A Slow Fire Burning

by Paula Hawkins

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Crime and Mystery Thriller and Suspense Literary Fiction Star Books Book Club Recommendations Audiobooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of A Slow Fire Burning

An achingly tense and thrilling character-led mystery that spears lives haunted by grief and betrayal.

Subtle and smart yet intense and thrilling, this story builds with each turn revealing another set of steps in front of you. Within a corner of London a murder sets questions hunting through secrets and the past. I was caught sleeping at the start and was given a huge shove, from that moment on my attention didn’t waver. This is all about the characters, yet the beautifully intricate plot more than holds its own. What Paula Hawkins does so successfully, is to allow you to see the inner being of people, the shadows that dwell within, without ever losing connection with their humanity. Every person in this story feels authentic, relatable, and that dreaded word, normal. It made me question what I would do in the same circumstances, could this in fact, be me. Oh, and just as an aside, great map! A Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month, A Slow Fire Burning wanders through the everyday, before reaching under the surface and pulling out darkness.

Liz Robinson

A Slow Fire Burning Synopsis

'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. 

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781529176759
Publication date: 7th July 2022
Author: Paula Hawkins
Publisher: Penguin (Transworld) an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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What To Read After A Slow Fire Burning

The Quiet People
River Clyde
The Couple at No 9
Girl, Forgotten

Paula Hawkins Press Reviews

From the first sentence to the last, this explosive, startling novel grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Fiendishly clever and with a wonderful sense of place too. Go read! - Kate Mosse

I love Paula Hawkins, and this is why - A Slow Fire Burning twists and turns like a great thriller should, but it's also deep, intelligent and intensely human . . . the characters are just like people you know . . . or maybe even just like you yourself. Hawkins is proving herself a worthy 21st century heir to Barbara Vine and Patricia Highsmith. - Lee Child

My Book of the Month, for which I predict big things . . . An intriguing, unputdownable thriller that is as much about the compelling, damaged characters as it is about the intricate plot. - Alice O'Keeffe, The Bookseller

With a beautifully wrought cast of characters who are real and likeable even when they are complicated and flawed, a fantastic, picturesque London setting, twists and turns galore and exquisite prose, this is a high class read. Paula Hawkins is a genius. - Lisa Jewell

Paula Hawkins's plotting is meticulous. A Slow Fire Burning is a clever onion of a book, expertly peeled. - Belinda Bauer

Dark and disturbing, this twisted story with its cast of damaged characters builds to a brilliant conclusion. This one will stay with you for a long time. - Shari Lapena

Gripping and intriguing, I loved every moment of A Slow Fire Burning. Hawkins goes from strength to strength. - S. J. Watson

An unflinching look at the damage sparked by grief, loss and betrayal - and the revenge and retribution that ensues. Compelling and intricately plotted, it was its flawed and utterly credible women, and the warmth and wit of their irreverent voices, that I loved the most. - Sarah Vaughan

A new Paula Hawkins novel is always a cause for celebration. Her books have all the pleasing twists of the noir genre while at the same time having something to say that feels real and complex and true - her women characters feel like someone you actually know. - Louise Doughty

A Slow Fire Burning is a hugely gripping, character-based thriller, with great writing and brilliant twists. Highly recommended. - John Boyne

A Slow Fire Burning absolutely held me with its compelling, multi-generational cast of women and the brilliantly evoked pathos of damaged lives. - Fiona Barton

I inhaled this novel, a gripping exploration of the damage that secrets can do, Hawkins' writing draws you in from the first word and refuses to let you go until the last. - Anna Bailey

A Slow Fire Burning is Paula Hawkins at her best. Here are characters you want to spend time with, living in a world you believe in, and caught up in a plot that holds you in its grip. A thrilling read. - Renee Knight

A truly satisfying, multi-layered maze of a mystery with a cast of flawed characters so real I'm still thinking of them days after I turned the last page. - Tammy Cohen

I don't know if this isn't Paula Hawkins' best novel yet. A Slow Fire Burning is superb - Harriet Tyce

I loved A Slow Fire Burning. The ingenious beginning snared me and I was held by the subtly powerful plot, such a difficult thing to do well and here, seemingly effortless. The characters were deliciously complex and utterly authentic and that is what has stayed with me the longest - their voices, their fragility, their distinct stories. - Jane Shemilt

A Slow Fire Burning is a hugely satisfying, brilliantly crafted novel about the entanglement of betrayal and retaliation, the damage of loss, and how tragedy reverberates in ways we can never expect. Wickedly dark and gorgeously written, this is a novel you'll be thinking about long after the last delicious pages. Paula Hawkins is masterful. - Ashley Audrain

Tense, suspenseful and wholly surprising . . . you won't be able to put it down. - Independent

The queen of the psychological thriller is back with her best book yet. It's such an addictive read . . . an absolute must-read - Prima

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781529176759
Publication date: 07/07/2022
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780857524447
Publication date: 31/08/2021
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781473565227
Publication date: 31/08/2021
Format: Audiobook

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About Paula Hawkins

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. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.

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