Title: Out of the Ashes
Author: Vicky Newham
Series: Di Maya Rahman
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 sight 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.
Out of the Ashes is a solid, well-written, entertaining crime novel. Set in East London – Tower Hamlets, more specifically – this book really grabbed my attention because I currently live in that area, and I love reading books that mention streets and areas I’m familiar with (even if the nature of the story is less than happy-go-lucky!).
I loved reading about Brick Lane, both present day and in the past, when DI Maya Rahman was growing up and trying to remember the circumstances around the sudden disappearance of her father in the 80s. The idea of an organised flash mob being used to cover up crimes is a really interesting one, and something that I thought Vicky Newham wove into the plot really well.
Racial tensions are also highlighted, an issue that couldn’t really be left out of a story that’s set in Brick Lane and the surrounding area, and in a story with a DI whose family is from Bangladesh, as that makes up at least part of her identity. Maya, her team and the interesting array of people who feature in Out of the Ashes helped keep me wanting to read on, as they’re convincing and well-developed characters.
There are some twists, but the plot avoids being unbelievable complex as it doesn’t have a crazy twist at the end, meaning the story is far more convincing for its realism. It still brings the drama, though, and Vicky Newham’s great writing makes Out of the Ashes a truly enjoyable police procedural.
Many thanks to HQ for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.