A Slow Fire Burning

The addictive new Sunday Times No.1 bestseller from the author of The Girl on the Train

Narrated by Rosamund Pike
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Pub Date 31 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2021

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Description

Brought to you by Penguin.

THE SCORCHING SUNDAY TIMES no.1 BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Penguin presents the audio edition of A Slow Fire Burning, read by Rosamund Pike.

'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.

'Shocking, moving, full of heart . . . A Slow Fire Burning shows a writer at the height of her powers.' Observer (Thriller of the Month)

'Superbly told, its twists and turns reveal the slow fire burning inside each which might just destroy them. Utterly compelling.' Daily Mail

'Fast-paced, highly charged and carried off with so much confidence that it is impossible to resist.'
Sunday Times

© Paula Hawkins 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021

Brought to you by Penguin.

THE SCORCHING SUNDAY TIMES no.1 BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Penguin presents the audio edition of A Slow Fire Burning, read by Rosamund Pike.

'What...


Advance Praise

'From the first sentence to the last, this explosive, startling novel grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go.'

Kate Mosse

'Twists and turns like a great thriller should, but it's also deep, intelligent and intensely human'

Lee Child

'Gripping and intriguing, I loved every moment'

S J Watson

'Twists and turns galore...Paula Hawkins is a genius.'

Lisa Jewell

'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

'Paula Hawkins' plotting is meticulous.'

Belinda Bauer

'I'm still thinking of them days after I turned the last page.'

Tammy Cohen

'A hugely gripping, character-based thriller, with great writing and brilliant twists.'

John Boyne

'Paula Hawkins at her best.'

Renee Knight


'From the first sentence to the last, this explosive, startling novel grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go.'

Kate Mosse

'Twists and turns like a great thriller should, but it's also deep...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format, Unabridged
ISBN 9781473565227
PRICE £10.83 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Featured Reviews

A Slow Fire Burning is a much anticipated novel. We start at the end. Daniel is found dead on his houseboat. Miriam found the body. Miriam has secrets and she knows some of the darker sides of other characters. Laura was involved in a car accident as a child which has had a profound impact on her life - including a lack of filter when engaging with others and a tendency towards getting into trouble. However, she is more unfortunate than a bad apple, or is she. Carla and Angie are sisters, fractured by a tragedy that happened many years before. And so we are introduced to numerous characters; all are hiding things, all have a link that could implicate them in what is going on. All are unreliable. This is a cleverly plotted book. It needs careful attention to ensure that none of the nuggets of information are missed. However, I struggled to like or engage with the characters - maybe save for Laura and Irene. It somehow feels a little slow, despite lots of plot, possibly so stuffed with information that the balance isn’t quite right. I listened to the audiobook. The narration is excellent and requires full concentration. A very worthwhile 3.5* Thanks to PRH and Netgalley for an (audio) ARC.

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A Slow Fire Burning (Audiobook) Written by Paula Hawkins,narrated by Rosalind Pike I give this 3.75 stars 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. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them.How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame? The title aptly describes the book for me. We have a murder then a mix of likeable/unlikable characters that are introduced ( l loved the way the narrator managed to make them all stand out as different and identifiable throughout the story) Next come the lies and secrets and past tradegies that gradually unravel as this multi layered mystery unfolds.The writer has such a clever way of giving you complex and unreliable narrators that keep you guessing till the end! I found this a very quick read. With thanks to Netgalley,Paula Hawkins and Penguin Random House UK Audio for my chance to listen and review this audiobook.

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A very intricate plot. Lots of sun stories. I love the characters. It’s so nice to have a variety of people in a book, this one has from quirky young lady to posh middle aged man to cunning old women. There were many twists and turns in the plot- so many that I had to concentrate quite hard. At one point the only thing I was certain of was that I hadn’t killed anyone. Any one of the characters could have done it. I loved listening to this book as an audio book as the narrator really built the characters. She help keep who was how in my head. Really good book! Thank you Netgalley for giving me a pre published copy.

