It’s been a while since I’ve been on a blog tour, I’ve started picking one or two up again now the balance between work, books, love and life is beginning to work in stride with one another. I was thrilled to be invited on The Ashes of The Living tour by my fellow reader and food pal John!
Ashes of The Living was published on the 6th of March in both ebook and paperback. You can purchase your copy here.
They took everything from him. Now it’s his turn…
As the sweltering summer heat lingers, Chicago PD Detective Tyler Morgan chases the trail of a series of violent murders tied to a new type of heroin. As the body count – and the temperature – rises, so does chaos in the city. Tyler’s world turns to ashes as his family is brutally murdered at the orders of a madman.
When winter descends on the city, Tyler’s grief has turned into a chilling obsession, leaving him plagued with nightmares and the overwhelming desire for one thing – Revenge. As he puts his gun to the head of anyone with a lead, his descent into darkness puts him at odds with his new partner, Annabelle Herrera, who comes closer to turning him in as time runs out. A trail of bullets and hatred leads to a shocking confrontation with the man and the madness that brought an entire city to its knees.
No one is safe. Especially Tyler.
Many books start off with a prologue, that appetiser that gives the reader a pallet taster of what is to come. Ashes of the Living begun with pain, violence, and a clear attention to detail from the author. The writing clutched me immediately, quickly drawing me into the undercurrent of the criminal world, drugs, double-crossing and a brutal crime boss who shows no mercy. I was quickly transfixed and excited about the quickly developing storyline.
Ashes of the Living is written using a dual narrative, with each chapter flicking between our protagonist and antagonist, good turns bad and evil staying evil, Detective Tyler Morgan, and Robert Baxter. John Cox writes these flickering points of view well, they alter without leaving the reader feeling any character whiplash, but rather get switched with ease. This is mainly due to each character’s strong independent voices; I did not find myself re-checking whose narrative I was reading. I think this has shown John’s ability to fully get into his characters heads – he knows them both to a T.
Our protagonist is Detective Tyler Morgan, a man who has experienced the worst of tragic events, he left for work one day to a job where he was responsible to keep people safe, to return home to nothing but fire and death. The sympathy you feel for Tyler is instant, you feel the love he had for his family and how lost he feels after they are ripped away from him in a gulf of flames, heat, and smoke.
With Tyler, back on the job, he is alerted that someone who has been picked up with a crime has details of the person involved in his wife and daughter’s murder, you begin to see the cracks in his justice serving psyche. At this point, we begin to learn more about Tyler’s family life and the intensity of which he loved his family. Without them he has become a hollow of the man he once was, with a taste for revenge and blood lust we quickly seem him spin down into a hole of vengeance.
Along with Tyler’s character development using the medium of flashbacks and dreams (or rather nightmares) and his storyline beginning to curl around the criminal underworld we were set for a tense, explosive revenge thriller that will have you sympathising with and rooting for our on-the-wrong-path protagonist turned vigilante, leaving a trail of death and blood behind him.The unravelling of events created for an exciting, gripping, and shocking read, one that you will not want to pry your eyes away from. I loved every single page which clearly showed that John Cox had taken care to plan and develop the threads involved in Ashes of the Living, including the research that allowed for these developments. A brilliant debut, I really can’t wait for future works from the author.