From the Ashes
A Ravenwood Mystery, book 1 of a 3-book series
Historical detective, California history, 1900
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About the Book:
Atticus Riot took a bullet to his head the day his partner was killed. Three years later, Riot returns to San Francisco to put his ghosts to rest, but the abduction of an heiress snags his attention. Two ransom demands are delivered, and the husband of the abducted Isobel Kingston is hiding the truth.
The clock is ticking. Can Riot find Mrs Kingston in time, or will she become one more regret among many?
I have to admit I always pick up review requests for self-published books with a jaundiced eye but I was more than pleasantly surprised by Flynn’s book. I was enthralled and wanted to immediately purchase the next two in the Ravenwood Mystery series posthaste, no matter how large my review pile. And that’s saying a lot for me.
Of course it helps that I love the era and genre, historical detective novels. Atticus Riot is a wonderfully developed character. We’ve obviously come in the rebirth end of things, for Atticus as well as the newest adventure he steps into. Thus, the title, well-fitting for this first book in a series. Riot returns to San Francisco from a sojourn in Europe to put an end to the former business he and his dead partner ran, the Ravenwood Detective Agency, conveniently located just up the block from Pinkerton’s. However, his manager, Tim, talks him into just one more case before he officially retires. An heiress has been kidnapped.
Throughout the case Riot is visited with the ghostly advice of his late partner, for whose death he cannot forgive himself. He’s haunted by past cases where he hasn’t been quick enough to prevent death and makes it a goal to see it doesn’t happen this time. As the body count rises, however, Riot’s last case may become a lost cause.
There is so much rich history in the era and area that Flynn could have easily lost us in detail. She does introduce a quirky cast of characters who have taken over the Ravenwood mansion and then drops them, but I hope we’ll see more of them in the future. The pacing is perfect, and the twist is that the reader is treated to events of the crime in a back-and-forth catch-up chase until one day time equals out.
Surprises, not exactly cheat-the-reader moments but very subtle hints and clues will keep readers who adore this type of fiction on their toes. Told in multiple viewpoints from Riot and the victim’s points of views, well-researched. Near flawless writing shows the care the author took with her book.
A review copy was provided through VoraciousReadersOnly.com
About the Author:
Sabrina lives in perpetual fog and sunshine with a rock troll and two crazy imps. She spent her youth trailing after insanity, jumping off bridges, climbing towers, and riding down waterfalls in barrels. After spending fifteen years wrestling giant hounds and battling pint-sized tigers, she now travels everywhere via watery portals leading to anywhere.