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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Out of the Ashes

Narrator: Jordan Cobb

Brilliance Audio

ISBN: 9781662509537

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: 05/01/2023

Format: Other

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

A woman’s investigation into her family’s murders uncovers lies, secrets, and dangerous truths in a heart-wrenching novel of suspense.

When she was thirteen years old, Samantha Newsom’s family was murdered and their Catskills farmhouse set ablaze in an unsolved crime that left nothing behind but ashes.

Twenty-two years later, Sam is pulled back to her hometown of Carney, New York, under the shadows of the grim tragedy she’s never forgotten or forgiven. Authorities mishandled the evidence, false rumors were seeded about her family, suspects yielded nothing, and the case went cold. Not anymore. Investigator Travis Meacham has been assigned to the case, and he has news for Sam: a prison inmate has come forward with a shocking admission. Sam’s baby sister, presumed dead in the fire, made it out of the house that night.

It’s not the only reveal that upends everything Sam thinks she knows about the crime and her family. But Carney protects its secrets. And this time, Sam might not be able to escape the town alive.

My Review

YA author Kara Thomas's first foray into adult fiction, OUT OF THE ASHES — is an emotional and heart-wrenching suspense thriller of a woman's investigation into her family's murders.

When Samantha Newsom was thirteen years old, her family was murdered—someone set their Catskills farmhouse on fire. An unsolved crime, leaving nothing but ashes. A tragedy she has never forgotten. The case went cold and was mishandled.

Sam's entire family: her uncle, dad, mom, and baby sister, Lyndsay—gone.

Twenty-two years later, Sam returns to her hometown of Carney, NY, to care for her uncle's affairs. While there, Investigator Travis Meacham tells her a prison snitch has offered new info about the night of the murder. There may be a chance Lyndsay is alive. Someone carried her out.

Sam is drawn back into her past trauma regarding her family's horrific and unsolved murder.

The past resurfaces, and Sam is determined to find out what really happened to her family and to find her sister if she is alive. If she were alive, she would be a grown woman.

Was it a coverup, corruption, or motive, and what happened?

How far will they go to protect their secrets?

Told from Sam's POV, A small rural town with many secrets, drugs, and crime. Sam uncovers dangerous lies and truths in this twisty novel with family, memory, and justice themes.

A gritty, slow-burning suspense with lots of tension, mystery, and SECRETS. For fans of the show "Mare of Easttown" and true crime mysteries.

Thanks to #ThomasandMercer for a gifted ARC via #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: May 1, 2023

My Rating: 4 Stars


“This elegant suspense yarn from YA author Thomas dodges expectations at every turn…and the enthralling plot delivers a steady stream of surprises. Thomas’s first foray into adult fiction is a thrilling success.” —Publishers Weekly

“This story simply engulfed me. I didn’t trust a single seedy character that Samantha Newsom came in contact with while on her quest to unearth, after twenty-two years, who was responsible for murdering her entire family and setting their Catskills farmhouse aflame. Out of the Ashes is gritty, raw, and chock-full of tension as suffocating as the tiny town of Carney itself.”

—Stacy Willingham, New York Times bestselling author of A Flicker in the Dark

“A masterful, smart, slow-burning suspense. Out of the Ashes drew me in with its sinister secrets and wouldn’t let me go until the very last page.”

—Elle Cosimano, USA Today bestselling author of Finlay Donovan Is Killing It

“Bold, unpredictable, and savagely beautiful, Out of the Ashes is that rare read that combines breakneck twists and turns with deeply woven themes of family, memory, and justice. You’ll read this with your heart in your throat, desperate to know what happened that night—but afraid at how ugly the truth might be. A searing, shocking powerhouse of a debut.”

—Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, bestselling author of The Girls Are All So Nice Here

About the Author

Kara Thomas is the author of The Darkest Corners, Little Monsters, The Cheerleaders, and That Weekend, Barnes and Noble's YA Book Club Pick for July 2021. Kara's books have been sold in multiple languages and have been nominated for the International Thriller Writers Award. In 2013, she wrote and developed the pilot The Revengers with Rashida Jones and Will McCormack for The CW. She lives on Long Island with her husband, son, and rescue cat, where she spends way too much time on Reddit Unresolved Mysteries trying to solve cold cases. WEBSITE



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