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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.

The Wedding Party By Tammy Cohen

The Wedding Party By Tammy Cohen‘The Wedding Party’ is the latest book by Tammy Cohen.

Lucy has dreamt of her wedding day for as long as she can remember. And now the day is almost here. Her nearest and dearest are gathered on an idyllic Greek island and she just knows it’s going to be perfect. It has to be. But even the best-laid plans can go horribly wrong. Why are her parents behaving so strangely? Why won’t the rather odd lady from the airport stop hanging around? Who is the silent stranger her sister brought as a plus-1? And then they find the body.

t’s been a while since I’ve read a Tammy Cohen book and set against the Greek skyline, this thriller made for addictive reading.

Lucy has been planning her wedding since she was a child and now the big day has come and she wants it to be perfect. But with drama, arguments, money problems plus a murder, it’s turned into the wedding from hell!

The story is seen through multiple narratives, primarily females in the story Lucy, her sister Jess and mother Hazel as well as Lucy’s bridesmaid Shelley. Lucy is a stereotypical bride, stressed, overspent and easily riled especially when it comes to her younger sister Jess and longing to finally be accepted by her new mother in law. Jess is a free spirit who doesn’t conform to society, bringing a virtual stranger to her sister’s wedding as her plus one and befriending Vivian, a nosey elderly woman who is also staying at the same hotel and has a strange interest in the comings and goings of the wedding party. Hazel, the bride’ mother is dealing with her unhappy marriage whilst Shelley who is Lucy’s best friend is desperate to keep Lucy happy and the wedding ticking over. Whilst Nina, the wedding planner is desperately trying to get money together to paid of the man she borrowed from.

If you enjoy a good domestic noir, then look no further. Tammy has all the boxes ticked with this story, fast paced, flawed and unreliable characters and suspense that builds more with each page.

I loved the multiple narratives in the story, all giving an insight into the people. There was also the inclusion of police statements filtered through the story and this helped build up to the moment that the incident happened and also helped piece together crucial information.

Terrifically written and riddled with claustrophobia and tension from the start, ‘The Wedding Party’ is a gripping thriller set in a picturesque setting with a fascinating line up where everyone is a suspect.

You can buy ‘The Wedding Party’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

My Best Friend’s Secret By Emily Freud

My Best Friend's Secret‘My Best Friend’s Secret’ is the debut book by Emily Freud.

Kate Sullivan has a beautiful home, a job she loves and a handsome fiancé: all she’d ever dreamed of since getting sober and painstakingly piecing her life back together. But a chance encounter with her old best friend Becky threatens Kate’s newfound and fragile happiness. Kate remembers nothing of their last drunken night out, the night Becky broke off their friendship without warning or explanation. With Becky back in her life, Kate is desperate to make amends for the past. For the closure she craves, Kate needs to know what she did that ruined everything. But what if the truth is worse than Kate could have imagined?

If you’re looking for an exhilarating thriller, then look no further as this book is everything a good thriller should be. Tense, intriguing and packed with dislikable characters that keeps the reader on their toes.

The story is seen solely through the narrative of Kate, a recovering alcoholic who’s celebrating 6 years sober, looking forward to marrying her fiancée Ben and enjoying her rewarding job as an English teacher. Her life is great until her former best friend Becky comes back into her life and with that brings back uncertainty, insecurity and memories of a life that she’d like to leave behind.

Right from the first page, this book gripped my attention. Kate is a fascinating protagonist who’s flawed from her previous life and battles not to return to her old ways. Her sponsor Clare is always there to help her as well as is Ben who’s been her rock and helped her recover her confidence in herself. When Becky returns, Kate finds herself questioning her old life and Becky’s sudden return as they had parted on bad terms. But she takes Becky in as a housemate, she notices a shift in the dynamics of relationship including Ben’s.

From the first page, there’s an underlying sense of tension to the story that made me read the book faster. I’m surprised I didn’t give myself paper-cuts with the speed that I raced through the pages! The characters are fascinating mix of personalities, all damaged and flawed in their own ways, battling addictions and insecurity. Kate is a kind character who as a teacher finds herself connecting with Lily, a young girl who’s on a similar path as Kate was and Kate is determined for her life to be better and not to waste it like she did.

A cleverly crafted story that made for suspenseful and dark reading, ‘My Best Friend’s Secret’ is a twisted and sordid story about secrets and lies with a fascinating protagonist that leaves you hooked at every turn.

You can buy ‘My Best Friend’s Secret’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.