EXCERPT: I haven’t been able to access reports from the post-mortem, so I don’t know if the flames touched her. What I do know is smoke is hot. And when it’s inhaled, it sears the respiratory tract.
She burned from the inside out, because of me. Because of what I did.
I have to live with that. What surprises me most is that I can.
ABOUT ‘THE HOUSE FIRE’: A tired old seaside town hiding a series of unsolved arson attacks.
A derelict mansion in the woods with a long-buried secret.
A bundle of old love letters that mask a dark story.
When Jamie’s documentary investigation gets too close to uncovering the truth behind a series of deadly arson attacks that tormented Abbeywick in the 1980s, her family might be the ones who pay the price.
But for her younger sister Cleo, the secrets Jamie uncovers have the potential to get exactly what Cleo wants: to remove her mum’s toxic new husband from their lives, forever.
All it takes is one spark to send everything up in smoke . . .
MY THOUGHTS: This was a surprising read. I did not enjoy the first 25% at all. It was boring, repetitive and I skimmed pages and pages. I was seriously considering abandoning this read, but then . . . it took off like a rocket and all my reservations were forgotten. I read the remainder of The House Fire in two sittings and had to pick my jaw up from the floor when I finished.
There are a number of issues addressed in this novel, but the author makes it clear at the end that she was showcasing that of coercive abuse. Unfortunately I think that it got tather overshadowed by the arson and the spectacularly bad behaviour of teenager, Cleo, who is at that stage where she is sure that she knows everything and will go to extraordinary lengths to prove herself right. While the motivation behind her actions may have been commendable, her methods of gaining attention left much to be desired.
The characters are mainly quite unlikable, with the exception of Jamie, Chloe’s older sister, and Lucasz, Chloe’s friend. They are complex and unreliable, all with their own agendas.
The story is told from three points of view, Chloe, Jamie and the arsonist. I am not convinced that the arsonist’s point of view added a lot to the story.
While I can’t say that I enjoyed The House Fire, it did, in the later parts, become compelling.
I: @rosiejanewalker @onemorechapterhc
T: @ciderwithrosie @Onemorechapter @HarperCollinsUK
#contemporaryfiction #familydrama #mentalhealth #murdermystery #psychologicaldrama
THE AUTHOR: Rosie Walker is a novelist who lives in Edinburgh with her husband Kevin and their dog Bella. Rosie has a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Lancaster University.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The House Fire by Rosie Walker for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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