Today, Ellen is taking part in the blog tour for The Last Thing to Burn, the latest novel by Will Dean. I’ll be sharing her review with you all just a little further down this post.
He is her husband. She is his captive.
Her husband calls her Jane. That is not her name.
She lives in a small farm cottage, surrounded by vast, open fields. Everywhere she looks, there is space. But she is trapped. No one knows how she got to the UK: no one knows she is there. Visitors rarely come to the farm; if they do, she is never seen.
Her husband records her every movement during the day. If he doesn’t like what he sees, she is punished.
For a long time, escape seemed impossible. But now, something has changed. She has a reason to live and a reason to fight. Now, she is watching him, and waiting . . .
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WILL DEAN grew up in the East Midlands and had lived in nine different villages
before the age of eighteen. After studying Law at the LSE and working in London, he
settled in rural Sweden where he built a house in a boggy clearing at the centre of a
vast elk forest, and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes. His debut
novel, Dark Pines, was selected for Zoe Ball’s Book Club, shortlisted for the Guardian
Not the Booker prize and named a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year. The second
Tuva Moodyson mystery, Red Snow, was published in January 2019 and won Best
Independent Voice at the Amazon Publishing Readers’ Awards, 2019. The Last Thing to
Burn is his first standalone novel and his first book with Hodder.
W O W!!! I mean – can that do as my review because I don’t think I can do this book justice with my words!
The Last Thing to Burn is the first standalone novel from Will Dean, I am a massive fan of his Tuva Moodyson series so couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. I was so intrigued by the blurb; a pregnant woman held against her will on an isolated UK farm desperate to escape but she isn’t the only one in danger…
Thanh Doh and her sister Kym-Lyn travel to the UK from Vietnam for a better life and to earn money to send home to their family. Sadly as is the case with human trafficking this does not turn out the way they expected and Thanh ends up having to masquerade as Jane, Farmer Len’s wife to pay off her “debts”. She is no more than a slave and her every movement is caught on camera.
Reading about the way she survives on the minimum was heartbreaking and Len has a particular way of punishing her for her “mistakes” and attempts to highlight her situation/escape. Having travelled with the bare minimum, her sparse belongings and memories are all she has, so many thousands of miles from home and with no love or comfort these possessions are her entire world. If Len is displeased she must choose which of her precious belongings he will burn and destroy. Piece by piece he is slowly erasing her true existence and the strength she shows to survive these psychological attacks is immense. When she falls pregnant she is determined to escape this living hell but her life and chances of this are about to change unexpectedly…
I was gripped so much by The Last Thing to Burn and read it in one sitting! There was no way I could put the book down without knowing how it would turn out. I have a friend who skips to the end of books when they are so stressful so she can be prepared for what’s to come…Now I’ve always shook my head at her BUT had I not been reading this on my kindle I would have been sorely tempted to do the same as I could not COPE with the tension!!!
My first five star read of the year – I predict big things for this book!