Title: Beneath the Ashes
Author: Dea Poirier
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
My Rating: 4 stars
I have to admit that I was totally caught off guard by some of the events in this book. Some of the twists I could guess at and had my suspicions over, but at least one thing happened that I really didn’t see coming. I think the author has gotten better at telling a coherent story, and you can see a marked difference between this and her previous novel. There are no missing segues from scene to scene, the dialog flows better, and the small details are given freely. All of the characters feel very real, and I can’t help myself from becoming attached to them.
“I glance at him, and it breaks my heart, because all I can wonder is if or when I’m going to lose him too. Death follows me, and I’m trapped in a dance with it. A death spiral. Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother, if I should stretch myself beyond the bounds of my work. Is it worth it?”
I was glad to see more Roxie in this book- she’s a great character and I love her friendship with Claire. They’re no bullshit and pick up right where they left off even if they haven’t seen each other in months. When Clare was making decisions about Noah, I wanted to scream advice at her, but then Roxie swooped in to tell Claire all the things I was thinking. When I read the blurb for this book, I was a little worried that the relationship drama between Claire and Noah would take too much time away from the mystery plot, but the author did a great job of keeping a comfortable balance between the two.
I like that Claire has been assisting different police precincts with homicide investigations; it keeps the secondary characters fresh and changes up the scenery without being too different than the previous books and still keeping to the same general area. The addition of Austin in this book felt well placed and I enjoyed seeing her work in tandem with Claire. The author always manages to bring up women’s issues in a way that isn’t shoving a message down the reader’s throat, while also pointing out some of the difficulties women can face because of their gender.
“My size doesn’t make me any less of a police officer. I went through the same training they did. I’ve taken down perps that outweighed me by at least one hundred and fifty pounds. I am going in there whether you like it or not. So pick the two other officers that you’re sending in with me,” I say, my words sharp as knives. I’m not sitting this one out. They called me in to hunt this guy, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I will not stay on the sidelines while they finish this up for me.”
Overall, I’m really enjoying these books and these characters, and I’m excited to see what comes next. I’m hoping that the author decides to continue with this series and that they continue to get better and better. The ending was left open in regards to what Claire will do next, so I’m looking forward to finding out where the novels go from here, and will be keeping an eye out for the next installment.