From the Ashes Review
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In October of 1957, Roger Blumhurst hung himself from the Brooklyn Bridge, successfully dying for the second time in his life. The first time, he rose from the ashes of his death with one assignment: protect a secret that’s guarded by an agency known as the Division. But Blumhurst left behind evidence that could blow the secret wide open.

Wayne Wilkins died in Iraq seven years ago and also rose from the ashes, but he can never forget the other deaths that allowed him to live under a new identity. Right from the beginning, he feels that what he’s doing is wrong, and he’s had enough.

Michael Rickner stumbles on a secret that would shake the core of the United States, but he’s assassinated before he can expose it. Now, the two people closest to Michael—his twin brother, Jonathan, and fiancée, Mara Ellison—are left with tremendous grief and vague clues as to what might have caused his death. Someone wants a secret kept buried, and they don’t care who has to die to protect it.

  
 
With From the Ashes, author Jeremy Burns comes very close to equaling the talent of great international thriller writers such as David Baldacci and Eric Van Lustbader. His characters aren’t as deeply drawn or interesting, but the plot, steeped in suspense and conspiracy theories, more than makes up for lack of characterization.

Jonathan Rickner comes across as almost too ordinary to possess the drive necessary to take on trained assassins. I didn’t feel the heroic aspects of this character, making him somewhat bland. Mara Ellison is only marginally better, but she comes across brilliantly as a grieving fiancée.

Despite some characterization problems, though, From the Ashes is an entertaining page-turner. I couldn’t wait to pick it back up at the end of a long, hard day at work. The blend of military and political history heightens the intrigue, keeping readers’ interest as the conspiracy theory becomes clearer. Brilliant and unique, it will captivate your attention, and you’ll be salivating to get to the end and see how it all comes together.

The characters may be nothing special, but the plot certainly is. I expect great things from this author in the future, and I plan to keep an eye out for more of his novels. I do love a good international thriller, and From the Ashes comes close to being one of the best.

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