Cover Image: The House Fire

The House Fire

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
The House Fire joins the growing stable of ‘domestic noir’ fiction in which serious domestic issues are at least as important as the thriller storyline. This thriller’s initial storyline revolves around protagonist Jamie, who investigates a series of arson attacks for a documentary that he is making. There is a second storyline constructed around protagonists Ella and Ant, a newly married couple, who live with Cleo, who is Ella’s daughter from an earlier marriage. Following their family life throughout the pages introduces serious issues such as bulimia and coercive control and it becomes clear that Ant is not who he makes out to be. Switching between three different viewpoints – those of teenager Cleo, documentary maker Jamie and the anonymous arsonist – this is a psychological thriller that eventually weaves all the threads together, is a spellbinding read, and deserves as wide an audience as possible. I would like to thank the publishers and NetGalley for the free ARC that enabled me to read this novel and to produce this honest and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley, Rosie Walker and Harper Collins One More Chapter for the ARC of The House Fire.

I loved the sound of this book from the synopsis - the cover really drew me in, as did the prospect of 'playing with fire.' 

Teenager Jamie is creating a documentary about historical arson attacks that took place in the 80s in their home town. Unsolved crimes that led to not only property being damaged, but the loss of life when a theatre burned to the ground with a seamstress inside.

Her younger sister Cleo is going through a difficult time. She hates her new stepfather, her Mum is completely changing and his coercive and controlling behaviour is starting to damage their relationship. 

When a new fire starts and it looks like the arsonist's pattern has started again. With Cleo discovering a burned-out shell of a house deep in the forest, the sister's two missions start to collide. Jamie's - to learn the truth about the arsonist, and Cleo's to get her stepdad Ant out of their lives forever.

The book grabbed and kept my attention almost immediately and the characters, although not always likeable, were well developed. 

At first, I thought I had this book all figured out, Having read a fair few thrillers, I consider myself fairly good at picking up clues, so was expecting to know the outcome. I didn't. The twist at the end was a shock, but it was a quite left-field reveal and to be honest, it kind of came out of nowhere. There is a lot going on in this book, from strange boyfriends to controlling partners and historical family dramas and at times it felt a bit too much was going on that didn't necessarily add anything to the story,  

Overall I enjoyed it, but the ending whilst unpredicted didn't quite work for. me,
Was this review helpful?
A mystery about an arsonist in a small town and written from multiple viewpoints. The author has mixed the genres, domestic drama, teen angst and crime mystery. I was not keen on the storytelling not the characters but I enjoyed the twist at the end.
Was this review helpful?
Sisters Jamie and Cleo and boyfriends Spider and Lucasz investigate historical house fires in their area for a documentary, but things take a sinister turn when small incidents point too close to home. An interesting and lively story.
Was this review helpful?
I was sent a copy of The House Fire by Rosie Walker to read and review by NetGalley. I enjoyed this novel but not enough to give it the full five stars. It was quite repetitive in places and I can’t say that I actually liked any of the characters. I almost gave up near the beginning as I wasn’t keen on the way it was written, it almost felt like it wanted to have been written first person. The story did lead you in different directions throughout, changing tack just when you thought that you knew what was coming, and it was this that kept me reading. Worth more than three stars so 4 it is from me.
Was this review helpful?
Thank You to Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange 
for an honest review.

When I first started this book, it brought back memories of The New Husband by D.J Palmer as both books begin with new marriages that are not accepted by stepchildren. As with The New Husband, The House Fire begins with the same storyline when Cleo's mom marries a man she doesn't like and to make matters worse, Ant planned the wedding on Cleo's 14th birthday. Cleo is feeling like her mother is being taking away from her, with Ella spending more take with her new husband than with her daughter. Tension between Ant and Cleo starts to escalate when Cleo accuses Ant of trying to isolate her mom from her friends and family.
Cleo's sister, Jamie, seems to have a better relationship with Ant, especially after he takes an interest in her plan to film a documentary about unsolved arson fires that occurred in their area decades ago. Ant lends Jamie the money to acquire the equipment needed to film the documentary.

The storyline seems to be quite predictable but that is where you would be wrong. We are lead down a path that seems to point in a certain direction but there is a subtlety that hints to a deeper psychological entanglement that complicates all the relationships of those involved. 
The ending will have you in shock, showing that things aren't always as they appear.
Great story that will have you glued to the pages, driving you forward in a fast paced thriller that leaves you gasping in disbelief at the final reveal.

Once you read this one, if you haven't read Rosie Walker's first book, Secrets of a Serial Killer, be sure to pick it up as it is just as satisfying as The House Fire.
Was this review helpful?
In the 1980’s there had been a set of unexplained fires in the town of Abbeywick. Most of the fires were empty buildings. But one fire took someone’s life. But the arsonist was never caught. Now Jamie Davidson wants to do a documentary on the fires, she begins working with her boyfriend on the filming, but it may be they are getting a little too close to the truth, as another fire is set, Jamie and her younger sister Cleo, could be in danger.

The story is based on both the past and current fires and the mystery around them. But also there are domestic situations which start as Jamie’s boyfriends behaviour becomes scary. Then Cleo believes her stepfather is abusing her mother emotionally.. The issues covered in the story are about controlling behaviour along with emotional abuse and the signs and effects it can have. 

