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A Slow Burning Fire By Paula Hawkins

A Slow Burning Fire‘A Slow Burning Fire’ is the latest book by author of ‘The Girl On The Train’, Paula Hawkins.

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.

It’s been a while since a new book by Paula Hawkins, so excitement was high when ‘A Slow Burning Fire’ was announced.

I absolutely adored ‘The Girl On The Train’, it had everything that gripped my attention, an unreliable protagonist with suspense building with each page and the latest book was just as thrilling.

The story is seen through multiple narrative after the discovery of a dead body on a boat. As the police investigate various individuals, all with possible motives. Outspoken Laura, who had after an accident as a child has a quick temper and no filter. Carla and Theo who are the aunt and uncle of the victim who both never got over the death of their little child. Miriam, who lives on a riverboat and was the neighbour of the man who was murdered. She’s a loner who never recovered from being abducted with her best friend and was the only survivor whilst Irene is Laura’s neighbour and is the only person who is really there for the volatile young woman and doesn’t judge her behaviour.

The multiple narratives make for fascinating reading in this book, all flawed and all dealing with their internal struggles. I particularly connected with Laura, who once had the world at her fingertips but was let down desperately by those close to her and really struggles to rationalise her thoughts. I loved her vibrancy and her bold behaviour and felt from all the characters she really stood out. I loved the moments with her and Irene, as Irene was unable to have children sees Laura as a daughter and is there for her during the difficult times.

Like Paula’s previous novels, this book flows at a fast pace with short snappy chapters that really pull the reader in. Each narrative gives a further insight into the character and their part and this makes for compelling reading.

With a cleverly crafted plot line that slowly burns to a monstrous bonfire, ‘A Slow Burning Fire’ is a terrific return to Paula’s writing and is the perfect thriller to get absorbed in.

You can buy ‘A Slow Burning Fire’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Into The Lake By LK Chapman

Into The Lake‘Into The Lake’ is the latest book by LK Chapman.

When Natalie reluctantly agrees to attend her school reunion, she hits it off with troubled former classmate Josh and finds herself swept up in a whirlwind romance with him. Then she receives the messages: Josh Sparkes is a murderer.
Why don’t you ask him what happened all those years ago? Ask him about Mikayla.
Ask him about the lake. As abusive messages keep on coming and shocking secrets are exposed, Natalie has to put herself in the path of a killer to get to the truth. Can she discover what really happened, or will she be next?

2021 is just the year that keeps on giving when it comes to psychological thrillers and ‘Into The Lake’ is up with being a thrilling story.

The story is primarily seen through new couple Josh and Natalie who meet at their high school reunion and fall in love. Once a model, Natalie’s career comes to a halt when scarred after an accident but she’s happy with her career working as a wedding planner and Josh is busy working in web security. Their life is perfect until Natalie starts getting trolled not only about her appearance but also about her relationship with Josh who’s stirred up his past and involvement in a young girl’s death. As the pair try to organise their happy ever after they are being threatened and trolled.

This is the perfect thriller to curl up with, the characters are complex and flawed and this makes for addictive reading. The dual narratives are a clever addition as the pair fall in love and are looking forward to their future together only for old wounds to be reopened. Josh is tormented by his past and with his struggles with mental illness, he’s doubtful about his past particularly, when his horrible step-brother Toby, questions his involvement and tormented his as a teenager.

It’s sad to see as the story progresses, the pair fall in love only for it all to unravel when the messages start and both Josh and Natalie are unsure who to believe and for me, this made for really interesting reading.

A compulsive and thrilling story packed with sympathetic and cruel characters, this book literally packed a punch, ‘Into The Lake’ is a sinister and tense story with filled with characters who are capable of anything!

You can buy ‘Into The Lake’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Keep Me Close By Jane Holland

Keep Me Close‘Keep Me Close’ is the latest book by Jane Holland.

When shy publisher Kate Kinley finds mysterious bruises on her mother’s arms she assumes the worst. Suffering with early onset dementia, her mother insists that nothing is wrong; it was just a clumsy accident. But was it an accident, or has her mother’s illness made her forget what really happened? In desperate need of someone she can trust, her isolation and paranoia grow as the closest people in her life become key suspects. With each heart-stopping revelation, Kate begins to realise that the perpetrator is no longer interested in inflicting bruises; they want blood.

This psychological thriller is the perfect book to curl up with. Cleverly crafted with a plethora of complex and fascinating characters that made for suspenseful reading.

