A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

Published 2021 1. First lines. 2. Cover: Penguin 3. Woman [Public Domain] via Stockvault 4. Flames [CC BY 3.0] Original image cropped. By Henry Wadey via Wikimedia

Miriam lives on a canal-boat in Regent’s Canal, London. One day sees a woman leaving the scene of a murder on a nearby boat. It is Laura, an emotionally fragile young woman who is known to police. Another significant character is Carla the victim’s aunt who has some hidden secrets. The story starts with the murder, and then recounts each of the characters’ back stories, weaving them together until the whole story is revealed.

‘What is wrong with you?’

Referring to the number of subplots and secondary crimes, Kirkus dubs it “Overkill”. Personally I agree with USA Today who thinks it is “a classic whodunit that unfolds the mystery until the very last page. Hawkins masterfully leads you to suspect one flawed character before taking you into a completely different direction without warning”. And I don’t think that the subplots get in the way of the main story.


“You do far more exercise when you have a dog. It gets you out of the house, you know it does;”

“Accidents do happen, and they especially happen to drunks, but mother and son, eight weeks apart? In fiction, that would never stand.”

Author: Rachel Hawkins

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s