The Last Thing To Burn was my first book by British author Will Dean, and it won’t be my last. This tense, slow-burn psychological thriller is a riveting read that brings the reader deep inside the mindset and horrific living conditions of a woman held captive. The story centres around Thanh, a young woman called Jane by her captor, a disturbed man whose whims and demands determine Thanh’s entire world. Any transgressions against his specific rules and she loses one of her beloved possessions … or worse.
Based on themes of human trafficking, physical and mental abuse, this is clearly not an easy read, but it is well-written and compelling and features a character in Thanh readers will easily get behind. Her desperation, fear and physical pain from her enslavement are vividly portrayed, but what I remember most is her tenacity and determination to protect the one thing she holds most dear.
While aptly compared to Stephen King’s Misery and Emma Donoghue’s Room with its similar claustrophobic setting and intense feel, The Last Thing to Burn is a fantastic, character-driven and compulsive read in its own right. This equally harrowing and powerful story about bravery and resilience easily falls into the ‘unputdownable’ category so suspense lovers won’t want to miss this book!
This book publishes today and WPL has copies so put your holds on it at wpl.ca.
— Laurie P.