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A Slow Fire Burning
Cover of A Slow Fire Burning
A Slow Fire Burning
A Novel
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The scorching new thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train.   “A Slow Fire Burning twists and turns like a great thriller should,...
The scorching new thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train.   “A Slow Fire Burning twists and turns like a great thriller should,...
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Description-

  • The scorching new thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train.
     
    A Slow Fire Burning twists and turns like a great thriller should, but it's also deep, intelligent and intensely human.” – Lee Child
     
    “Only a clairvoyant could anticipate the book’s ending” – New York Times
     
    With the same propulsion that captivated millions of readers worldwide in The Girl on the Train and Into the Water, Paula Hawkins unfurls a gripping, twisting story of deceit, murder, and revenge.
    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?
     
    Look what you started.

Excerpts-

  • From the book

    one

     

    Inside Laura's head, Deidre spoke. The trouble with you, Laura, she said, is that you make bad choices.

     

    Too fucking right, Deidre. Not something Laura expected to say or even think, but standing there in her bathroom, shaking uncontrollably, blood pulsing hot and steady from the cut to her arm, she had to admit that imaginary Deidre was bang on the money. She leaned forward, her forehead resting against the mirror so that she wouldn't have to look herself in the eye, only looking down was worse, because that way she could watch the blood ooze out of her, and it made her woozy, made her feel like she might throw up. So much blood. The cut was deeper than she'd thought; she ought to go to the hospital. There was no way she was going to the hospital.

     

    Bad choices.

     

    When at last the flow of blood seemed to slow, Laura took off her T-shirt and dropped it on the floor, slipped out of her jeans, dropped her knickers, and wriggled out of her bra, inhaling sharply through her teeth as the metal catch scraped against the cut, hissing, "Fuck fuck mother of fuck."

     

    She dropped the bra on the floor too, clambered into the bathtub, and turned on the shower, then stood shivering under the paltry trickle of scalding water (her shower offered a choice of very hot or very cold, nothing in between). She ran the tips of her wrinkled fingers back and forth over her beautiful, bone-white scars: hip, thigh, shoulder, back of skull. Here I am, she said quietly to herself. Here I am.

     

    Afterward, her forearm wrapped ineffectually in reams of toilet paper, the rest of her wrapped in a threadbare towel, sitting on the ugly gray pleather sofa in her living room, Laura rang her mother. It went to voicemail, and she hung up. No point wasting credit. She rang her father next. "You all right, chicken?" She could hear noises in the background, the radio, 5 Live.

     

    "Dad." She felt a lump rise to her throat and she swallowed it.

     

    "What's up?"

     

    "Dad, could you come round? I . . . I had a bad night. I was wondering if you could just come over for a bit, I know it's a bit of a drive but I-"

     

    No, Philip. Deidre, in the background, hissing through clenched teeth. We've got bridge.

     

    "Dad? Could you take me off speaker?"

     

    "Sweetheart, I-"

     

    "Seriously, could you take me off speaker? I don't want to hear her voice; it makes me want to set fire to things."

     

    "Now, come on, Laura."

     

    "Just forget it, Dad, it doesn't matter."

     

    "Are you sure?"

     

    No I'm not no I'm not no I'm fucking not. "Yeah, sure. I'm fine. I'll be fine."

     

    On her way to the bedroom, she stepped on her jacket, which she'd dropped in the hallway in her rush to get to the bathroom. She bent down and picked it up. The sleeve was torn, Daniel's watch still in the pocket. She took the watch out, turned it over, slipped it over her wrist. The toilet paper around her forearm bloomed scarlet, her limb throbbing gently as the blood pulsed out of her. Her head swam. In the bathroom, she dropped the watch into the sink, tore off the paper, dropped the towel on the floor. Climbed back under the shower.

     

    Using a pair of scissors to scrape beneath her fingernails, she watched the water running rosy at her feet. She closed her eyes. She listened to Daniel's voice asking, What is wrong with you? and Deidre's voice saying, Bridge, Philip, we've got bridge, and to her own. Set fire to things. Set fire. Set fire set fire set...

