Cover Image: The House Fire

The House Fire

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Member Reviews

Unlikable characters that was slow to begin. So prodding myself on,  I got to the second half where things pepped up, and there were some good twists. A good attempt by the author to show abuse, but the other subplots felt to be overwhelming. A good read.
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I hadn't read Rosie Walker before but this was an awesome novel. Filled with suspense, the book details a "normal" odd family consisting of Jamie, younger sister Cleo, mom Ella, and stepdad Ant. Jamie and boyfriend Spider are filming a documentary about a rash of house fires occurring in their area and we get glimpses of The Arsonist's musings in several stand-alone chapters. It's creepy and satisfying as we see things play out and suspects abound...but of course we are surprised and shocked when the real killer is revealed. This is one of those books that demands you read it in one (or maybe two) sittings as you won't be able to rest until you know the secrets of this town!
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
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Readers will enjoy immersing themselves in this compelling story.  
Many thanks to Harper Collins UK and NetGalley for providing me with a galley for my honest opinion.
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Family drama,lots of twists and conflicting characters. Told from three different view points it was slow and hard to follow.
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This book is a mixture of crime (in this case, arson), family drama and psychological thriller.  I didn’t particularly like the characters but that doesn’t really matter as you’re drawn into the story immediately.  The story evolves at a satisfying pace and although I anticipated the ending, I still enjoyed the book.
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This fast paced thriller is one that I absolutely raced through. The story is told from several points of view, and each of the characters has a lot to deal with.
The tension and suspense really build as they begin to get too close to revealing some shocking secrets.
Addictive and thrilling, I really enjoyed this book.
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A small town arson mystery comes into new light  upon a documentary investigation that brings some suspicious evidence to light. A very suspenseful mystery novel!
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The House Fire was a fast paced thriller that had my head spinning. We meet Cleo at her mother Ella's second wedding to a man named Ant. I did not like Ant at all. The story alternated between Cleo and her old sister Jamie, who was a burgeoning film maker. Then there was the 3rd voice of the arsonist. Cleo was such an emotional child and she began to get on my nerves. I felt sorry for her in the beginning but when she didn't get her way she lashed out in unhealthy ways. Poor Jaimie tried her best to be a good big sister but she had her own issued to deal with concerning her documentary and her creepy boyfriend Spider. The one true character I genuinely liked was Cleo's friend Lucasz. That poor kid had his hands full with Cleo and her antics. 

I thought I knew who the villains were but the author made sure to turn everything I thought was true upside down. The book was fast paced and left me guessing through out.  I definitely need more from these characters. Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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I have just finished this book with a deep sense of discomfort from reading it.
I found the constant family discontent upsetting and as for the fire in the stable, that image will live with me forever.  Most upsetting
It was well written with a lot of things happening that were totally unexpected.
Some very intriguing characters that came together to make an unusual story.
I cannot honestly say that I enjoyed it.

This review will be posted with Waterstones
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A derelict house. A toxic husband. A series of unsolved fires. And two sisters quest for the truth.

After reading, devouring and absolutely loving Rosie Walker's brilliant debut "Secrets of a Serial Killer" , I was excited to delve into THE HOUSE FIRE. If she could engage me and immerse me into the story as she did the first time round, I knew I would be in for a real treat. And she didn't disappoint. Granted, this book is a little slower off the mark than her addictive pulse-racing debut, the pace soon picks up as the reader is immersed one again into the lives of one family and their on-going drama.

Opening with a spine-tingling Prologue in which a child witnesses the abuse inflicted on their mother by their father with a vow to one day make him pay. It's short, it's powerful but it's makes it point.

In the present day we meet Jamie, a budding documentary maker, filming her mother's marriage to Ant who turns the event into The Ant Show with the spotlight on him. Her younger sister Cleo sits amidst the guests with a sour look on her face. It's obvious Cleo hates Ant and the way he has taken over their mother's life and nothing will deter her from her campaign of hate.

On the way to the reception, Cleo and her friend Lucasz decide to walk there and come across the smouldering remains of a shed in the woods. Sidetracked by something far more interesting than "The Ant Show" masquerading as her mother's wedding, Cleo wanders around the shed and discovers that the house alongside which the shed stands that has also been fire-affected, is still largely in tact. And so she and Lucasz decide to investigate further by climbing into the old manor house and nosing around. After discovering old photos and letters, Cleo creates a narrative for what she thinks happened here. And in the coming days, the old manor house, alongside her best friend Lucasz, will become her refuge from the drama unfolding at home.

