Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

A Slow Fire Burning

Rate this book
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. Three women who are – for different reasons – simmering with resentment. Who are, whether they know it or not, burning to right the wrongs done to them. When it comes to revenge, even good people might be capable of terrible deeds. How far might any one of them go to find peace? How long can secrets smolder before they explode into flame?

Look what you started.

307 pages, Hardcover

First published August 24, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Paula Hawkins

25 books33.3k followers
Paula Hawkins is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, which was made into a major motion picture. Her new novel of psychological suspense, Into The Water, is coming May 2.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
17,877 (13%)
4 stars
49,849 (37%)
3 stars
51,418 (38%)
2 stars
12,758 (9%)
1 star
2,488 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,086 reviews
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
402 reviews3,510 followers
February 5, 2023
Well well I guess this is why you shouldn't judge a book by the first 50%.....

A young man, Daniel Sutherland, has been found deceased on a houseboat. Leaving the scene of the crime is Laura, a young woman known to police. Fortunately for Daniel, there is a noisy neighbor Miriam who takes detailed records of all of the comings and goings. However, Daniel's mother, Angela, died just a few weeks before Daniel in an accident. Are these deaths connected? Was it Laura? What do we really know?

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021 (this book as well as Survive The Night) so my hopes were HIGH. The first half of the book was extremely complicated and slow and going. There are quite a few characters to keep track of and how they are related and connected to each other.

The first half of the book would have easily been rated a 2 or 3 stars, just average if not a bit overly complex. However, the last half of the book was extremely entertaining and had some twists that I was not quite expecting. At the last half of the book, it was revealed why the book was so complex.
When I think back on this book, there was one character who said something that if it was not said might have changed quite a bit of the book. A Slow Fire Burning book reminds me of The Great Gatsby because it is so perfectly woven together, unexpected, but it also has characters trying to do the right thing and imperfectly loving other people.

Overall, I am greatly looking forward to reading this book again. It has the complexity of The Great Gatsby - everything was set up perfectly and was surprising at the end. However, the greatness of this novel is not apparent in the first half of the book.

2023 Reading Schedule
Jan Alice in Wonderland
Feb Notes from a Small Island
Mar Cloud Atlas
Apr On the Road
May The Color Purple
Jun Bleak House
Jul Bridget Jones’s Diary
Aug Anna Karenina
Sep The Secret History
Oct Brave New World
Nov A Confederacy of Dunces
Dec The Count of Monte Cristo

Connect With Me!
Blog Twitter BookTube Facebook Insta
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
992 reviews2,773 followers
September 11, 2021

This was my third Paula Hawkins book and while I found it somewhat slow going, the writing was superb. It was the pacing and the large cast of unlikable and unreliable narrators that bogged this one down for me a bit. Otherwise this would probably have been a 5*.

I thought the title was very apropo because of the slow burn of anger, hatred, jealousy and deceit brewing within these characters.

We start in this book at the ending and follow through the back stories of all of the characters, switching back and forth also through various timelines. Then we also have a “book within a book” which was incredibly clever and well done. All of these things makes for a well written but sometimes hard to follow narrative.

Even knowing the ending does not take away from the shock value at the end of the novel. Because no matter how many red herrings the author threw at me, I DID NOT SEE THIS ENDING COMING!!!!!!!!

The main cast of characters:

Theo Myerson and his wife Carla, who had the start of an incredible marriage, until their young son Ben died accidentally at only 3 years of age. They are both hiding enough secrets to bury any average human being. You may think you know their secrets, BUT JUST WAIT UNTIL THE ENDING!!!!!!!!!!

Laura is a poor young soul. She was in a horrific accident at the age of ten which left her with some brain damage, causing all kinds of unacceptable and out of control incidents to occur. She was also left with a terrible limp, all of which left her with a terrible self image. Add to this a mother who is not supportive and a father who is emotionally absent and you have one troubled young woman.

Miriam is a middle aged woman, living just several boats down from the boat where Daniel is brutally murdered. She sees, hears and knows a lot. She also has a vendetta against at least one of the characters.

Angela is Carla’s sister, living a lonely and unhappy life. She lived with her son Daniel until recent years when Daniel went to live on his own. They had a caustic, unhealthy relationship.

