Title: A Lovely Way to Burn
Author: Louise Welsh
First published March 20, 2014
368 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9781848546530 (ISBN10: 184854653X)
As featured on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime, the world is in chaos as a deadly pandemic known as ‘The Sweats’ spreads rapidly. In the midst of this crisis, Stevie Flint is convinced that her boyfriend’s sudden death was not a result of the virus.
As the city of London falls into disarray, Stevie embarks on a dangerous journey to uncover the truth behind her boyfriend’s demise. With the clock ticking and danger lurking at every turn, Stevie must navigate the depths of the dying city to catch her lover’s killers before it’s too late.
A Lovely Way to Burn is a chilling and tense thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Louise Welsh has once again proven her mastery of the genre in the first installment of this gripping trilogy.
About the Author
Louise Welsh studied history at Glasgow University and later opened her own second-hand bookshop where she worked for a number of years. Her debut novel, The Cutting Room, won numerous awards such as the 2002 Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger and the 2002 Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award.
In addition to these awards, she was also granted a Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award in 2003 and a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2005.
Aside from her novel writing, Welsh is a regular radio broadcaster and has contributed articles and reviews to many British broadsheets. She is also known for her short stories and contributions to stage productions.
The Guardian even named her a ‘woman to watch’ in 2003.
Her second book, Tamburlaine Must Die, is a novelette that explores the final three days of the poet Christopher Marlowe’s life and was published in 2004. Her third novel, The Bullet Trick (2006), is a present-day murder mystery set in Berlin.
Naming The Bones (2010) is her fourth book.
Throughout her career, Welsh has won numerous prizes and awards including the Stonewall Book Award (US) (honor in literature) and the Scotland on Sunday/Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award. Welsh’s success as an author is a testament to her talent and dedication to the craft.
A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh is a gripping and haunting thriller that explores the devastation of a deadly pandemic in modern-day London. Welsh is a well-known Scottish author who has written several best-selling novels, including The Cutting Room and The Girl on the Stairs.
Her latest work is a departure from her previous works, as she ventures into the realm of science fiction and dystopian fiction.
The novel is set in a world where a deadly virus called “The Sweats” is wiping out the population at an alarming rate. The protagonist, Stevie Flint, is a television presenter who is trying to make sense of the chaos around her.
When her boyfriend is found dead in his apartment, Stevie is plunged into a dangerous conspiracy that threatens her life and the lives of those she loves.
Welsh’s writing is masterful, and she expertly weaves together a complex plot with well-developed characters and a vividly described setting. The novel is fast-paced and suspenseful, with twists and turns that keep the reader on edge.
The author’s attention to detail is impressive, and she creates a hauntingly believable world that is both terrifying and alluring.
One of the strengths of the novel is the character development. Stevie is a flawed but relatable protagonist, and her struggles with grief, fear, and betrayal add depth to the story.
The supporting characters are also well-drawn, and their relationships with Stevie are complex and nuanced.
The pacing of the novel is another strength. Welsh keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, with plenty of action and suspense to keep the reader engaged.
The plot structure is well-crafted, with each twist and turn leading to a satisfying resolution.
One of the weaknesses of the novel is the lack of explanation for the pandemic. While the virus is a central part of the story, Welsh doesn’t provide much detail about its origins or how it spreads.
This may leave some readers feeling unsatisfied or frustrated.
Overall, A Lovely Way to Burn is a well-written and compelling novel that will appeal to fans of dystopian fiction and thrillers. Welsh’s writing is top-notch, and she creates a world that is both terrifying and fascinating.
The novel is not without its flaws, but it is a strong addition to the genre and a testament to Welsh’s skill as a writer.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a dystopian twist. The book is well worth reading for its suspenseful plot, well-developed characters, and hauntingly vivid setting.
I give A Lovely Way to Burn a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.