The Last Thing to Burn
Author : Will Dean
Genre : Psychological thriller
Publisher : Atria
Release date : 20th April 2021
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?
The Last Thing to Burn is an incredible novel that takes you in the home of a human trafficker and his captive, easing us in their daily routine, day by day until we realize we cannot escape it.
This is a brilliantly written book. I went in not really knowing what to expect, and got out less than 48h later with so many feelings. Will Dean could have walked into a huge trap by creating a plot set in only one location, with only 2-3 characters, and not much dialog. However, we are given such details about what is going on inside Jane’s mind, who is always thinking, trying to resist that man who forces her to stay in this farm, away from everyone, that I never felt like the action was dragging on. There are also sprinkles of action every now and then, just enough to have the plot move on, but still being able to savor the characters and everything around them. Does that make sense?
The whole book is centered around its characters, as we are in a closed location, with a captive person. I loved Jane, the captive, immensely. Even if she’s going through hell, she is creative enough to figure out how to keep hope as well as her sanity. Still, she was not my favorite character. I enjoyed reading about her captor much more. I’m a sucker for a good deranged person in a novel, and I got my fill here! This is definitely a guy who loves having power over the others, that much is clear. However, we also get to understand more about this guy’s odd brain, when he keeps comparing Jane to his mother, and how he loves everything done like his mother did. Since we never really know what happened with her mother, we can guess something traumatic happened, which ended with him having psychological trauma, and therefore leading him to this behavior. It’s also interesting to watch him turn more and more into a huge psychopath, as he clearly enjoys Jane’s suffering.
The psychological aspect here is so important, and so well done that I can only recommend it warmly. Just be aware that it can be stressful for you to read if you’re sensitive to such topic, as it can sometimes feel a little oppressing to be in that farm, stuck with a psychopath along with Jane. Overall a captivating book that had me flying through it!
Thank you for reading me !
See you soon,