Welcome to 2021 and a Happy New Year to you all!
Today I’m absolutely thrilled to be opening the blog tour for The Last Thing To Burn by the wonderfully talented Will Dean. Huge thanks to Jenny Platt for my review copy and blog tour invite. Before I tell you what I thought, let me tell you a little about the plot of this standalone book out on 7th January.
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 . .
This book is absolutely stunning! Within minutes of starting it I knew that this was a very special storyline that would stir up many emotions in its readers-fear, anger, injustice are just a few that hit me! I don’t think I have worried so much about a main character in a novel for such a long time, the tension that Will Dean created around her everyday activities was immeasurable, sending chills down my spine as I waited…Waited for what? I hear you ask! Well, this is a book where it’s best to go in with an open mind and knowing as little about the plot as possible so you will just have to take my word that this is a book that you need to read and that you will struggle to forget.
At times I felt like I was in a theatre watching a play. The setting is one that doesn’t change from chapter to chapter reminiscent of Room, and there are only 2 main characters to begin with so the dramatic and theatrical effect feels oppressive almost from the start. But it’s the way in which Will Dean uses very few words to create such a vivid picture of what is happening that sent shivers of uneasiness and foreboding scurrying across my skin. I was there, with Jane in that farmhouse; eating with her, sleeping with her, waiting with her…
I’ve loved the Tuva series that Will Dean has written previously so I hoped that I would also love this new standalone novel but I quite simply blown away by how beautifully written and plotted this was! It may only be January 1st but Last Thing To Burn is already a contender for my book of the year. A masterpiece that you have to read to appreciate just how brilliant it is.
Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. After studying law at the LSE, and working many varied jobs in London, he settled in rural Sweden with his wife. He built a wooden house in a boggy forest clearing and it’s from this base that he compulsively reads and writes.