Book Review Mystery

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins – Book Review


When a young man, Daniel, is found murdered in a houseboat in London, it brings forward three women who have complicated relationships with the victim. Laura, a one-night stand who was last seen leaving the victim’s home on the day of the murder, Carla, a resentful aunt who is mourning yet another death in the family, and lastly Miriam, a nosy neighbour who is clearly keeping secrets from everyone including the police. 

A classic whodunnit murder mystery – three suspects who each have their own unique connections to the victim, and each of them simmering with resentment and revenge.

Pub Date: August 24, 2021

Publisher: Riverhead Books

Number of Pages: 307 (hardcover)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Crime


my thoughts

Reading at my favourite cafe in Toronto, at Cafe 23

A Slow Fire Burning was indeed a slow burn mystery. The first half of the book delved into the characters’ background and their complexities. It had too many flashbacks, which I don’t usually mind, but in this case I find the execution was a bit sloppy that it made the timelines confusing. 

When it comes to the characters, they were mostly unlikeable. If I had to choose one that I liked, it would probably be Iriene, who is not even a main character. None of them kept me intrigued enough. 

For a mystery/thriller, this book starts out really slow and a bit boring. I found myself putting the book down too many times. If I’m reading a mystery book, I want it to be unputdownable. But unfortunately this one didn’t do it for me.

After getting past the first half of the book, the story starts to pick up and things start to make sense surrounding Daniel’s murder. I was waiting for the big reveal – who the murderer was and what the motive was. But when that finally happened, I found myself feeling disappointed. I also feel like some storylines didn’t even fit or were lacking something. There were stories within stories that didn’t really add any importance. It just fell flat and I feel like this book could’ve been a lot shorter.

Overall, this book was a miss for me and I would recommend skipping this. 

my rating

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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