The Girl on the Train Author Just Released a New Book, and It's Terrifying to Its Core

Every editorial product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn commission.

Three women, one murder, and countless secrets. Who did it, and more importantly, why? Paula Hawkins's newest thriller A Slow Fire Burning follows the same highly engaging page-turning format as her previous hit The Girl on the Train, but this book is much, much more sinister, suspenseful, and downright jaw-dropping in all the right ways. The bestselling author is no stranger to writing bone-chilling thrillers, and this novel is a whole new level of psychological terror. Deliciously dark and dangerously unsettlingly, A Slow Fire Burning will give you chills with every chapter.

"Deliciously dark and dangerously unsettlingly, A Slow Fire Burning will give you chills with every chapter."

When a devilishly handsome man is found brutally murdered on his houseboat, police wonder who could have committed something this gruesome. While trying to stitch together his complicated relationships, investigators are left with three women who just might've had the motive to kill. But which one has blood on her hands, and what led her to do it? As secrets swirl and lies unravel, the town tries to get to the bottom of the murder before it's too late. A chilling story that'll leave you with more questions than answers, A Slow Fire Burning gives the term "thriller" a whole new meaning. With unexpected characters, unforeseen consequences, and unusual connections, Hawkins's new book is a bloody masterpiece that's darker than it appears.

Standout Quote

"That knowledge, the sense of betrayal that came with it, that changed her. It left her marked. It left her angry."


As with any psychological thriller, you need to be in a stable headspace to read this book. There are some gruesome details about murder in here, so be sure you're equipped to handle those. If you're a seasoned thriller reader or Paula Hawkins fan, you've got this. This book can be tricky to follow at times due to intricate character lines and the book within the book premise, so be prepared to focus.

Read This If You Like . . .

It's no surprise that you liked the book and/or movie version of The Girl on the Train, you're going to like A Slow Fire Burning. With similar page-turning cliff-hangers, this utterly compulsive read will make you question which one of Hawkins's works you like better. It has the same vibe as Gone Girl and The Silent Patient, meaning you'll be scared in all the right ways.

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge Prompt(s)

This novel can check off more than one 2021 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge prompt; just pick the one that fits best for you.

  • A book that's published in 2021
  • A book you think your best friend would like
  • A book by an author who shares your zodiac sign (Hawkins is an Aquarius)

How Long It Takes to Read

Since this book is really good, it won't take you longer than a week to get through it (or just one weekend, if you're a binge reader!). It's 301 pages, but thanks to the gripping story, compelling writing style, and juicy plot, you'll breeze through it in no time.

Give This Book to . . .

If you're part of a book club, add this novel to the queue ASAP. It's an absolute page-turner, so everyone will fly through it. Additionally, if you know any true-crime-lovers, they'll be all over this eerie mystery. With effortless twists and turns, Hawkins does a killer job at weaving the four characters together and bringing the whole plot to a full circle.

The Sweet Spot Summary

A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins ($22) tells the chilling story of a brutal murder that intertwines three unsuspecting women who want the same thing one way or another: revenge.

Emoji Rating

🤯 + 🔪 + 😧 + 🩸