Review: A Slow Fire Burning, by Paula Hawkins

I really liked The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins’ first best-selling thriller, and approached this book with caution. One should always be prepared for disappointment following blockbuster books and their Hollywood adaptations. But I was not disappointed: this story has elements in common with the earlier book, including complex female characters who struggle to be heard. Hawkins makes these characters – who live and work in North London, not far from where I live — seem real. There is a murder mystery at the heart of the story, but I found that to be a relatively easy puzzle to solve. The challenge of the book is finding answers to people’s lives, to their problems, some of which go back to childhood. The fact that long after one puts the book down, one cares about those characters is testimony to Hawkins’ talent.