Daniel himself is hard to read. We begin to learn more about him, his unhappy and caustic relationship with his mother, his aunt Carla and others, but don’t really understand him even at the end.

This is a very cerebral mystery so I wouldn’t recommend reading this after several glasses of wine, or whatever unless you reason better this way!! You will need to think, untangle story lines and understand this myriad cast of characters and convoluted but ultimately brilliantly written novel.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,200 reviews40.7k followers
May 25, 2023
Nope! That bloody disappointment choo choo train sound started playing in my head!

After being introduced to Ms. Hawkins with her psychological, twisty thriller “Girl on the train”, I was so drawn into her story about complex, broken, unreliable characters.

I found her second work: “Into the water”a little disappointed me. Maybe I was expecting to read something similar to her debut : something riveting, more mysterious, exciting, character driven with smart twists and you didn’t see it coming revelations but it was full of crowded unlikable characters and suffering from lack of mystery.

And her brand new work “A slow fire burning” has exactly the same problems! The author decided to create a slow burn mystery which could be helpful to build high tension and increase the expectations of the readers as the pace gets faster at the second half. But unfortunately this book couldn’t be defined as a mystery. It looks like a contemporary fiction about crowded and very unlikable characters’ connections with each other!

It is slow and it is a little compelling to read because when you start one of the narrators’ chapter, you ask yourself who was this character and you get to turn back for reading his/ her story one more time to refresh your memory! You keep asking yourself why you’re doing it because you reread about a character you already disliked and you didn’t pay enough attention to remember why you really disliked him or her.

After getting the full picture and understanding the characters’ back stories and connections, your reading journey gets less bumpy but it’s still struggling and requiring your extra efforts.

Overall: maybe this book may have been promoted as contemporary fiction, I could have a chance to like it more. From the beginning of the novel, I expected something big, earth shattering, surprising will happen or something so smart will come out to fool me but none of them happened. That’s why I still hear the choo choo sound of disappointment train.

Sorry but I have to admit this is not one of my favorite works of the author and not one of my favorite reads of this year!
Profile Image for Kay ☼.
1,965 reviews675 followers
February 11, 2023
Welp, somehow I was able to finish the book with no enjoyment. Third time isn't always the charm in the case of Paula Hawkins.

A slog and a challenge to pick up where I left off. I couldn't find a single character to like and it went downhill from there. I didn't plan on reading another Paula Hawkins, but Rosamund Pike narrates and I thought just maybe...

Girl on the Train - 3⭐
Into the Water - Didn't make it to DNF shelf.
Profile Image for karen.
3,979 reviews170k followers
September 1, 2021

hawkins' debut thriller The Girl on the Train came out hot on the heels of the film-adaptation of Gone Girl, when the psych suspense market was craving MORE LIKE THIS, PLEASE, and it became a runaway bestseller that everyone either loved or loved to hate, but its success ushered in a WAVE of twisty suspense novels trying to hitch a ride aboard the gone girl on the (gravy) train, so many of which unabashedly featured the word "girl" or "woman" in their titles.

her follow-up, Into the Water, was a much quieter release, and wasn't even a mystery, IMO; it was a character-driven investigation of a situation that happened to have a body count, in a similar vein to ivy pochoda's exquisite These Women. (i reviewed both of these books for l.a. review of books and i used plenty of capital letters. links to hawkins and pochoda, if you're interested)

A Slow Fire Burning is a return to the twisty twisty murder myst'ry style that put hawkins on the map, with a large cast of unlikable, unreliable characters full of secrets and hidden agendas, carefully clipped clues and misdirection. there aren't any trains this time, but there are SEVERAL boats.

it also features a mystery novelist character who gives a little meta-commentary on the genre as well as roadmap to the novel itself:

It was a book that exposed the way the sympathies of the reader might be manipulated, laying bare how quickly we jump to conclusions about guilt and innocence, power and responsibility.

there's even a novel-within-the-novel, giving the book an unusual shape hawkins seems to anticipate will invite criticism, which she cheekily addresses, using the novelist character:

"I thought it was so interesting, the way you turned the whole thing around, you know, telling the story backward in some parts and forwards in others, letting us see inside the killer's head—that was so brilliant! At first you, like, you don't know what's going on, but then it's just like...woah. So cool. I loved the way you turned everything on its head, playing with our sympathies and empathies and all that business."

