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A DEADLY CONSPIRACY Graduate students Jonathan and Michael Rickner, sons of eminent archaeologist Sir William Rickner, are no strangers to historical mysteries and archaeological adventures. But when Michael is discovered dead in his Washington, D.C. apartment, Jon refuses to believe the official ruling of suicide. Digging deeper into his brother's work, he discovers evide A DEADLY CONSPIRACY Graduate students Jonathan and Michael Rickner, sons of eminent archaeologist Sir William Rickner, are no strangers to historical mysteries and archaeological adventures. But when Michael is discovered dead in his Washington, D.C. apartment, Jon refuses to believe the official ruling of suicide. Digging deeper into his brother's work, he discovers evidence that Michael was murdered to keep his dissertation research buried. A DEVASTATING NATIONAL SECRET Joined by Michael's fiancee Mara Ellison, Jon travels to New York where he uncovers the threads of a deadly Depression-era conspiracy - one entangling the Hoover Administration, the Rockefellers, and the rise of Nazi Germany - and the elite cadre of assassins that still guard its unspeakable secret. THE LABYRINTHINE PATH TO THE TRUTH Finding themselves in the crosshairs of the same men who killed Michael, Jon and Mara must navigate a complex web of historical cover-ups and modern-day subterfuge, outwitting and outrunning their all-powerful pursuers as they race through the monuments and museums of Manhattan in a labyrinthine treasure hunt to discover the last secret of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., before their enemies can bury the truth - and them - forever.


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A DEADLY CONSPIRACY Graduate students Jonathan and Michael Rickner, sons of eminent archaeologist Sir William Rickner, are no strangers to historical mysteries and archaeological adventures. But when Michael is discovered dead in his Washington, D.C. apartment, Jon refuses to believe the official ruling of suicide. Digging deeper into his brother's work, he discovers evide A DEADLY CONSPIRACY Graduate students Jonathan and Michael Rickner, sons of eminent archaeologist Sir William Rickner, are no strangers to historical mysteries and archaeological adventures. But when Michael is discovered dead in his Washington, D.C. apartment, Jon refuses to believe the official ruling of suicide. Digging deeper into his brother's work, he discovers evidence that Michael was murdered to keep his dissertation research buried. A DEVASTATING NATIONAL SECRET Joined by Michael's fiancee Mara Ellison, Jon travels to New York where he uncovers the threads of a deadly Depression-era conspiracy - one entangling the Hoover Administration, the Rockefellers, and the rise of Nazi Germany - and the elite cadre of assassins that still guard its unspeakable secret. THE LABYRINTHINE PATH TO THE TRUTH Finding themselves in the crosshairs of the same men who killed Michael, Jon and Mara must navigate a complex web of historical cover-ups and modern-day subterfuge, outwitting and outrunning their all-powerful pursuers as they race through the monuments and museums of Manhattan in a labyrinthine treasure hunt to discover the last secret of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., before their enemies can bury the truth - and them - forever.

30 review for From the Ashes

  1. 5 out of 5

    Brian Koeller

    I enjoyed this book. It was not great, but I enjoyed the historical ideas here and it was well written. There were some obvious moments, but the action was tight and kept things moving. All in all, well worth reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    3.5 stars, actually. Extra credit because it was a first work. A twentieth-century "National Treasure" hunt in New York City seeking a 1930s secret, featuring a "Men in Black" secret government Division as the bad guys. While the premise didn't fully justify the Division's extraordinary actions (past or present), it was no more fantastic than similar conspiracy-based plots. The writing is not bad, but it kept drawing the reader out of the story. Stiff and "on the nose" at the onset, it actually i 3.5 stars, actually. Extra credit because it was a first work. A twentieth-century "National Treasure" hunt in New York City seeking a 1930s secret, featuring a "Men in Black" secret government Division as the bad guys. While the premise didn't fully justify the Division's extraordinary actions (past or present), it was no more fantastic than similar conspiracy-based plots. The writing is not bad, but it kept drawing the reader out of the story. Stiff and "on the nose" at the onset, it actually improved through the story. Detailed descriptions of relevant locales in New York City built verisimilitude, while minor errors which broke the "spell" of the story. (Most readers won't know--or care--that ribbons aren't worn on BDUs or that kitchen knives don't have hilts, but Burns should have.) Too many data dumps. The smart, moral, capable but conflicted protagonists were well-drawn, though occasionally their actions seemed contrived. Slightly cartoonish, over-the-top adversaries. Satisfying, if obvious, climax.

