Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to Ashes
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, Book # 1
Random House Publishing Group
March 7, 2019 March 15, 2019

He performs his profane ceremony in a wooded Minneapolis park, anointing his victims, then setting the bodies ablaze. He has already claimed three lives, and he won’t stop there. Only this time there is a witness. But she isn’t talking.

Enter Kate Conlan, former FBI agent turned victim/witness advocate. Not even she can tell if the reluctant witness is a potential victim or something more troubling still. Her superiors are interested only because the latest victim may be the daughter of Peter Bondurant, an enigmatic billionaire. When Peter pulls strings, Special Agent John Quinn gets assigned to the case. But the FBI’s ace profiler of serial killers is the last person Kate wants to work with, not with their troubled history. Now she faces the most difficult role of her career—and her life. For she’s the only woman who has what it takes to stop the killer . . . and the one woman he wants next.

About the book

In the streets of Minneapolis there is a killer called the Cremator, who first tortures his victims and then sets them on fire. Angie sees the last fire, but she is a scared and disturbed girl. Will Kate Conlan be able to understand her mind?

The book is part of the series “Kovac and Liska”, but in this first volume it seems that Kate and Quinn are the protagonists. I wonder if there is a series with the two of them as protagonists and this book serves to introduce the two new characters who will then be the protagonists of their series. I will research and before the end of the review I will be able to tell…

I really like the case, the investigation too and I like Quinn, the FBI agent. I’m sorry if he won’t be present  in the other books, the book focuses on him and Kate, a lawyer and former FBI agent who takes Angie to heart because she reminds her of her little daughter Emily who died a few years before.

I like the author ‘s style even if the chapters are quite long. The book is quite long but I wasn’t bored or anything, the facts are well thought out and the chronology makes sense. Sometimes there is a chapter with too many feelings told by Kate or Quinn that summarize the case and I find that is the only boring aspect, because we know the facts, we don’t need endless summaries. But the rest is engaging.

It was obvious who was the Cremator and also everything that goes around him. I like that it emphasizes that the case didn’t make headlines until the daughter of a millionaire (billionaire?) disappeared. I didn’t like the characters of the psychologist and lawyer of the aforementioned millionaire. And it’s true, just because he has the money, he can do whatever he wants.

I like Nikki Liska, her language is strong, she doesn’t pull punches and no one can put her down (at least in the first book). Both she and her partner Kovac are a little aloof, as I said, they investigate very little and it’s a shame because I should become attached to their characters because they are the protagonists of the series but I can’t, I’m getting attached to Kate and Quinn. I can’t understand why the author did this… maybe she wasn’t going to create a series and then the only two cops she could choose for a second book were them and not the FBI agent and ex-agent. I don’t know I can’t find clarification about it.

However, I think I will read the second book when it comes out in ebook and in Italian (or not, the latter is not an important requirement).

As with most Italian books, I don’t understand the title translation… they translated Ashes to Ashes as “Alibi di Ferro” that means “Iron Alibi” or better “Airtight Alibi”.  Whose alibi is it? There is no alibi here! And I see the second book has the same translation problem… maybe it’s better I read them in English…

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