‘Out Of The Ashes’ by Vicky Newham


A tragic accident – or a ruthless killer?

When a flash mob on Brick Lane is interrupted by a sudden explosion, DI Maya Rahman dashes to the scene. A fire is raging through one of the city’s most infamous streets, the site of Maya’s childhood home. And the discovery of two charred bodies in the burnt-out building transforms an arson attack into a murder case.

With witnesses too caught up in the crowd to have seen anything useful, Maya is facing a complex investigation without a single lead. And, when reports of a second, even more horrifying crime land on Maya’s desk, it’s obvious there’s more at stake than she could ever have imagined. She must find the answers – before all of East London goes up in flames.


My Review

I have an ever so slightly embarrassing confession to make.  Although I have Vicky’s debut novel ‘Turn A Blind Eye’ on my ever growing ‘TBR’ (To Be Read) mountain, I haven’t actually got around to reading it.  Big mistake on my part.  Judging by how much I enjoyed reading the second book in the DI Maya Rahman called ‘Out Of The Ashes’, ‘Turn A Blind Eye’ will not be on that mountain for very much longer.  I absolutely adored reading ‘Out Of The Ashes’ but more about that in a bit.

I really enjoyed my first meeting with DI Maya Rahman.  She is something of a complex character.  She is a dedicated career police officer.  At the moment she seems quite happy with her rank.  She leads a diverse team, but they trust each other and they have each other’s backs.  Although she seems settled in her professional life, Maya has problems in her personal life.   She is still mourning the loss of her brother and every so often she has flashbacks to what happened to him.  Maya has close personal ties within the area in which she serves.  The initial incident in ‘Out Of The Ashes’ takes Maya back to a street that is extremely important to her and which brings back memories of happier times.  I think that this is what strengthens her determination to solve the case as quickly as she can and without any further loss of life.  Maya is strong but at the same time she has her vulnerable side, which occasionally breaks through.  Maya is determined, feisty, occasionally stubborn and she leads from the front.  She certainly wouldn’t ask anybody to do anything that she wouldn’t be willing to do herself.  I found Maya to be an extremely caring, kind and compassionate individual.  It didn’t take me long at all to warm to her and by the time I finished reading the book I felt as though she had become a friend.

Oh my goodness, I cannot adequately get across just how much I loved this book.  I made the mistake of starting to read this book shortly before I went to bed.  Let me tell you, I ended up reading into the wee small hours of the following  morning.  As soon as I got out of bed the following day, I picked the book up and it never left my hands.  I ate my breakfast, got dressed and fed my two Labradors without taking my eyes off the page.  Had anybody tried to talk to me, they would have only been grunted at in return.  It’s safe to say that reading ‘Out Of The Ashes’ was extremely addictive.  I binge read this book over the course of 24 hours but I noticed neither the speed with which the time was passing and the pages were turning.  I was most disappointed to reach the end of the book.  I don’t mean that in a negative way- far from it.  I was enjoying the author’s writing style, the characters and the storylines so much that I just wanted the book to continue on and on.

‘Out Of The Ashes’ is superbly written.  The author has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to take to.  She has a way of making you feel as though you are part of the story yourself.  That’s how I felt anyway.  I felt as though I was another member of Maya’s team.  I even began to interact with the book, which sounds daft because obviously the book cannot answer back, but I find that if I enjoy reading a book to the extent that I enjoyed ‘Out Of The Ashes’ then I ‘live’ the story as if it were real.  As a result I found that I was giving the different police officers tips on how to progress the investigation or I wanted to jump inside the pages of the book to sort certain people out for their attitude or for their actions.  The author dangles enough bait to encourage you to read on and she certainly kept my attention all the way through the book.  This book literally had me on the edge of my seat, which proved to be very painful.

Reading ‘Out Of The Ashes’ was much like taking a ride on a very unpredictable and very scary rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns than you would find on a ‘Snakes & Ladders’ board.  On occasion, I really did think that I had cracked the case and fathomed out who was doing what and why, only to be thrown a curveball and I was sent down another route entirely.

In short, I adored, adored, adored reading  ‘Out Of The Ashes’.  I seriously cannot praise this book highly enough.  I must say that ‘Out Of The Ashes’ is right up there on my ‘Top 5 Reads Of 2019’ list and Vicky Newham is a ‘drop everything to read their next book’ sort of author.  I definitely recommend that you read this book.  I can’t wait to read what Vicky comes up with next.  Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait.  Whilst I wait I will definitely be reading ‘Turn A Blind Eye’ just as soon as I can.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

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