Book Title:
Slow Burner
Book Author:
Laura Lippman
Book Series:
Hush, #3
Page Count:
Publishing Date:
July 30th, 2020
Amazon Original Stories
Date Read:
March 2nd, 2021
Kindle Edition
Prime Reading


A woman watches her marriage implode over text message and decides that ignorance is not bliss in this bitterly satisfying short mystery by the New York Times bestselling author of Lady in the Lake.

Liz Kelsey promised herself she’d never again spy on her feckless husband, Phil. But then she discovers a string of suggestive texts on his secret burner phone. Even worse, he’s flirting with the woman who shook their unstable marriage once before. But knowledge is power. What’s more dangerous—what Liz knows or what Phil doesn’t know?

Laura Lippman’s Slow Burner is part ofHush, a collection of six stories, ranging from political mysteries to psychological thrillers, in which deception can be a matter of life and death. Each piece can be read or listened to in one truly chilling sitting.

My Review

Slow Burner, the third book in the Hush short story collection from Amazon Original Stories, was such as deliciously wicked thriller that I absolutely enjoyed so much – in fact, I think it was one of the best short stories that I have read, and that isn’t just counting this collection.

“Phil’s weakness – his Achilles’ heel, Liz thinks – is that he cannot resist he delight of being new to someone, anyone. To tell the stories that Liz already knows, having lived through many of them.”

Slow Burner tells the story of Liz, a married woman who has dealt with her husband’s infidelity before, and has convinced herself that after marriage counseling and trying to trust him again, that nothing else would come between them. Or no one else.

Or so she thought.

So she tries to put those days behind her – days of not being his only woman, days of spying and eavesdropping on him, waiting for him to slip up. And things were good – for a while. One day, however, while doing the laundry, she uncovers something from her husband’s pocket – a cell phone. However, it is not his main cell phone – in fact, it’s a generic flip phone with only a single contact programmed into it.

“It’s not spying to read something in plain sight, Liz tells herself.”

So she reads the text messages between her husband and the recipient, known only as HW. And she stumbles across some plans that make him seem unfaithful, that make it seem as though he intends on cheating on her – again.

However, instead of bringing up what she found and confronting her husband about his attempted cheating, she just keeps on reading the text messages and waiting for events to unfold, like a poorly written soap-opera.

The ending of the story, however, takes a very dark and unexpected turn.

I absolutely love domestic and psychological thrillers – even more so when they are are slow burning and take a little bit to really get into the…thrilling…parts, to say the least. This is one of those stories that had a lot going on under the surface – but you don’t really know about it until the end, which makes it all the better.

Slow Burner is a play on words –  instead of Slow Burn or Slow Burning, it refers to a burner phone. I thought that was pretty clever and original.

The ending was not at all what I was expecting, even though the rest of the story was incredibly written. I don’t know what I expected for the ending – and I’m still kind of at odds about whether or not I liked how the events unfolded. It was shocking, that’s for sure.

I don’t understand how you can sit back and allow this kind of thing to happen – knowing that your husband is being unfaithful to you, and just waiting…or at least I didn’t understand – not until I read the ending of this one. Then I was able to see why Liz acted the way she did throughout the story.

This was such a great addition to this short story collection. It definitely was a thriller, and I spent the whole time I was reading this just waiting to see what would happen. Since it was short, like the other installments in the series, it was easy to read through quickly, and since most of it is actually taken up with text message exchanges between Liz’s husband and HW, it seemed like an even faster read.

The writing style the author uses is so engaging, I fell in love with the story after only a few pages in. It is definitely one of my favorites in the whole collection – probably my second favorite after the story by Ruth Ware.

If you are a fan of psychological thrillers and suspense, this is definitely a story you won’t want to miss. I am so excited to read other books by this author, now!

4.5 stars
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