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The latest offering from Paula Hawkins is an excellent read! The story starts with the murder of a man on a boat on the canal. He is found by an older lady who lives on a neighbouring boat. Then the story twists and weaves it’s numerous strands into an enjoyable , and intriguing read leaving me second guessing who may have committed the murder. The characters are all different in their nature and to be honest not the most likeable , although Laura is amiable and I felt sympathy towards her. The book is cleverly written, with sub plots and connections with the characters, which would have all been too much to take in if written by a writer of an inferior calibre . The reader does need to concentrate and not let their mind wander the essence of the narrative could be lost. The narration by Rosamund Pike was excellent , overall an excellent , enjoyable and erudite novel. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Audio.

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My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for my audio copy of A Slow Fire Burning. This is a compelling story beautifully read by Rosamund Pike. The characters are all fully three dimensional and whilst none of them are particularly likeable we are given enough background to see that they are the product of their pasts. Their lives meet and divert at intervals giving us effectively two stories filled with twists and surprises that hold the listeners interest right up to the very satisfactory ending. Perfect!

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Having loved one of Paula Hawkins books and being so-so on another I was very curious as to how I would find 'A Slow Fire Burning’. I listened to the audiobook and found it to be a gratifying and entertaining listen. The story starts with the discovery of a brutally murdered young man on a canal boat. The woman who finds him, Muriel, I can only describe as a bit of a ‘queer fish’ - a loner, an eccentric and a woman with an interesting story to tell, (which intersects with various other narratives within this book). The night before his murder, Daniel spends the night with Laura, a vulnerable young woman with a tragic past. Laura finds herself cast under suspicion. We learn that Daniels mother, Angela passed away 8 weeks previously, and her sister Clara and brother in law Theo, an author, are also central to the story. The story is unique, original and memorable. It is twisty and unpredictable. The narrator is talented and really brings the story to life, some of her narration reminded me of Olivia Coleman, which in itself I feel is testament to the quality of her skills. Overall I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this audiobook. My thanks to NetGalley, author and publisher for the opportunity ti review this Audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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What a great story or novel, having heard the audio it feels like a story with great characters, wonderfully read by Rosamund Pike. Obviously she couldn't have done it without the fantastic talents of Paula Hawkins the author, so a big thankyou to you both for this gift of pleasure. So as you may assume I really enjoyed A Slow Fire Burning, it is two stories running together with a few sub plots that all work incredibly well and there is no confusion well I didn't feel there was. The main plot involves my favourite character Laura some would say a bit slow and maybe volatile but i couldn't helpbut love her. There's the other plot as well as the main one involving Miriam she has a story to tell, she could be called a few things but as none are PC I will let you discover yourself, mind as can be the case there can be reasons. Leave it there so no spoilers involved. . . . . . The main story starts with the deaths of a mother and son in separate incidents a few months apart, one at home in a house the other at home on a barge. There's a stolen story dipped in for added spice (no not that sort sorry). And a back story of another death a few years back but you need to read it for more info well OK hear obviously as it's an audio. There's a good variety of characters so if turned in to a film equity would be pleased with the jobs available. But seriously they are all involved in the plot and make it highly entertaining and mysterious. Laura's descriptions are wonderful specially those she meets at the station. The story doesn't sit still it flows and twists can't say every page as I heard it rather than read, which is best? I guess it's a personal thing. I love reading so have only heard a few stories on audio but I really enjoyed the experience. Its relaxing I wondered how much of the story I'd take in but it was so well read (in my opinion) that I was hanging on to each word. I found it easy to pick up again after a break or sleep and the skip back button meant I could hear the last 30 seconds again before progressing which I wouldn't do if reading. So I'm giving this 5 stars not because it's the best I've heard (it is) as I've only heard a few 3 in total but because it caused pleasure let me escape from life for a while and is incredibly well written and read. It's encouraged me to listen to a lot more audios and probably this one again very soon. 🙂🥰

