my very favorites are those that are intelligent, full of characters that feel like people you might know. Because the seeming normality of the world the story is set in, makes it quietly more terrifying and emotionally more compelling. A Slow Fire Burning is full of damaged individuals and it is a tale that takes their complex lives and weaves a gripping story around them. Their lives, their actions, the events leading to up to the murder are what makes this story so clever, so much so that the actual murder feels incidental to why this disparate group are all the potential killer! She has created characters who each have a reason to be a person of interest and as in one of Agatha Christies best tension filled drama’s, plays with the minds of the readers. Teasing them with clues and wrong turns, until the final reveal, which is deeply emotional, heartbreakingly complex and altogether more effecting that a traditional police led narrative.

As a writer she taps into the complex nature of humanity in all it’s variety and manages to give the reader a reason to care about them all. It is like all great thrillers filled with twists and turns, but it has an emotional depth so many ignore, rather than choosing violence and grim detail over a characters psychological characteristics, she brings their feelings, their background into play, leaving me utterly devastated at the end, yet at the same time heartened by the lengths some people will go to protect the most vulnerable. A Slow Fire Burning is a tale about secrets, lies, heartbreak and the damage done by the cruelty of others. Paula Hawkins delves deep into the way events shape us, drive us forward into lives constructed equally by love as by cruelty and deprivation. That person sat next to you on the bus, walking past you in the street could each be containing within them moments of heartbreak, shaped by one badly chosen action and that is why A Slow Fire Burning is exceptional, it taps into this and creates from it a story that grabbed me and still haunts me still!

You can buy this novel from Amazon and Waterstones, but why not pay a visit to you nearest independent bookshop and show them some bookish love?

About the author

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.

4 thoughts on “A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s