The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean [7/10]

In the by-now hallowed tradition of Emma Donoghue’s decade-old Room, “The Last Thing to Burn” is a harrowing, immersive tale of a woman trapped in an imprisoned life on an English farm, trapped by the vastness of the countryside and her psychopathic captor’s surveillance system. Enslaved to provide a weird wifely life to the brutal man, Jane (his name for her) has no hope, no prospects … until chinks of possibility open and a new reason for hope emerges. The first standalone novel for Will Dean, a British-born resident of Sweden, shows this author in superb command of a claustrophobic thriller that will likely be read in one sitting. The central character of Jane springs to life from the opening pages and the bucolic-yet-horrifying setting is vividly presented. Surely The Last Thing to Burn will be snapped up for a movie version.

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