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A Slow Fire Burning was a gripping read from the start. I listened to this as an audiobook and I can firmly say that Rosamund Pike absolutely brought this book to life. I wonder if it the way it was read helped me like it even more than I would have had I read it. The story investigates the murder of Carla's nephew Daniel, and the lives that are tangled up in uncovering the truth. Was there a lot I was surprised about in the book? Not really, I wasn't shocked or didn't gasp out loud, but I enjoyed the twists and turns even if none of them really took me by surprise. Paula Hawkins has again showed that she's great at taking the audience on a journey, and a lof the strength of the book was in discovering the characters. I didn't like most of the characters, I don't think I was meant to, but for the most part they're complex human beings who have untold stories and layers. It was an enjoyable listen for me.

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This is a complicated, dark and unnerving book. It is both riveting and utterly brilliant. Expertly written, beautifully narrated and one to stand out from the crowds. Bravo.

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This is an intelligent well paced novel , very sad in parts which is beautifully narrated by actress Rosamund Pike who instills it with drama and pathos. Laura is a damaged young woman having been seriously injured by a car as a child. Her choices she is told are not always good ones. But how the reader is made to feel For Laura willing her on! I have loved all of Paula Hawkins recent thrillers/mysteries and she has a talent for making them all different which is no mean feat. Characters are brought to life by writer and narrator and the result is a clever and very readable journey.

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Just as compelling as her previous two novels! I found Laura a brilliantly-realised, flawed, relatable character and I loved the inclusion of an older character too - elderly characters are often missing from the psychological thriller genre. The audio book is read very well, with clear distinctions between each voice.

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This is an interesting and nicely twisty murder mystery, but to sell it only as such is to do it a disservice. Paula Hawkins creates a wonderfully rich cast of characters, each with their own closets filled with skeletons that knew each other once. People to root for, and people to despise. Tragedy, and enough comedy to leaven the tone. Rosamund Pike is excellent, and gives Paula Hawkin's cast human voice, and gives them all their individuality. A good romp through some grimy crimes.

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3.5* The novel opens with the murder of a young man, Daniel, found dead on a houseboat on the Regent's Canal by the Whitmore Bridge. This is swiftly followed by the introduction to a motley cast of characters, including Irene, Carla, Miriam, Theo (who has 'beautiful bookshelves') and the main character, Laura. I felt uncannily confused and found it hard initially to differentiate between them. I longed for a simple moniker like Tom, Joy or Bob to really tell the characters apart and anchor them in their personalities. Laura is a young woman has had her unfair share of blows in life. She had a terrible accident when she was younger, leaving her psychological and physically affected and she is the go-to person when anything untoward/criminal happens. She did stab a man in the hand with a fork which makes her a natural, prime suspect in the killing of the young, man on the barge - she had stayed over with him before his body was found. Daniel's sleuthing neighbour, Miriam, picks up a key at the scene of the crime, covered in blood, which happens to belong to Laura and could of course further incriminate her; the habit of taking mementoes is something neighbour Miriam can't shake. In fact, there is a lot of light fingered kleptomania going on throughout the novel, with Laura a prime indulger in the habit. There are backstories with a full range of 'issues' like kidnapping, further murder and death, alcoholism, dementia, affairs, inappropriate encounters, really crap parenting, and it seems that naughty Theo has misappropriated one of the other character's histories and turned it into a novel, penned under a pseudonym. To be honest, there isn't a redeeming person among them and there is so much seething anger being lobbed about, which proves ultimately quite wearing. Anyway, a fair few characters come into the frame for the murder, there are grudges aplenty within this loose knit community brought together by the author, and ultimately the novel gets into its stride. There are a few red herrings popping up in and around the aquatic setting, as secrets unfurl and encounters take place, and there are moral conundrums to ponder, both for the reader and for the characters. The author is not averse to entertaining her readers by playing with irony (given the plot of the book). Theo Myerson's wife muses on his latest novel: "All the to-ing and fro-ing, all that jumping around in the timeline. Like the last one... just start at the beginning, for god's sake. Why couldn't people just tell a story straight any longer, from start to finish". I listened to this as an audiobook and it is worth it for the dulcet tones of the narrator, Rosamund Pike. The author really can write but the storytelling for me just didn't really come together. I kept checking to see how long I still had left to listen, which isn't really a sign of an engrossing novel. Sorry. It wasn't really for me.