So this became a domestic drama with some disturbing scenes, along with the mystery about the arsonist. With a complex ending several plot twists and turns. It turned out to be different to what I had expected. It’s well plotted, narrated from three points of view Jamie, Cleo and the arsonist. The beginning is a little slow to get going, but as the story progresses so does the pace.

The characters were well developed, when the arsonist was narrating it was difficult to work out who it was, so the suspense was kept right up to the end. The relationship with the sisters felt real, although at times Cleo was quite annoying but this fit with her age. I liked the bond that they had.

Be prepared for a chilling ending. 

Thank you to #netgalley and #HarperCollinsUk #OneMoreChapter for an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
Interesting but not really my cup of tea. Well written I just personally couldn’t get into the story.  Unsolved arson attacks in a quiet town - and a new husband that her daughters just do not trust. Is he the arsonist? Where does he come from and why can no one find anything about his past anywhere?  I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
Buckle up when reading this book, bibliophiles. It's a heck of a ride. Unsolved arson attacks, a creepy abandoned mansion, old love letters, a film documentary, family strife, coupled with a few people you are sure are responsible in some way for the events, only to be proven wrong, and your socks will be blown off when you find out who is really responsible. Here is where I hit a wall: the actual culprit. There is no indication given during the rest of the book that said person is an arsonist with mental issues. Not one clue. I just found it hard to believe. So while I enjoyed the red herrings, I wasn't entirely happy with the ending.

Thank you, NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Jamie works on investigative documentaries and she is getting pretty close to discovering the truth behind a couple of deadly arson attacks on Abbeywick in the 80s, a derelict mansion in the woods.

Fast-paced and addictive, I've been looking forward to this after Rosie Walker's début thriller, "Secrets of a Serial Killer". With plenty of oomph and suspense, The House Fire is populated with twisted psychological thrills and I found myself drawn to the characters of Jamie and Cleo. Well plotted and chilling in parts.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from One More Chapter via NetGalley and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
The House Fire by Rosie Walker is a thriller about Jamie, her family, and the arson documentary that she is producing about the town she lives in.  She is investigating a series of arsons from many years ago, when the arsonist seems to come back.  Her sister Cleo is also not dealing well with her mother's new husband, and so there are lots of family issues going on too. This story started off well; but by the end it was over-the-top, and the characters all became very unlikable.  Thanks to NetGalley for the free digital review copy.  All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The House Fire has quite a lot going on and isn't what I thought it would be. 

Jamie Davidson wants to make a documentary about a series of unexplained fires that occurred in her hometown of Abbeywick In the 1980s with her boyfriend Spider.

There was at least one victim from this arsonist that was never identified. 

Jamie begins working with her boyfriend on the filming but it seems she may be getting too close to the truth and receives something very disturbing in the post - is it a threat? 

History begins to repeat itself - another fire is set and Jamie and her younger sister, Cleo, may be in danger. 

There are a lot of twists throughout the book, and it’s impossible to figure out which characters are good and which are bad from one moment to the next. This makes it hard to find someone to root for since my opinions of the characters kept changing.

The past and present fires are at the heart of the story, but the mystery of those crimes takes a backseat to domestic situations when Jamie’s boyfriend's behaviour is unsettling and Cleo is determined to prove that her step dad is emotionally abusing her mum. 

Just what lengths is Cleo willing to go to to "prove" his guilt?

The theme of the books is the danger of unexpressed anger and some of the signs and effects of controlling behavior and emotional abuse. 

I was expecting a thriller about an arsonist, but it was more a domestic drama that wasn’t always entertaining to read.  

The epilogue is well done and lets readers know what’s going on with the characters in an interesting way after the initial drama unfolds. 

The book isn’t what I thought it would be, but I still enjoyed it overall.
Was this review helpful?
There are a lot of twists throughout the book, and it’s impossible to figure out which characters are good and which are bad from one moment to the next. This makes it hard to find someone to root for since my opinions of the characters kept changing.
Was this review helpful?
An intense, chilling read.  A thriller that delves into true psychology, family dynamics, self control and coercive control. Perfectly paced writing.

A university student, along with her boyfriend, decides to make a documentary about historic arson attacks on local buildings. This plan is taken over by the onset of new attacks although the student is not comfortable with this angle. At the same time she is having to navigate the new domestic situation as her mother has remarried and her younger sister really doesn't like her step-father.

The story is told mainly from the two sisters' point of view with the odd chapter from the arsonist's. The characters are fully formed and their motivations are expressed well. The derelict house, moorland, old letters and photographs add atmosphere and an excellent level of creepiness. This is a very well written book with concise language that adds tension without being trite.

Of course, this ends up as a whodunnit within the mystery, but the reasoning is scientific and not sensationalist. Plenty to think about once the book is closed. Brilliant.
Was this review helpful?
My first book from Rosie Walker and it’s an intriguing one. It’s got strong characters and an interesting multi point of view storyline which kept me interested enough to want to keep the pages turning.
Was this review helpful?
A well written narrative with a cast of interesting, well-crafted characters. Their unreliable nature draws readers in and keeps them engaged. While the story doesn’t have an edge-of-your-seat feel, it reads well as a mystery and encompasses intriguing subject matters of arson and mental health.

Thank you to #NetGalley the ARC of #TheHouseFire which was read and reviewed voluntarily.

@OneMoreChapter @HarperCollinsUk @rosiejanewalker 

This review is also published on Goodreads and Amazon.
Was this review helpful?