The Last Thing to Burn

Will Dean. Atria/Bestler, $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-9821-5646-6
Trafficked Vietnamese illegal Thanh Dao, the narrator of this outstanding and heart-wrenching thriller from Dean (the Tuva Moodyson mysteries), endures an endless marathon of household labor, as well as just about every type of abuse imaginable, on a remote pig farm in Britain’s Fenlands. About the only spark of hope sustaining the young woman—whom her captor, Lenn, insists on calling Jane, his late mother’s name—is the belief that her younger sister remains free in Manchester, though Lenn has threatened to ensure the sister is deported if Thanh tries to escape or kills herself. The stakes rise when Thanh discovers she’s pregnant and Lenn imprisons a local woman who comes by to inquire about boarding her horse on the farm. As pressure increases from all quarters on Thanh, the tension becomes at times almost unbearable, relieved only by some shocking twists. With his deceptively soft-spoken but steely protagonist, determined to survive against staggering odds, Dean explores the resilience of the human spirit, even in the face of unfathomable evil. This harrowing journey is one worth taking. Agent: Kate Burke, Blake Friedmann Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/20/2021
Release date: 04/20/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-2143-7
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