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I was slow getting into this book but once I did (about a third of the way through) I really enjoyed it. The narration is particularly good.

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I was lucky enough to listen to this really enjoyable audio book in exchange for an honest review. I am quite new to reading this way, but found both the content and the narration excellent. How clever to get such a fabulous actress (Rosamund Pike) to narrate the book. She really made it come alive. I am embarrassed to say I haven’t read any of Paula Hawkins books before - although I have seen the Americanised film of The Girl On The Train. I can see A SlowFire Burning being turned into a film or a mini series. The location on the canal in west London was described brilliantly and I could really see it. This is a dark and intelligent thriller and I am sure it will be very well received on paper and in audio book There was one stand out character for me. Laura is young and damaged, and I was desperately hoping she had some luck. She was beautifully portrayed and she made the book for me. I definitely recommend this novel and believe it will do really well. Thank you to @NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to review an early copy of the audiobook.

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An interesting thriller from Paula Hawkins, The narration was good and the characters portrayed well. I enjoyed the story but felt it ended with a splat rather than a bang.

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Another fantastic book by Paula Hawkins. So many twists and turns I was left guessing until the very end! I loved The Girl on the Train but now I know I'm going to have to read everything Paula writes as it's clearly always fantastic. If you're looking for something new to read that will keep you on your toes and with the persistent feeling of "just one more chapter" - this is your book!

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It is a long time since I read Girl on the Train, so I am pretty sure I came to Paula Hawkins latest novel pretty fresh. And for a change, I listened on audio rather than physical copy. I am always a bit hesitant with audio as it takes so much longer to listen to a book than it would for me to read it - however Rosumund Pike does such an excellent job with the narration, that I truly didn't mind that it took so long for me to finish. This is a great female character led novel. From troubled young woman Laura, her elderly friend Irene, a "nosy neighbour" in Miriam and a still =grieving mother in Carla. All of them are involved in some way in the murder of Daniel - a young man in his 20s. but who killed him, and why? An authentic story filled with suspense and intrigue - and we are kept guessing to the end. Pike does a great job with all the different voices, and her pace is spot on.

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I really enjoyed this novel, lots of intriguing characters with development definitely a step up from your standard crime novel, as well as the twists we all know and love Hawkins for. We are introduced to the characters one by one and at first you have no idea how they are all connected, but this is half the fun! Daniel is found dead on the house boat he is renting. A nasty stabbing and his throat was cut. The police have not a lot to go on. There is a nosy neighbour, the young girl who was the last to see him, his aunt and uncle who don’t have anything to do with him but all who seem to have secrets to hide. It’s a brilliant book and the characters are all so believable. They are all so damaged and trying to make the best of things, but all have made mistakes. I would recommend for a library reading group.

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Rosamund Pike’s narration of this thriller makes it even more compelling. It is told from three points of view and this is a very dark yet fascinating story. Loved every minute of it!

