Published by Atria Books on April 20, 2021
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
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A woman being held captive is willing to risk everything to save herself, her unborn child, and her captor’s latest victim in this claustrophobic thriller in the tradition of Misery and Room.
On an isolated farm in the United Kingdom, a woman is trapped by the monster who kidnapped her seven years ago. When she discovers she is pregnant, she resolves to protect her child no matter the cost, and starts to meticulously plan her escape. But when another woman is brought into the fold on the farm, her plans go awry. Can she save herself, her child, and this innocent woman at the same time? Or is she doomed to spend the remainder of her life captive on this farm?
Intense, dark, and utterly gripping The Last Thing to Burn is a breathtaking thriller from an author to watch.
I was really looking forward to reading The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean especially after having read Room and also after watching the movie The Girl in the Basement. While this book is in the same category, I am not exactly sure how I feel after reading this book.
Thanh Dao and her sister Kim-ly find themselves being trafficked from Vietnam to England in the guise of better employment opportunities. Thanh Dao instead found herself kidnapped and given to a man named Lenn. Lenn keeps Thanh Dao, now renamed Jane, under constant surveillance and while not necessarily under lock and key, Thanh’s chances of escape are pretty much taken away in a Stephen King Misery-esque type of way. Thanh Dao no longer sees her sister, nor has she in the past 9 years and only has Kim-Ly’s letters to keep her company along with very few other prized possessions she holds close to her heart.
This story is 95% character driven with 5% action if you really want to call it action. This here lies the problem for me. Will Dean did a great job portraying the characters of Lenn and Thanh Dao and I found them to be multi-dimensional and very well written. The cruelty and manipulation by Lenn was spectacular where Thanh Dao, as the victim, was well played out in the story. The story on the other hand is where it lacked in keeping me totally interested. I just felt like the buildup just wasn’t there for me and the ending really did not give me the satisfying conclusion I was looking for.
This book really did get a lot of great reviews. I guess I am just in the minority and while this story worked for many others, it just missed its mark with me. I would still definitely read more books from Will Dean for sure.