IMG_0072What’s it all about?

Stevie Flint is a presenter on a TV shopping channel (she used to be a journalist), with a job that seems to suit her (up to a point) and a glamorous doctor for a boyfriend. But something is going wrong in the London she works in; a mysterious disease, “the sweats” is spreading though out the population at a rapid rate. When her boyfriend fails to turn up for their planned date she finds him dead in his flat and of course first thoughts are that he too has succumbed to the same sickness as so many others. But it becomes clear to Stevie that his death doesn’t fit, and she starts to investigate his apparent murder against a backdrop of death and paranoia and societal breakdown.

Why did I want to read this?

I’ve not read much of Louise Welsh’s work but I’ve really enjoyed what I have read, particularly The Girl on the Stairs which was one of my last reads of 2013 and was really gripping, so a dystopian thriller slash murder mystery which is also the first of a trilogy couldn’t be resisted.

What did I think of it?

I enjoyed it so much I mentioned the author in a Tweet (what a fangirl I can be sometimes, even at my age) (and she very kindly replied, even better!).

A Lovely Way to Burn is a really interesting book which starts off with some action (the random shootings carried out by three different people) implying one sort of book and then heads off in a rather different and in some ways more interesting direction.I kept expecting certain things to be connected and was consistently wrong-footed which I particularly liked. Stevie is a fabulous character, strong but vulnerable, and determined to get answers.

I read this in two sittings over a weekend and was desperate to get to the end. The stuff about how quickly society can fall apart under duress was really convincing and provided an unsettling backdrop to what could have been a fairly standard murder mystery. I’m so glad this is part of a series, I can’t wait to see what the next volume has in store. Recommended.