Reviewed by Becca
TITLE: From the Ashes
SERIES: Boystown #6
AUTHOR: Marshall Thornton
PUBLISHER: Kenmore Books
LENGTH: 198 Pages
RELEASE DATE: February 20, 2015
It’s winter 1984. Private Investigator Nick Nowak has allowed his life to fall to pieces: He’s stopped taking cases, given up his apartment and taken a job as a bartender at a sleazy joint tucked under the El. All he wants to do is stay hidden and lick his wounds after the death of his lover, Detective Bert Harker. But when the least likely person in the world shows up at the bar and asks him to take a new case, he finds himself investigating the very unsuspicious death of a priest. Nick is convinced he’s wasting his time until the clues begin to add up to something entirely unsuspected.
I am absolutely loving this series. Even with the darker moments it, it’s truly some fabulous writing. Every time I pick the next book up, I can not put it down. You feel so much through the main character and you stay on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next.
After all that’s happened in Nick’s life, he has had enough. The loss of his lover was the icing on the cake. Nick has basically given up and is going through the motions of life. He’s quit investigating, he’s given up his apartment to live in a shithole motel room, and works in a dive bar to make money. He’s drunk more than he’s sober and he just doesn’t care anymore. The truth is he cares too much and cannot cope. He’s trying to move on but the grief is hitting him hard and he’s trying to cope with the fact that he has taken a life. Even though the life was one of a serial killer, it’s still hitting him hard. On top of this, he has learned one of his long time friends is at death’s door with AIDS and that just digs even worse. He’s pretty much at the end of his rope when the last person he thought he would ever see again comes to ask him for help to solve a case she thinks is murder.
I thought the last book was bad as far as me sobbing like a baby, but this one was about as bad. You cannot help but drown in the pain Nick feels each day as he tries to live. But he’s not living. He’s merely going through the motions. Each thing that has happened is just digging into him with a hook and nothing seems to ease. At one point, he runs into his ex, Daniel, and is even cruel to him. He’s just lost all hope. When Harker’s mom comes to him to work a case she feels is murder, all he says is no. But something in him has to set her mind at ease so he takes the case. While he is digging into things, he is learning things about himself as well. He is learning it is all a process. And he is learning he has to forgive himself. Talk about tugging at your heart strings. Eventually, he begins live life again. The case has him ready to work again. Especially after he lost his job in the dive bar. He’s learning he does have friends. And that it’s ok to keep going.
If you haven’t been reading these books, you should. They are fascinating. Good mysteries that leave you wanting more. And I can’t wait to see what’s next!