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I loved Girl on the Train - the book is infinitely better than the film - and looked forward to reading more by Paula Hawkins. This book has to have one of the best openings I have read and completely wrong footed me and that was just the start! It kept me on my toes throughout. This is the story of the murder of Daniel whose bloodied body is found on a canal boat. His Mother died very recently and he hasn’t been on the boat for very long. The very ‘damaged’ and vulnerable Laura slept with Daniel earlier in the weekend and she’s the number one suspect. As the police investigate more characters are revealed and drawn into a complicated net of suspicion - Daniel’s Aunt Carla and Uncle Thee who have a tragic backstory; Miriam who discovered the body and was involved in her own crime story; Irene who lived next door to Daniel’s Mother and has her own reasons not to trust…the individual stories build and build and gradually the individual threads knit together. There are some incredible characters in this book. Laura in particular. She is so young, so vulnerable, so damaged, so tragic. As a child she was knocked down by a car, sustaining significant and life changing injuries. She has been left with disinhibition….You just want to step in and rescue this poor fragile woman whose world is dismantling, whose parents are absent, neglectful, disinterested. I really enjoyed this book, I was so engrossed in the story and so fascinated by the characters and the individual stories that make up the whole…the tragedy of Carla and Theo’s lives, the story of Laura’s accident.. I listened to this on audiobook narrated by Rosamund Pike. She is an incredible narrator, building the atmosphere, conjuring the emotions, creating characters with voices and accents and tones..adding to the excitement of a thrilling read. I had to create more and more listening opportunities in my day! With thanks to Netgalley and Penguin Random House UK Audio for a digital copy of this audiobook.

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Paula Hawkins just gets better and better. ‘A Slow Fire Burning’ is Ms Hawkins’ latest standalone novel - a twisty turny thing that draws you in from the first chapter. The starting point is the murder of a young man on a narrow boat and from there plots within plots unfold uncovering slow burning resentments each of our cast of characters harbour adding kindling for this, the slow burning fire. This is not written in the same format as most psychological thrillers, there is not really any one character leading the way through the investigation rather many points of view contribute with the pieces of the puzzle only slotting into place right at the end. Thanks to Netgalley for providing an advanced audio copy, the narration of which was just perfect, in exchange for an honest review. Highly recommended.

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This is a well written thriller with a carefully paced, satisfactory ending. The whole story is made up of the life stories of many characters. None really usurp the others meaning that for once you get a really good idea as to how and why each person has become who they are. I didn't really like anyone, except perhaps Irene, but as you read on, you can understand how each person's past has influenced their life to date. This is not only helpful to the reader, but is really the whole point of the book. The result is a raw story which could not be described as an 'encouraging' read but is thought provoking.

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Just like her previous novel (The girl on the train), this book has three damaged women as the main characters. Laura who seems a bit nuts to be honest, Miriam who is the nosy neighbour and Carla, the murder victims aunt.There are suspicions on all of them as to who may have murdered Daniel on his houseboat. It is very well written and you feel for all the characters. This took me longer to get into than usual as it took a long time to pick up the pace. However, it still left me guessing as to who had killed him and why which is exactly what you want from a thriller novel.

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I ‘read’ this as an audio book. I love crime thrillers on audio (how else would I get the housework done) and this definitely hit the spot. I wasn’t sure at first. In fact I nearly gave up in the first few minutes as it started with one of those horrific ‘woman about to be raped/murdered’ prologues that linger a little too much on the misogynistic detail. I suspect Paula Hawkins may lose readers with this, which is a shame, because the book isn’t like that at all. It’s a confusing, messy start, switching from the over-written prologue to a woman bleeding in her bathroom having been injured in some unspecified way. We quickly establish that she is a disturbed young person with unsympathetic parents and then we are away again to another woman and a detailed account of the trials of emptying the chemical toilet on her barge. By the time we got to the murder I had almost decided not to listen to any more. I’m glad I stuck with it, though. It’s a very good (if deeply depressing) book. It takes a while to get all the characters sorted out. What links the best-selling author and the miserable middle aged woman on the barge? And how are they linked to the alcoholic who, in turn, links us to the bloodied woman at the start of the book? And what on earth does the prologue have to do with any of it? It is, as you may imagine, a twisted and tangled tale: twisted in both senses of the word. Almost all the characters are deeply flawed. All have some redeeming feature or, at least, some excuse for being simply awful people, but the truth is that, except for one utterly lovely person, all are very unpleasant – and one, of course, is a murderer. To tell the truth, I didn’t really care whodunnit. I was carried along wondering how this wretched bunch of people were going to get their lives together or – more realistically – how exactly they were going to crash and burn. It’s not exactly an edifying spectacle but, like any car crash, their stories have an awful fascination. In the end we do find out who did it. There are twists and turns along the way and the resolution is satisfying, but it’s not really crucial to the enjoyment of the book. It’s just a bloody good read – or, in my case, ‘listen’ – and Rosamund Pike’s narration is spot-on perfect.

