A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

When a man is found stabbed to death on the boat he lived on, three women fall under suspicion for various reasons. Paula Hawkins’ latest release explores, through a cast of unusual characters, how circumstances govern human perspective and behaviour.

The plot promises a typical murder mystery. But I was pleasantly surprised to see how the storylines of different characters have been woven together.

In the beginning, the plot execution is weighed down by these individual stories, so much so that I couldn’t connect anything that was going on to the actual murder or to a relation to the man who was killed. And that puzzled me.

Image Courtesy – Goodreads

As I kept reading, I came to the conclusion that Paula Hawkins works are just not for me. The reason is that even though I could identify specific elements in the book that were interesting, the novel as a whole wasn’t something that excited me or one that intrinsically held any appeal.

The writing in itself isn’t boring. It is very much action-driven and evenly paced. If you’ve enjoyed some of the author’s other works, you might like this one too!

Out of the three main female characters, Laura’s is the one that presents the most intrigue. She is unlike anything I’ve read before.

While there’s a sense of simplicity to her being, her mannerisms are quite peculiar at times. After a point, it becomes so evident that she’s been dealt a bad hand by fate that you can’t help but feel bad for her. Laura’s interactions with Irene were a great addition to the novel.

I did not care about Miriam’s storyline at all; this has in part to do with her characterisation and the lack of sufficient developments in her story.

The ending did astonish me, and I’d give the novel some points for the ambiguity that gets introduced in a scene.

That said, I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. And unless I read an extremely impressive novel synopsis, I’m not too sure that I’ll be picking up any more of the author’s works in the future.

Published by Meera Nair

A 27 year-old freelance Content Writer, who spends all her free time ensconced in the pages of a book or writing to her heart's content about topics that excite the creative spirit in her.

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