"Really?" Theo laughed, faking incredulity. "I thought everybody thought that was a terrible idea."

"Well, I didn't. I thought it was clever. A new way to tell a story like that, makes you think, doesn't it?"

the title, however, does not describe the book—this fire burns fast—a highly engaging page-turner that whisks the reader to and fro—edging close to the truth before shifting the focus away each time in a delicious flurry of NOT YET, MY LOVELIES!

unsympathetic characters, unintended consequences, unexpected connections...and murrrrderrrrrr.

i dug it.

come to my blog!!
Profile Image for Allison Faught.
304 reviews143 followers
October 15, 2021
If I had a dollar for every time someone fell in this book….Quick!!! Someone get these people a LifeAlert necklace! 😱
The character development was awesome! I truly felt like I got to know each of the characters. Irene was a badass. I hope I’m exactly like her when I’m 80 years old. 😂
The twists weren’t as action-packed as I was hoping they would be, but it still made for an enticing story.
I may be biased as I was expecting a book as extraordinary as ‘The Girl on the Train’ so therefore I left feeling mildly underwhelmed and wanting a hair more.
Overall, pretty good book. 👌🏼
Sorry for the short and sweet. Dinner doesn’t make itself.
3.75 ⭐️!
Profile Image for Taylor Reid.
Author 21 books146k followers
October 6, 2021
After a young man is found murdered in a houseboat in London, it brings to the forefront three women who have unique and complicated connections to him. A nosy neighbor, a one-night stand, and a resentful family member, all who are juggling their own secrets and hidden agendas. You won’t know whom to trust in this twisty murder mystery.
Profile Image for Baba.
3,560 reviews859 followers
May 17, 2023
It's London in the 2020s, it's the canals and the big houses around Islington and Clerkenwell.
One, now old, woman suffered a horrific abduction when she was 15 years old.
One middle aged divorced woman suffered a horrendous loss when she was a young mother.
One woman in her 20s suffered a brutal hit-and-run as a child that resulted in brain damage causing behavioural issues.
All three women have many secrets and tell some lies, and ideally would like some sort of justice... or even better, revenge!
Daniel is found murdered on his canal boat. All three women knew him, did one of them kill him?
I loved, loved, loved this whodunnit on so many levels. I love it!

With some truly remarkably complex yet realistic characterisations of people across many generations; intriguing, beguiling and most of all interesting, even after finishing the book I want to know more about them. Yet, a big YET, despite the book being character led, Hawkins uses the characterisations to create a beautifully weighted read. I read a fair bit of crime fiction but only now and again do I find a non-Scandinavian writer that can compete with our Nordic Noir geniuses and this is one of them. This is the work of an assured writer in her peak. 100% deserves its existence as an INSTANT bestseller. 9.5 out of 12 masterclass Four Star read, where simmering pain, injustice and most of all revenge, is a slow fire burning.

2023 read
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,077 reviews489 followers
September 19, 2021
Another heroine who is a physical, emotional and mental wreck: Hawkins had it in for poor Laura. She was constantly bashed about and yes, she did make almost nothing but poor choices.

Her father and mother were emotional train wrecks themselves. Talk about a cat chasing its tail. I have to say that after a while, I got tired of the continuous bouts of extreme violence that Laura endured. Towards the end, I thought the worst was over, but... no, poor Laura!

A lot of the plot relies on the mental instability or vagueness of many of its characters. The various characters and their backstories were interesting, but the reason for the crime still escapes me: I really had to suspend my disbelief to accept the summing up. And Theo? What was that all about, seriously: all this atonement for so many past sins? I just put it down to the mental instability of the murderer and all the supporting cast members in this long, drawn out drama. I can't say I enjoyed this one. It took quite a while to get through. I'm rating this a 3.5 stars out of 5, rounded down to a 3.

Profile Image for Barbara.
1,340 reviews699 followers
October 4, 2021
Paula Hawkins writes an ambitious thriller with multiple characters, all in one neighborhood in London. Her setting is in an area near a canal with moored houseboats. The title, “A Slow Fire Burning” reflects the emotional simmering of the female characters, all who have reasons for revenge.