Now that a new way of life has begun at home with Ant moving into the role of husband and step-father, Jamie shifts her focus back to the research she has been gathering along with boyfriend Spider for the documentary they intend to make, shedding light on the spate of unsolved historic arson cases from the 80s. But the plan shifts gear when news of a recent fire has destroyed one woman's livelihood and killed her six beloved horses. Spider takes a new direction by focussing on the arson victim's grief and anger whilst Jamie is far from comfortable with it. But Spider has a gleam in his eye she's not seen before as she realises he is relishing this new angle. And the deeper she gets, the more she realises she may have bitten off more than she can chew...particularly when she receives a threatening note that has been hand delivered. The arsonist knows where she lives.

Meanwhile back at home, Cleo is doing her damnedest to out Ant for who he really is knowing full well he can't be trusted...and the scenes between Cleo and Ant are chilling to say the least. Why doesn't anyone believe her about Ant and what he's really like? Why can't they see what she sees? Or is she just seeing what she wants to see because she just wants her mother back? I really felt for Cleo as no one appeared to be listening to her or in fact believe her when the reader sees something in what she is saying. But as it is from her perspective, is that just a tainted view? Or is it the truth? The only one to believe Cleo is her best friend Lucasz, though I suspect he was beginning to feel a little more for Cleo than just friendship. He was always by her side and on her side. He listened to her and he believed her. He even accompanied her on her quests to gather information that could potentially lead to proof and the truth about Ant. She is incredibly single-minded in her quest, I'll give her that. But at what cost?

The story is told from three viewpoints - Jamie, Cleo and the arsonist - and what unfolds is a spine-tingling, mind-blowing domestic and psychological thriller that, once it picks up pace, will have you turning the pages long into the night. The historic arson cases that have remained unsolved lead both sisters on two very different journeys as each endeavour to uncover the truth - but what is the truth? Jamie has a clear direction in which she takes while Cleo's is far muddier and ambiguous. It is evident from the start that there is an undercurrent of abuse with a darker history lurking that is sometimes uncomfortable to witness. But as events unfold, it seems the truth may be closer than they think.

While the story begins as a slow-burn (excuse the pun), the tension soon builds and the pace picks up into an addictive page-turner you won't want to put down for a minute! The suspense is all-absorbing and the plot completely compelling.

The characters are all skillfully drawn - both the likeable and unlikeable. Both sisters are the main narrators as we see the story play out through their eyes respectively. With Jamie, as the older more responsible of the two, she tried to remain objective and make decisions based on less emotion than her 14 year old sister who was naturally driven by her own, sometimes over the top, emotions. Cleo had a rage inside her that the reader puts down to her age and possibly her hormones...but is she just jealous that Ant has moved in and taken away her mother's attention from her? Admittedly, it certainly appeared that way on more than one occasion and Ant really didn't help himself with his behaviour. He almost certainly loves the power that coercive control gives him...but is it all smoke and mirrors? Because after all, nothing is ever as it seems. And everyone, it seems, has their own agenda.

I read this book almost in one sitting as it is so addictive I could not put it down. The storytelling is compelling and engaging with a suspenseful edge that keeps the tension palpable throughout. But what I love most about THE HOUSE FIRE is the ending! I didn't see any of it coming. I certainly didn't figure out the arsonist until just before the reveal and I'm like scratching my head...but it was the final pages of the Epilogue that I loved the most. While I favour endings that tie up all loose ends bringing a closure to everything, I do so love creepy open-ended conclusions especially one that is as chilling as this one.

If you enjoyed Rosie's fantabulous debut "Secrets of a Serial Killer" , you will love THE HOUSE FIRE. It is an addictive, edge-of-your-seat domestic and psychological thriller that will most definitely keep you guessing until the very end...and leave you pondering about it after the book is closed.

I would like to thank #RosieWalker, #Netgalley, #OneMoreChapter and #HarperCollinsUK for an ARC of #TheHouseFire in exchange for an honest review.
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I struggled at the beginning of this book as it was slow to get going, but it eventually picked up and I’m pleased I pushed through because it was so worth it.