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Wow this was so good! A thriller that I adored, and wasn’t really bothered about solving, because I was so caught up in the characters stories! It’s actually one of my favourite thrillers this year! Out of the three women mention in the synopsis above, Laura was my favourite. Even though she was incredibly unpredictable and a bit scary, I felt sorry for her, especially as I learnt more about her past. I really hoped she wasn’t guilty, even though it looked really bad for her at times. Irene an elderly lady who Laura did grocery shopping for was a wonderful secondary character who I loved too. The story was just brilliant, full of twists and turns. but with depth, not just out to shock or ramp up the tension like lots of psychological thrillers. This was an audiobook that I got lost in and enjoyed every single minute listening to. Rosamund Pike’s narration was absolutely superb! I love her as an actress anyway, and this audiobook has made her one of my favourite narrators. She brought all the characters to life was such distinct voices, that at times I had to remind myself that I was only listening to one person. Sometimes I felt like I was listening to a dramatised version of the book rather than an audiobook. This was actually my first book by Paula Hawkins, and I’m definitely going to check out her back catalogue Thanks so much to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK Audio, Transworld Digital for my digital copy via the NetGalley App.

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I’d enjoyed the author’s hugely successful mystery thriller The Girl on the Train and so despite my normal aversion to fiction set in the UK (too close to home, not escapist enough, yadda yadda yadda) I was excited to get hold of this one. It kicks off with the discovery of a body on a houseboat in London. It’s clearly a case of murder, so for the police it’s now simply a case of identifying who had both the opportunity and the motive. We are soon to meet a small cast of characters who seem to have both – or do they? We have the nosy neighbour who had found the body, a young woman who’d had a recent one night stand on the victim's boat and an aunt who seems to be nursing a whole bag of resentment, for reasons we are to discover later. And there are other linked characters too who are perhaps worthy of consideration. Could one of these be the killer or are we being sold a shoal of red herrings? Well, it’s a complicated tale and readers will need to pay close attention if they’re to have a chance of successfully resolving this one. There are a number of separate storylines running in parallel as we step back and forth in time. I found it a little confusing, in truth, though I confess I am easily lost if too much information is put on the table. Each person the spotlight falls on seems to be hiding something and as additional information is progressively fed in I found that my perception of what was going on in the background was subtly (or sometime not so subtly) challenged. The characters – all of them – are a pretty dislikeable bunch and I didn’t find myself becoming sympathetic to the cause of any of them. So this, added to the complicated way in which the story is told, had the effect of distracting me to the point I’d put the book down and not pick it up again for some time. There wasn’t a moment that I felt like giving up, but neither was I in a hurry to burn the midnight oil working through the outstanding text. I was expecting a big surprise, a major twist and I suppose it is here. But the reason I frame it in this way is that it came and went before I’d realised that that's what it was. I can’t say it was an explosive moment for me and that’s perhaps because there are many minor twists here and this one sort of melded in with the crowd. In retrospect it did explained things, it was the moment all should have become clear in my mind (as I’m sure it will in the minds of more switched-on readers). One highlight is that the audiobook version I listened to was impeccably narrated by the brilliant actress Rosumund Pike. But in summary, I enjoyed this tale but I didn’t love it. It didn’t do for me what The Girl on the Trian did. I’ll be interested to see what others think of it: I expect some will absolutely love it though others might feel as I do, that it rather passed them by.

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