In an interview with NPR, Hawkins admits that while she was walking near her London home, which is near an area of moored houseboats, she often contemplated where would be a perfect spot to hide or dispose of a body. Hawkins liked this area because both wealthy and poor are living amongst each other in an unusual setting. And we know that Hawkins loves her unstable female characters whom the reader feels frustrated and sympathy with, in equal measure.

The central character is Laura who is a hot mess. “It’s not my fault” is her motto. As the story opens, she is seen leaving a houseboat in the early hours of the day the man who occupies the houseboat is found dead. Laura is carrying more emotional baggage than is imaginable. She’s not the only distressed female in the story. Miriam finds the dead body of Daniel, and through the story, the reader learns of her horrid past. Carla is the aunt of Daniel, and she is a grieving mother whose young son died tragically. Theo is Carla’s ex-husband; he is an author and a bit of a slippery character. Hawkins provides a map of the neighborhood with the homes of the different characters. I referred to that map often.

Who killed Daniel and why? I found it ambitious in that each character had reasons to be the murderer, depending upon the chapter. Each character endured tragedy and trauma; each has a suspicious pedigree. No one is an unreliable narrator, yet in reflecting their pasts, we wonder what the truth is. Each of us are a bit of unreliable narrators of our past, or, I should say we “color” our past to reflect what we want. What Hawkins is great at, is exposing the “shady” parts, or the “grey”.

That said, I enjoyed the story once I got the characters fully formed in my mind. There’s a lot going on in this one. It’s not a straight-forward story.

Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,737 reviews14.1k followers
August 12, 2021
A young man in his twenties is found stabbed to death on the houseboat where he had been living. I admit that I've always been entranced by the idea of living in one, minus the murder of course. A woman who lives in another of the boats is the one to find his body and at first glimpse she seems like the typical busy body type of person, always looking, judging. Soon though, there will be two other women involved, unreliable narrators all. There are connections between these women and the dead man, but these are uncovered slowly.

The atmosphere is dark, the small group of characters unlikable, harboring secrets and truths. The young woman Laura, a tragic past, I felt sorry for and Irene a older woman, with a big heart, the only character I actually liked. There are many misdirections which change the story in small and big ways. A book within a book which also serves to confuse. The pacing is slow, but there are constant revelations and the truths are slowly revealed.

Can't say I loved it but did find the characters and their motivations interesting. Tragic and frustrating in measure.

ARC from Edelweiss.
Profile Image for L.A..
394 reviews91 followers
July 3, 2021
Paula Hawkins earned her label of a psychodramatic writer when she blew us away with The Girl on the Train. A Slow Fire Burning is an atmospheric, suspenseful, psychotic thriller that will have you gripping the edge of your seat. To say I was not confused is an understatement, but I remember having that same feeling with her first one, but yet it reels you in at a tantalizing rate of emotions that you will revel in this when your finished.

Jealousy and deceit are the catalyst for this powerful book. With a number of unlikeable characters that are complicated and deemed as troubling, it was hard to cheer for any of them. Theo and Carla have an unhealthy marriage that appears on and off due to an accidental death of their 3 year old son left in the care of her sister Angela and her son Daniel. Angela allows her bad habits to interfere with the love and care for her son... revealing a terrible cycle of child neglect.

The book revolves around the gruesome scene of Daniel's death occurring on a London houseboat he was living in. There are numerous characters seen leaving the crime scene reportedly by his nosey neighbor Miriam, who has a side story of her own tying the Twist and turns and complicating who did it. The author sets in motion a number of scenarios and vindictive reasons to commit the crime.

One of the most unpredictable and saddest characters in the book is Laura. Deeply damaged mentally and physically in a car accident and left abandoned by her mother and father. Her life is complicated and scarred by a number of abusive events. She confides and cared for by Irene, another character with a tie-in and side story.

*******a dog is brutally killed in a jealous rage by one of the characters*******

Tie-in all of these characters in a spellbinding, psychotic thriller and pick one out of the bunch narrowing it down into a guilty and not guilty pile, you will undoubtedly need to tear it down and restart with many surprising second guesses. That ending!!!! There is no turning back when you start this one. A clever in-take ...it's a "book within a book".

Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group Riverhead for this incredible ARC in exchange for mt honest opinion.
October 10, 2022
A short review on this one (I have read too many books on holiday on top of a backlog of reviews I already have. So, some short ones)

This was a well written story that was well plotted with a good constant pace. Almost all the characters were damaged but not very likeable and unfortunately I just didn’t engage with any of them. The lives of the women was the interesting part of the story but again it didn’t offer anything particularly new and exciting. I loved the authors other book I read ‘Girl on the train’ which was much more enjoyable.

A good everyday thriller / mystery that didn’t quite hit the mark on this occasion but I do like this author.
Profile Image for NILTON TEIXEIRA.
826 reviews258 followers
September 4, 2021
Let me just say that this book was not meant for me.
I wasn’t impressed by the writing and I found the storyline and its structure to be pretentious and confusing.
The dialogues were very disappointing and I was bored the whole time.
Fortunately this book is small (84k words) and the chapters are not too long.
As if someone else wrote it, chapter 30 was my favourite one, where I asked why couldn’t have been like that throughout the book? It was a moment of great lucidity and that was what I was expecting from this author.
Anyways, there are plenty of twists that I’m sure other readers will rave about it.

A warning for those who can’t stand death of a pet.
In chapter 33 a dog is killed. Although there was no suffering, I know that some readers will want to skip it.

Happy reading everyone!
Profile Image for Liz.
2,024 reviews2,529 followers
January 1, 2023
Like the three parts of a braid, the stories of the three women in A Slow Fire Burning come together and are interwoven into one.
A young man is found murdered on his canal boat. Three women were among the last to see him - Laura, his one night stand, Miriam, his neighbor and Carla, his aunt. Each is an unreliable narrator and all seem to be hiding something. We actually hear from other narrators, this is a book with a lot of POVs. We also are given glimpses into small segments of a best selling mystery written by one of the characters.
Because of all the characters, this is a book that moves at a brisk pace. Hawkins uses a little humor when describing the writing style that made Theo’s book such a success, mirroring her own style, one so successfully used in The Girl on the Train. Here again, my sympathies for the various characters swung back and forth. It’s a brilliant strategy and one Hawkins uses to good effect.
There’s a great sense of suspense and tension. The story gets more engrossing as it goes along. This is a book where I was shaking my head in amazement/disgust at several points. It’s deliciously twisty and just when you think everything has been resolved, there’s one more twist waiting.
Rosamund Pike was a fabulous narrator. Her theatrical abilities really lent strength to the story.
Profile Image for Tucker  (TuckerTheReader).
908 reviews1,597 followers
Shelved as 'not-released-tbr'
May 23, 2020
will this book ever be published?


still no title? So mysterious... I LOVE IT


This book comes out in four months and there's no title, synopsis or cover. Why do I sense that this will be pushed back.


October 2019!? Can't she wrote instead of... You know... Eating or sleeping? Is that too much to ask?

| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews294k followers
September 29, 2021
A fairly entertaining thriller, but the web Hawkins weaves becomes a little convoluted by the end. Maybe I'll write a longer review soon.
Profile Image for Tammy.
512 reviews431 followers
May 6, 2021
There is a murder because of course there is. Tenuous connections, deception, and betrayal embroil members of a family, a pitiable young woman, and a meddlesome middle-aged spinster in the investigation that ensues. Moving back and forth in time, the characters’ backstories are slowly revealed as Hawkins turns you every which way but loose. There is even a book within in a book. I was held breathless.
November 24, 2021
I found this story to be complex and very sad. All the character's are severely flawed in a disturbing way. The first half of the book was a bit slow and it took some time to figure out each character's personality and how it played into the storyline. I found the last half of the book to be real good as everything unfolded and came together in some shocking revelations. Overall, I enjoyed this one.
Profile Image for Andrew Smith.
1,052 reviews578 followers
January 9, 2022
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 audio 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.

My thanks to Penguin Random House UK Audio, Transworld Digital and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Mandy White (mandylovestoread).
2,031 reviews529 followers
September 5, 2021
Paula Hawkins books seem to divide readers and reviewers. I for one really enjoyed both of her previous books and I was keen to see what she had in store for us next. A Slow Fire Burning is another slow burn with a lot of characters but it is so well constructed that it is worth sticking with. The ending is really clever and it all comes together. Unfortunately there is animal cruelty which was not necessary and it lessened my enjoyment.

