Burning Matches by Paul FitzSimons

Detective Temple gets a call at 4am, his missus is not too happy when she hears it’s his ex-work partner, Mia Burrows. Yvonne has felt first hand the trouble Mia brings but yet her husband, Kieran jumps to her rescue. Why?

When you hear the phone call, you can understand why – Mia has just killed her ex-boyfriend; Daniel, in her home and is freaking out. Their shared past makes it hard for Kieran to say no.

The scene and witness statements makes it look and sound like a quick case to close. But Temple is unsure, whilst he buys Mia’s statement of domestic violence and self defense, there’s a few things that don’t sit right when he talks to Daniel and Mia’s circle of friends – why were Mia and Daniel together when they are so different and, why did some want them to stay together and some didn’t?

With his superiors pushing for the case to be closed, Temple needs to continue his investigation quickly and quietly.

The book is also told from the perspective of many of the key witnesses, that Temple has interviewed and takes us into the past to build the timeline up to Daniel’s death and the events that follow.

As the reader, you need to keep your eye on the ball if you want to discover any of the cleverly planted seeds that FitzSimons has distributed along the way, but I guarantee you won’t predict the ending – the twists are highly complex and sneak up on you.

I enjoyed reading from Temple’s perspective, FitzSimons has done a great job of exploring Kieran’s characteristics and letting the reader become familiar with his detective style. I can see the potential in this character to be used again and go far.

Set in Dublin, FitzSimons has brought life to the streets and given a backdrop that suits the gritty and dark nature of the plot.

I’ve said the twists are hard to guess and that’s linked to the pace of this plot, with the multiple character perspectives and a moving timeline, it flows incredibly fast. With the momentum continuing to build, it meant the final quarter of the book was jam-packed with: secrets being revealed, events being connected and that spark you get in your head when things start to slot into place igniting.

Jo Spain’s quote on the front cover sums up my thoughts on the book completely:

  • “Fast-paced” – yep definitely, I’m still trying to calm myself down from the final fifty pages
  • “Well-plotted” – FitzSimons’ has cleverly stitched together a complex plot and kept a tight control of how it unravels through the key characters
  • “Well-written” – the story has a very natural (albeit – fast!) flow making it feel believable and easy to read. The descriptive nature of FitzSimons’ style allows the reader to fully immerse themselves in Dublin and play out the story in their head.

Burning Matches is out now in paperback and eBook forms published through Prelude Fiction.

Massive thanks to Paul for sending me a free copy of his book, I chose to review it here on my blog to spread the word about this awesome plot!

Until next time, Chloé x


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