In today’s book review post, I’m excited to share my thoughts on Ashes of Guilt by Isabella Steele! If you are interested in a fast-paced thriller, full of action and intrigue, then read on!
I disclose here that I received a free copy of the book from Reedsy Discovery for the purpose of review. My review below is my honest opinion.
Ashes of Guilt – Isabella Steele
Publisher: Cosmic Phoenix Publishing
Publication Date: 04 Oct 2023
In the chilling heart of a quiet town, Detective Olivia Morgan is thrust into a mystery that’s eerily linked to her darkest secret. At the tender age of eight, an accident led her to mistakenly take a man’s life. Two decades later, as disappearances plague her hometown, Olivia faces a haunting every vanished person had connections to that very man she believed she had killed.
Olivia’s return to her roots becomes a harrowing journey as she grapples with a past that relentlessly shadows her. The town, with its whispers and judgmental glares, doesn’t make it any easier. As the net tightens around the disappearances, the sense of being surveilled grows more acute for Olivia. Mysterious threats, chilling reminders of her traumatic past, and an unexpected appearance by her estranged sister—who seems intent on halting her investigation—makes Olivia question everything she thought she knew. But the most chilling question of all What if the narrative she’d believed for two decades—that she was a murderer—was flipped, revealing Olivia as the victim in a twisted game of deceit and vengeance? Delve into this spine-tingling thriller where secrets of the past entwine with the present’s deadly mysteries. “Detective Morgan’s Haunting” isn’t just a story—it’s an experience you won’t forget. Grab your copy today and unravel the truth alongside Olivia. Can you solve the enigma before it’s too late?
Ashes of Guilt throws you right into a busy narrative. With action kicking off in the first few pages, it sets the scene, and our expectations, for the rest of the book.
From the synopsis, we glean that all that has occurred in the past is not as it seems. When Olivia travels back to her hometown to help local police investigate what appear to be a string of murders, she finds her past lurking around every corner.
Quite quickly we progress through events hinted at in the synopsis, leaving the rest of the book to explore the finer details and range into unchartered territory. Ashes of Guilt had me guessing throughout as to who I could trust, and who I could not. What would happen next?
Whilst I had some ideas, there were plenty of surprises to keep me invested and wanting to find out more!
There is a complexity to each of the characters involved in this book that keep us asking questions. Who are these people? What relationships do they have – and are we getting the full picture? For those who enjoy a character-driven narrative, these are the questions that will hook you into this book.
There is more to this narrative than first meets the eye, and this ultimately colours our perception of some of the characters as event play out.
The plot centres round a select few key characters. I quickly formed opinions on some of these central pillars of the narrative. However, there is a full cast of complementary characters that bolster the narrative and create the small-town vibe that lends itself to the genre perfectly.
Olivia cannot feel more acutely that she is an outsider in a town she once called home. As somebody who lives in a relatively small community herself, I can attest to the attitudes of the people in this book. Everyone knows your business before you do, and are more than willing to weigh in on the subject. This is something that Olivia has to deal with on top of trying to track down a potential serial killer. No pressure…
Whilst the pace of this thriller novel is faster than I would typically read, it was no less enjoyable. The stakes are high and has us readers wondering what was coming next.
The chapter lengths are nice and short, keeping the action snappy and to the point whilst retaining our interest. I also enjoyed how the perspectives changed throughout the book. Each individual main character has a unique perspective on the action as it’s taking place. It’s through these different narratives that we get to see the different pieces of the puzzle eventually come together.
Ashes of Guilt is an interesting and twisty page-turner. Compulsively readable, it is a book that draws into the depths of humanity and has us asking ourselves, what could possibly happen next?
Have you read Ashes of Guilt yet?