This is a murder mystery that has something for everyone. A man is found murdered on a houseboat by his neighbour. We learn of 3 women in his life who have good reason to want him dead. There are unreliable and unlikeable characters, a book within a book and plenty of twists and turns.

The audio was really well done, narrated by Rosamund Pike. Thanks to Libra.FM and Penguin Random House for my ALC. Released August 31st.
Profile Image for Frank Phillips.
504 reviews250 followers
November 1, 2021
Oh yes, it was good. Hawkins, who finally came through and published her third novel after a three-year hiatus, proved why I found her debut so compulsively readable - this was very similar, and in my opinion just as good! I really think this would make a great movie as well. Bravo, Hawkins, and welcome back!!!
When a young man is found brutally murdered in his houseboat, an investigation immediately ensues and we are introduced to three main suspects, all females who each seem to have plenty of motive, opportunity and means to commit the heinous crime! Was it the young, pretty, traumatized girl who just can't stay out of trouble? Or was it his nosy, lonely, middle-aged neighbor with a horrific past and plenty of built up anger? Or was it someone very close to him, perhaps a relative? This was a very dark story as a whole, and I don't even know that the murder mystery in itself was what I was most intrigued by; the characters however were another thing! Even though all of them were incredibly damaged to the point it was sad and depressing, I was intrigued with their stories and felt an incredible sense of empathy for them. That being said, I believe my favorite character in this one was 80-year-old widow, Irene. She seemed to be the most rational and least pessimistic of the group, and that was refreshing. With a limited cast, a whodunnit reveal it is rarely shocking anymore, but the reasoning behind the crime itself was something that actually made my jaw drop! Needless to say, Hawkins is a master in her portrayal of damaged people! The combination of intriguing mystery and fleshed out and equally intriguing characters was superbly executed and really elevated this rating for me. I recommend this one for anyone looking for in parts a character study, mystery, suspense/thriller - you won't regret it!
I do believe Hawkins is back with a vengeance, and I cannot wait for her next novel. I'm hoping I won't have to wait another 3 years to read more work from her! :-)
Profile Image for Dalia Nourelden.
509 reviews685 followers
April 16, 2023
" أشياء صغيرة تجعل حياتك تخرج عن مسارها .. لكن ما وقع لم يكن أمراً بسيطاً . لم يكن أمراً صغيراً. كان كبيراً جداً "

في الواقع الروايات البوليسية والتشويقية لم تعد تستهويني لكني اقرأ من حين لآخر كقراءة خفيفة وغالبا أشعر معهم بالملل لا بالتشويق لكن هنا كان الامر مختلف . فالرواية بالنسبة لي نفسية وإنسانية وإجتماعية في المقام الأول وهذه هي النوعية التي تجذبني ، التي تهتم بالشخصيات وأفكارها ومشاعرها ، روايو تحمل شخصياتها الكثير من الصراعات والمشاكل ،رواية تجعلني اتعرف على الشخصيات نفسها وليس فقط البحث عن القاتل ومرتكب الجريمة . تعجبني الروايات التي تكون الشخصيات فيها هي الجانب الاساسي و يكون الجانب البوليسي خفي من ورائهم .
في الجزء الأخير من الرواية يزداد عنصر التشويق لتجعلني ألتهم الصفحات لأصل الى الحقيقة وهذا شئ لم يعد يحدث معي كثيرا.

جريمة قتل ، شاب يتم العثور على جثته مقتولا فمن القاتل ؟؟
تدور الرواية على لسان خمس شخصيات ، نتعرف من خلالهم على قصة كل منهم وعلاقته بالقتيل وعلاقتهم ببعضهم البعض ، وشخصية ومأساة ومشاكل حياة كل منهم .يجمع بين أغلب الشخصيات بما فيهم القتيل وأمه ان لكل منهم مشكلة وماضي ثقيل يحمل الكثير من الألم والحزن . مأساة شكلت حياتهم وشخصياتهم .