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    March 1, 2021

    A young man is found brutally murdered on his gently rocking London houseboat, and the police immediately have three women in their sights: recent one-night stand Laura, prying neighbor Miriam, and Aunt Carla, already mourning another family death. Not surprisingly, a 500,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2021
    Here is the long-awaited third riveting thriller from the best-selling author of Into the Water (2017) and the global phenomenon that was The Girl on the Train (2015). A young man is found murdered in a London houseboat. Three damaged women have connections with him--some tenuous, some intense. Laura, who identifies as a "vulnerable adult," has multiple social-behavior issues. A hit-and-run accident in her childhood left her broken physically and mentally and, eventually, psychically as well. Carla, the victim's aunt, is still coming to terms with the son she lost years ago and with the recent death of her sister, Angela, whom she held responsible for her son's catastrophic end. The victim is her nephew, Angela's son. The third woman, Miriam, not only snoops, she also keeps a notebook! Laura describes her as a hobbit. She moves with "legs heavy as her heart." Miriam survived an abduction at age 15 that claimed the life of her best friend. A fourth character, the poignant Irene, is a marvel of creation. Readers will witness courage and ingenuity where it is least expected, satisfying revenge where none was thought possible, and salvation that is painfully long overdue. Lee Child calls Hawkins an "intensely human" writer, and this book puts her on a par with the supreme Ruth Rendell. Packed with OMG moments, this novel may be slow burning, but it's a scorcher nonetheless.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: That girl on the train continues to assure that Hawkins will draw readers, and her latest repays the investment handsomely.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 7, 2021
    The stabbing murder of 23-year-old Daniel Sutherland on his houseboat in London’s Regent’s Canal drives this twist-laden if unremarkable page-turner from bestseller Hawkins (The Girl on the Train). Miriam Lewis, who lives in the neighboring vessel, finds the body and removes a bloody key from the scene before notifying the police. Decades earlier, Miriam survived a horrific attack, wrote an unpublished memoir about it, and shared the manuscript with Theo Myerson, who used it, without attribution, as the basis for a novel, The One Who Got Away. Theo, it turns out, is Daniel’s uncle by marriage, and his toddler son died from a fall at Daniel’s mother’s home. Another suspect is Laura Kilbride, who slept with Daniel on the night of his death; as a child, she suffered a skull fracture that affected her ability to self-regulate and has trouble functioning as an adult. Sections from The One Who Got Away and flashbacks add to the challenge of putting the puzzle pieces together. The result is a satisfying whodunit, but its overreliance on coincidence makes it fall short of the high standard of Hawkins’s previous work. Agent: Simon Lipskar, Writers House.

  • Kirkus

    June 15, 2021
    A young man has been stabbed to death on a houseboat...that much is clear. Hawkins' third novel, after her smash debut with The Girl on the Train (2015) and a weak follow-up with Into the Water (2017), gets off to a confusing start. A series of vignettes introduce numerous characters--Irene, Deidre, Laura, Miriam, Daniel (dead), Carla, Theo, Angela (dead)--all of whom live or lived in a very small geographical area and have overlapping connections and reasons to be furious at each other. We can all agree that the main question is who killed Daniel, the 23-year-old on the houseboat, but it is soon revealed that his estranged mother had died just a few weeks earlier--a drunk who probably fell, but maybe was pushed, down the stairs--and his cousin also fell to his death some years back. Untimely demise runs in the family. The highlight of these goings-on is Laura, a tiny but ferocious young woman who was seen running from Daniel's boat with blood on her mouth and clothes the last night he was alive. Physically and mentally disabled by an accident in her childhood, Laura is so used to being accused and wronged (and actually she is quite the sticky fingers) that she's not surprised when she's hauled in for Daniel's murder, though she's pretty sure she didn't do it. The secondary crimes and subplots include abduction, sexual assault, hit-and-run, petty larceny, plagiarism, bar brawling, breaking and entering, incest, and criminal negligence, and on top of all this there's a novel within a novel that mirrors events recalled in flashback by one of the characters. When Irene reads it, she's infuriated by "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?" Hmmmmm. Overkill.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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