None of the characters were particularly likeable and I didn’t trust anybody, however, that’s what made this book so good, because I was suspicious of everyone and desperate to get to the end to find out how everything would pull together.

Overall, slow to start but worth pushing through to get to the good bits. Wonderful character development and an absolutely brilliant ending. Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author for a chance to read and review this book.
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I have to admit I struggled with this book. The idea of the book was interesting and the beginning did grab my attention. However, the pace slowed up considerably as the book moved on and with the different timeliness and character's points of view, I found it hard to follow. It's told from the points of view of Cleo, Jamie and the unknown arsonist. I liked Cleo's character and connected with her more than the others. Whilst the middle part of the story didn't grab my attention as much, I did stick with it to the end, which I'm glad I did as there was a good twist! There may be some trigger points for some and it does have themes of mental health issues, arson and emotional abuse. I won't say I didn't like the book, I just don't think it was really for me.
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Play with fire…..get burnt!  This book immediately grabbed my attention, I loved that the story was told from three characters perspectives: Jamie, Cleo and the Arsonist. My favourite narrative was that of the Arsonist. Definitely recommend you read this book.
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Two Rosie Walker books in a row that get five stars. The cover is kinda edgy and so is this feministy family drama that is tightly written, fast paced and unputdownable once you start. Can’t wait for another!
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My thanks to NetGalley and publisher HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter, for the electronic copy.

I quite liked this book - more the first half, which set an intriguing scenario.  Set around a North Yorkshire village of Abbeywick, an area which sustained a series of arson attacks in the 1980s and which had never been solved.  The complex plot actually, to me, was complicated, and I felt the conclusion was a little confusing and not quite underpinned by the story leading up to it.

Fourteen year-old Cleo and older sister Jamie witness their divorced mother Ella marrying a dashing TV presenter, Ant, following a whirlwind romance.  Cleo is incandescent about Ant moving into the family home; she doesn't need a step-father, she still has her dad.  She becomes obsessed with the idea of Ant controlling everything about her mother but no-one believes her.  She and best friend Lucas discover a semi-burnt-out house hidden in the woods and, having found a family's belongings still there, including a pack of old letters, they begin to investigate its background.

Meanwhile, Jamie is given some money by Ant in order to encourage her ambition of making a documentary about the old arson story;  Jamie wants to focus on the victims of the fires but her boyfriend is all for sensationalising the story.

Cleo spirals down into the depths of paranoia as Ant becomes exasperated by her behaviour - she's sure he has something to hide and she's desperate to expose him for coercive and controlling behaviour and get him out of her life.

Well - just what lengths will she go to?

Yes, there are red-herrings and twists but it all seems to end in a frantic conclusion which wasn't entirely satisfactory for my liking.  But of course that's just my own personal opinion.
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So few characters so many reasons why any one of them, singly or working together, could be responsible for the fires.
Little fires, medium fires, big horrible fires where people and animals scream in agony till their final breath.
There is a satisfaction in being able to set a good fire - with scrunched newspaper, kindling, coal or logs. Then controlling it to provide heat or cooking.
These fires are heinous.
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This book has such a great premise. Jamie works on investigative documentaries and is getting a little too close to a couple arson cases. Fun and really fast-paced, I adored this book. The writing was great and a terrific payoff in the end! Thank you!
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What a thrill ride well drawn characters with plenty of twists and turns, well paced hard to put down.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for this review copy.
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Thanks to the publishers and Netgalley for the ARC.
This book is set against the background into historical arson attacks from thirty years ago.
As the main character, Jamie and her boyfriend start investigating and making a documentary the story opens up and we start to delve into family relationships and how her little sister reacts to their mother remarrying. 
A decent read, if a little young adult rather than thriller in parts, it did nonetheless hold my attention all the way through and was a decent enough read. Like others, didn't see the major twist coming until it hit me.
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This book kept me on the edge of my seat all the way through. Jamie and Cleo are two sisters who live with their mum and her new husband. Neither of the girls like him, especially Cleo. Of course, their mother cannot see his faults and in her eyes he can do no wrong.
Jamie starts investigating old unsolved cases of arson dating back many years and Cleo sets about getting her old mum back . What could possibly go wrong ?
I was gripped from beginning to end and couldn’t put it down as both their stories unfolded in the last few chapters. Definitely didn’t see the twist at the end coming. Keen to read more from Rosie Walker.
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