أربع شخصيات نسائية :

الأولى هي ميريام ، جارة القتيل الفضولية التي كانت تعيش في زورق والتي عثرت على جثته وأبلغت الشرطة . والتي تعرضت لمأساة كبيرة كان لها آثر كبير على حياتها .

الثانية : لورا، آخر من شوهدت في مسكن القتيل .لورا التي تعرضت في طفولتها لحادث كان له تأثير على حالتهاا الجسدية والعقلية والنفسية. حادث أصبحت لورا بعده أكثر بطئا وأكثر غضباً وأقل قدرة على التحكم في تصرفاتها وانفعالاتها .

الثالثة : كارلا خالة القتيل والتي فقدت أختها منذ ثمانية أسابيع
" أم وابنها يموتان ! ثمانية أسابيع بينهما!ثمانية أسابيع فقط !
في الروايات، لا يمكن أن يكون هذا من غير معني.

الرابعة : إيرين جارة أنجيلا والدة القتيل وصديقتها العجوز التي شاركتها قراءة الروايات .

اما الشخصية الخامسة فهو ثيو زوج كارلا السابق .وهو كاتب رواية ( ذلك الذي أفلت بفعلته )

وهناك أشياء اخري تربط بين بعض الشخصيات ستكتشفها مع القراءة .

اى منهم هو القاتل أم ان القاتل شخص آخر ؟؟!

قراءة مشتركة مع صديقتي الجميلة سارة سمير ❤

٢٦ / ١ / ٢٠٢٣
Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,002 reviews
November 9, 2022
رواية تدور حول جريمة قتل.. لكن الجانب النفسي والاجتماعي فيها هو الأفضل
بولا هوكينز رسمت صور مختلفة لأربع شخصيات نسائية
كل منهن مرت بمأساة أثرت على مسار حياتها
وخلال السرد عرضت محاولات التعايش مع الحدث المؤلم
وأثارت التساؤل عن احتمالية القدرة على التعافي بمرور الزمن
السرد كان شيق أحيانا لكن الرواية عموما مُطولة
Profile Image for Darla.
3,348 reviews528 followers
August 25, 2021
4 incendiary stars for this new thriller from Paula Hawkins. Early in the book, one of the women mentions how old books are slowly self-combusting, alluding to the deterioration that occurs inside paper. That metaphor was such a striking snapshot of the book itself. One young man dies on a houseboat. Revolving in his story are neighbor Miriam, one-night-stand Laura, mother Angela, and aunt Carla. Also pulled into the orbit are Carla's ex Theo and Angela's friend/neighbor Irene. These are out main characters and they connect to each other in ways both predictable and unpredictable. As with The Girl on the Train, there are unreliable accounts of events right and left. Pay attention! The police are quite bamboozled and have to finally rely on an unexpected player to catch the killer. In the mix are abduction, plagiarism, a hit and run, a hidden graphic novel, pickpocketing, bullying, and so much guilt. . . Cleverly put together and an engrossing read.

Succombing already to slow fire, the acidification of the paper destroying it from within, eating away at the pages, making them brittle and breakable. It was terribly sad when you thought about it, all those stories slowly disappearing.

Thank you to Riverhead Books and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,175 reviews616 followers
November 7, 2021
A slow burn of a novel with the death of a young man having tendrils in the past. Daniel is the young man who is murdered on a house boat he is renting. He's an unhappy, unlikeable young man who doesn't treat women well. He is found by the neighbouring houseboat owner, Miriam, an older woman, damaged by a traumatic incident in her teens who likes to keep tabs on everyone. Laura is a young woman, also damaged by a serious accident as a child, who spends the night before Daniel’s death with him on the boat. She is vulnerable and has no verbal filter so it's not surprising that the police soon have her in their sites as the likely culprit. A third woman, Carla, Daniel's aunt is also important to the plot, as is her divorced husband Theo, a writer and unpleasant man. They lost their young son Ben in a terrible accident several years ago when he was staying overnight with Daniel and his mother Angela (Carla's sister).

There is a lot crammed into this novel with its multistranded and complex plot, switching between all these characters and delving into past events. However, after some twists and wrong turns it does all come together brilliantly. I listened to the audiobook which was superbly narrated by Rosamund Pike and I think that really helped to follow everything that was going on.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 11,086 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.