Ashes by Kelly Cozy
BOOK DESCRIPTION ON AMAZON:
Anonymous. That was Jennifer's life. But when she survived a domestic terrorist attack and her last-minute escape became the iconic image of the event, that life was over. Wanting only to disappear and become just another face in the crowd, she cashed in on her unwanted fame and moved to a small town, hidden away and safe.
Retired. That was Sean's life. A former covert operative - the kind the government denies exists - he'd been pushed unwillingly into a life of suburban peace and quiet. But his retirement ended when he saw Jennifer's rescue; from then on he only wanted to find those responsible for the attack, even if it meant turning rogue.
What Jennifer and Sean will both find is that nothing goes to plan, and their paths will cross in a way neither could have foreseen.
I thought I wouldn't be able to read this book because it would be too upsetting to read about subjects like the bombing of a federal building, that it would strike a painful nerve, that it would be too graphic. The author approached it and told the story in a way that did not horrify. I felt sad, yes, but it wasn't too traumatic. Jennifer's tale is of survival, and her struggle to figure out why she survived when others had not, why was she special? Her need for change – some place new and fresh – because she was no longer the person in the photographs being pulled away from that building, leads her to a new home – far away where she is not a "celebrity" and can find a measure of peace. But the past has a way of following you and she has demons left to exorcise.
Sean's story is of a hero put out to pasture, a man who sees Jennifer's rescue on television and wants to help bring those responsible for the horrible deed she survived and so many others didn't to justice. His superiors don't want or need his help, and so he sets out on his own to find and infiltrate the hate group responsible, with a plan to bring their leader to Jennifer so she may be the one to exact revenge. But will she want this gift he delivers to her door step? Ending made me say, "Wow!"
Sean's side of the story has a bit more violence to it, and honestly I skipped over a little, but I am sensitive to that kind of thing. If you are not it probably won't bother you anymore than other plots that include a little torture to get information.
I found that the "bad guy" is likeable. Some one you would befriend in your small town, devoted to his wife and community. Even Sean likes him, which makes his task a little more difficult. Hard to believe he is responsible for such hate and destruction, which also makes the story interesting.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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