Title: The House Fire
Author: Rosie Walker
Published on: 6 January 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Domestic Thriller | Psychological Thriller
Jamie and her boyfriend Spider turn investigation journalists when they decide to film a documentary on a series of arson attacks that marred their town in the 1980s. Cleo, Jamie’s younger sister, has proven to be a difficult teenager – first, an incident at school and now, accusations that her stepfather Ant is a manipulative and abusive man.
As Jamie and Spider start to investigate, a new arson case comes into picture. What made the arsonist commit another crime after a gap of three decades? Also, did Jamie’s documentary investigation put her family in trouble? Will they be the arsonist’s next target? Only time will tell…
If I have to sum up The House Fire by Rosie Walker in a sentence, I would say: Gripping, mind-blowing and an unexpected ending that will make you say “What the…!”
I am the kind of reader who loves a shocking twist at the end of a story. As I began to read The House Fire, it was pretty clear who the culprit was. This ‘suspect’ had all the ‘traits’ of being the bad guy – manipulative, abusive, narcissist, and all the psychological terms used to describe a toxic person. But… what I did not expect was another character with similar traits (revealed in the second half of the story.) Then comes the TWIST. Just when I thought Jamie and Cleo had caught the culprit red-handed… *gulps*
Women in an abusive relationship, young girls asked to ‘control their anger’, ‘behave properly’ and so on – these form the baseline of this story. The psychological aspects of the abused is well-explained throughout the book; mental abuse leaves no physical scars but emotionally, it leaves them angry, sad, depressed and much more.
The mystery behind the burned house and Cleo’s stubbornness to prove her stepfather’s nefarious activities kept me guessing till the end. I must admit, I was annoyed at Ella (Jamie and Cleo’s mother) for not paying heed to her daughter’s claims (about Ant being the bad guy.) Having said that, Cleo was a troubled teenager – as the story ends, we see a new side of Cleo – making us believe the teenager would do anything as long as it helps in sending Ant to prison.
I read this book in one sitting. I could not put it down until the end. The storytelling is excellent and so is the characterization. The suspense is sure to keep one on the edge of their seat. The ending is mind-blowing! I did not see it coming and the final twist certainly made me say ‘What the bloody…!’ To be honest, I read the last chapter and the epilogue twice to make sure I read it right.
If you are looking for a gripping and suspenseful thriller, you might want to give The House Fire by Rosie Walker a try.
I received an ARC from One More Chapter and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.