Seen through the narrative of Kate, her life has got complicated with her mother’s dementia worsening and her carer has disappeared. She thinks all her prayers have been answered with a arrival of sweet and kind Ruby, who’s there to help with her mother and be there for Kate when she received threatening letters.

Right from the offset, I loved this book. The story is packed with such reactive and dislikable characters that it was easy to get absorbed in it.

Kate is an interesting character as she struggles with her mother’s moments of clarity and confusion as well as the egos and the sexist behaviour of her boss. Just as her life is getting sorted, strange letters appear referencing her boyfriend who took his own life.

‘Keep Me Close’ is fast paced, dramatic and riddled with tension, that is perfect for all thriller fans.

You can buy ‘Keep Me Close’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Impossible Truths Of Love By Hannah Beckerman

The Impossible Truths Of Love‘The Impossible Truths Of Love’ is the latest book by Hannah Beckerman.

When Nell’s father makes a deathbed declaration that hints at a long-held secret, it reignites feelings of isolation that have plagued her for years. Her suspicions about the family’s past only deepen when her mother, Annie, who is losing her memories to dementia, starts making cryptic comments of her own. Thirty-five years earlier, Annie’s life was upended by a series of traumas—one shock after another that she buried deep in her heart. The decisions she made at the time were motivated by love, but she knew even then that nobody could ever understand—let alone forgive—what she did. As the two women’s stories unravel, a generation apart, Nell finally discovers the devastating truth about her mother’s past, and her own.

It’s been a while since a Hannah Beckerman book has been published but it’s certainly been worth the wait with her latest book from her new publisher. This poignant tearjerker had me gripped late last night and I was unable to put it down until I reached the final emotional page.

The story is written in the past and present tense seen through the perspective of mother and daughter Annie and Nell.

The present tense is seen through Nell’s narrative dealing with the aftermath of her fathers death and her mother’s dementia. On his death bed, he told her that he loved her even though she wasn’t his to love. As she helps her sisters pack up the family home as her mother goes into a nursing home, this triggers Nell into looking into her childhood as she always felt different to her older sisters.

The past tense is seen from Annie, who’s trying to come to terms with losing her baby and learning to love another one.

This story is a beautiful one that grabbed my attention from the first page. Both Nell and Annie are fascinating characters and I found myself racing through the chapters wanting to know more of their back stories.

The story tackles postnatal depression, dementia and grief and like Hannah’s previous novels, she handles these topics with sensitivity, immediately pulling on the reader heartstrings.

I loved the flow of the story as Nell dealt with the aftermath of her father’s death and the uncertainty of her place in her family and Annie tackled the death of her son in a time when post natal depression was seen as a taboo subject.

Beautifully and observationally written, ‘The Impossible Truths Of Love’ is a poignant and emotional book about family, grief and acceptance that had me reaching for the tissue box throughout.

You can pre-order ‘The Impossible Truths Of Love’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 5th October 2021.

The Troubles With Us By Alix O’Neill

The Troubles With Us‘The Troubles With Us’ is the debut book by Alix O’Neill.

Growing up on the Falls Road in 1990s Belfast, Alix O’Neill has seen it all – burnt-out buses blocking the route to school, the police mistaking her father for a leading terrorist. Not that she or her friends are up to speed with the goings-on of the resistance. They’re too preoccupied with the obsessions of every teenage girl – booze, boys and Boyzone – to worry about the violence on their doorstep. Desperate to leave Northern Ireland and the trials of her mother’s unorthodox family – a loving yet eccentric band of misfits – behind, she makes grand plans for the next stage. But it’s through these relationships and their gradual unravelling that Alix begins to appreciate not only the troubled history of where she comes from, but the strength of its women.

As teenager growing up in Northern Ireland during the 1990’s, this book was a complete relatable story. Hell, I could have even been friends with the girls as they dealt with the heartbreak of Take That breaking up and going to their first disco, all dealing with the drama of living through the Troubles and us versus them.

Alix’s writing is deliciously fun and fresh, she delivers serious issues with wit and sensitivity that all teenagers from the 1990’s can totally relate to.

It’s an enlightening story that vividly portrays the hardship of growing up during the Troubles and the regular sighting of army presence that all teenagers were accustomed to.

Bursting with energy, drama and the real hardships of being a Northern Irish teenager, this story made me giggle and relate to on all levels, ‘The Troubles With Us’ an unique story packed with Northern Ireland charm that showed an genuine insight of being a teenager at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

You can buy ‘The Troubles With Us’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.