Book Review: From the Ashes by Jeremy Burns

 

About the Author

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An avid reader since the age of three, Jeremy Burns was devouring novels by the time other children his age were still learning their ABCs. Blessed (and, at times, cursed) with a decidedly active imagination and an insatiable curiosity for nearly everything, Jeremy made learning and storytelling two of his chief passions. After earning his degree in History from Florida State University, Jeremy accepted a position teaching literature, creative writing, political science, and philosophy at an international school in Dubai. Like the characters in his books, Jeremy is an intrepid explorer whose own adventures have taken him from Mayan ruins in the Yucatan to the pyramids of Egypt, from medieval castles across Europe to the jungles of Bangladesh, and beyond. To date, Jeremy has travelled to more than twenty countries across four continents, seeking adventure, discovery, and ideas for future novels. When not exploring a new corner of the globe, Jeremy lives in Florida, where he is working on his next thrilling novel.

Synopsis

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Graduate students Jonathan and Michael Rickner, sons of eminent archaeologist Sir William Rickner, are no strangers to historical secrets and archaeological adventures. But when Michael is discovered dead in his Washington, D.C. apartment, Jon refuses to believe the official ruling of suicide. Digging deeper into his brother’s work, he discovers evidence that Michael was murdered to keep his dissertation research buried. Joined by Michael’s fiancée Mara Ellison, Jon travels to New York where he uncovers the threads of a deadly Depression-era conspiracy – one entangling the Hoover Administration, the Rockefellers, and the rise of Nazi Germany – and the elite cadre of assassins that still guard its unspeakable secret. Finding themselves in the crosshairs of the same men who killed Michael, Jon and Mara must navigate a complex web of historical cover-ups and modern-day subterfuge, outwitting and outrunning their all-powerful pursuers as they race through a labyrinthine treasure hunt through the monuments and museums of Manhattan to discover the last secret of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., before their enemies can bury the truth – and them – forever.

My Review

This is a great conspiracy thriller which mixes accurate historical facts with just enough fictional make-believe to spin a very strong tale. The action takes place both in Washington and New York, with both cities being accurately portrayed, adding to the strength of the story.

The historical elements are very well done, without being overplayed or making the story drag. There’s just enough of a taste of history to make the whole story believable. The fictional side also seemed plausible, although I had problems believing that the conspiracy, really was something that required being covered up to such an extent. Even when it came out it didn’t cause that big a stir, ergo why the need for the level of cover-up?

There were a couple of continuity problems that also detracted from the story e.g. cell phones that one minute don’t have voicemail, and yet the next minute do; which was a shame.

The characters were believable and strong, they seemed human enough, and had strengths and flaws which added to the story. It was easy to see why they were doing what they were doing, particularly Jonathan and Mara.

This would make a good holiday or travelling read, I could see myself sitting on a beach somewhere with a copy of this book.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars – I liked it.

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