Review: The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean

☆☆➹⁀☆ 4 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆

About the Book:

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.



My Thoughts:

The Last Thing to Burn has a very narrow focus in terms of time frame and plot, and it has very few characters. Both of these factors make for a bleak setting and oppressive feeling of hopelessness.

Thanh Dao and her younger sister, Kim-Ly, are young Vietnamese women lured to England by the promise of good jobs and end up trafficked to a farmer in a remote area in England. The story is told from Thanh Dao’s point of view. The intimate and repetitive details of her dreary existence are fully explored. The smallness of her life creates a sense of claustrophobia. The constant threat from her captor, Lenn, provides relentless tension. In The Last Thing to Burn, author Will Dean gives Thanh Dao a beautifully written voice and inner strength. The several twists kept me captivated by adding to the heartbreak. Without question, this book is dark and difficult to read at times, but it is a powerful and important exploration of human trafficking.


About the Author: Will Dean grew up in the East Midlands, living in nine different villages before the age of eighteen. He was a bookish, daydreaming kid who found comfort in stories and nature (and he still does). After studying Law at the LSE, and working in London, he settled in rural Sweden. He built a wooden 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. He is the author of Dark Pines.




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