  3. 4 out of 5

    thewanderingjew

    Initially, the novel seemed as if it would be too violent for me to read, but after the early scenes of murder, the book turned into the quintessential mystery! It was exciting and tense. It held my attention fast. I downloaded this book from Barnes and Noble to my computer Nook app. It was a Free Friday offering, and it is a book I would recommend to all those who love spy novels, especially those with underlying government conspiracies. The book begins in 1957, with the unexpected suicide of a Initially, the novel seemed as if it would be too violent for me to read, but after the early scenes of murder, the book turned into the quintessential mystery! It was exciting and tense. It held my attention fast. I downloaded this book from Barnes and Noble to my computer Nook app. It was a Free Friday offering, and it is a book I would recommend to all those who love spy novels, especially those with underlying government conspiracies. The book begins in 1957, with the unexpected suicide of a government agent, but it harkens back to the early 1930’s, when the secret government agency called the Division is created to ostensibly stop the spread of Communism. Unfortunately, the method it chooses to do this backfires, and their plan and its outcome must be hidden forever to prevent a scandal of major worldwide proportions from developing. Originally launched by Henry Lewis Stimson, Secretary of State to President Hoover, with the funds of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., this clandestine plan and agency is forced to perpetuate itself to protect the secret of their involvement. To accomplish this, the Division eliminated anyone who could possibly expose them, and often innocent people were simply outright murdered by the government because a hint of the folly was suggested. There was one fly in the ointment, however, that they could not control; no matter how many people were eliminated, they had never found the documents that were signed by Rockefeller and Stimson and secreted away by Rockefeller, for protection. The dossiers still existed, and they must be found and finally disposed of so there would no longer be a record of the behavior of this clandestine agency or its historic, heinous involvement regarding World War II. When Michael Richner is murdered, his broken-hearted fiancée, Mara, and his brother Jon, team up to find out why this innocent, well-loved young man has been killed. The plot thickens when Jon is also attacked in his brother’s apartment, but his report of the incident is not believed by the police. The two take off on their own, fearing for their lives, up against a machine far bigger and more mercenary than they realize, following little clues and finally discovering the secret that The Division has been trying to find for decades. Do they succeed in making it public and bringing it to the attention of the world, finally exposing the truth? In some ways, the details of the tale try your imagination, but the author weaves so powerful a story, that when you question it, it seems believable. This book feels like it will be a great movie. You will find yourself wondering, is this story about a government out of control or a shadow government, and could this happen or even exist today?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    I would have given this three and a half stars. The plot idea is a good one driving the narrative rather than character development. Perfectly acceptable but there are weaknesses in both the plot and telling of the tale. The plot devices, the MacGuffin of the Dossiers, time constraint due to fatal illness, importance and dangers of the revelation of the secret, and so forth are inevitable in a thriller but all the elements should be watertight. Some seemed not to be, for instance: why did the chi I would have given this three and a half stars. The plot idea is a good one driving the narrative rather than character development. Perfectly acceptable but there are weaknesses in both the plot and telling of the tale. The plot devices, the MacGuffin of the Dossiers, time constraint due to fatal illness, importance and dangers of the revelation of the secret, and so forth are inevitable in a thriller but all the elements should be watertight. Some seemed not to be, for instance: why did the children have to be eliminated? What really was the point of the Dan Brown codes and clues? Would JDR Jr. racked with guilt have set this up? Wayne’s sea change wasn’t entirely believable nor the existence of the Division – 70 years of funding and no questions? The ending felt long-winded and contrived and the final betrayal came as no surprise. As regards the writing, mostly it was good but in many places it was way too wordy and repetitious. Once we are told how a character feels, or an event occurred, there is no need to keep hammering the fact home, it holds up the achieved momentum and this occurs time after time. Every now and again there are awkward phrases or unnecessary adjuncts: ‘listening with his fingers, feeling the vibrations and lack thereof,’ ‘Jon shot a look in every direction he could think of, staring into the encroaching darkness,’ ‘a jogger running a little ways behind me, but not too terribly close.’ This kind of construction needs tightening, and there was rather a lot of it. I rounded down to three stars to redress the balance; a good debut but no five star read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shane Stafslien

    This novel was a tale of two distinct and contrasting halves. The first half of the novel by Mr. Burns (the first 200 or so pages), although it had a few shining moments, was very difficult to get through due to the never ending dialogue (both intra and inter-character)and focus on the meaning/role of Michael's life in the lives of the two protagonists(i.e., Jon, his brother and Mara, his fiance). The dialogue between the two seemed forced and downright unrealistic/ridiculous considering the cir This novel was a tale of two distinct and contrasting halves. The first half of the novel by Mr. Burns (the first 200 or so pages), although it had a few shining moments, was very difficult to get through due to the never ending dialogue (both intra and inter-character)and focus on the meaning/role of Michael's life in the lives of the two protagonists(i.e., Jon, his brother and Mara, his fiance). The dialogue between the two seemed forced and downright unrealistic/ridiculous considering the circumstances the author had hurled them into and bogged down the story. I felt as though I was constantly waiting for them to get on with the task at hand...a task that would seemingly never arrive! That being said, I am certainly glad that I decided to stay the course with this one as the second half of this novel was quite engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable (to my pleasant surprise!). The clunky, forced-dialogue was abandoned and the pace of the story picked up to a heart-pounding pace. The plot was nicely fleshed out and I enjoyed the twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat right up to the very end. The main premise of the novel, built upon the U.S. and Nazi Germany in the years of the Great Depression, was quite clever and I was entertained by the 'Da Vinci Code-esque' puzzles and clues centered upon John Rockefeller Jr.'s terrible, guilt-laden secret. It was as though two different authors had written this book. Did the author simply evolve during the writing process? It certainly seemed that way, and if so, I look forward to reading Mr. Burn's next novel to see if he can build upon the momentum he generated during the last half of this fictional tale.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    What a thriller! A fast paced, keep you glued to the page, perched on the edge of your seat kind of thriller. If you like the works of authors such as Brad Meltzer and Dan Brown you are going to love this one by Jeremy Burns. “From the Ashes” is a story of secret government agencies and the cover-ups of a conspiracy dating from the depression-era. When Jon Rickner’s brother Michael is found dead in his apartment by his fiancé Mara, and learns that the authorities are calling his death a suicide J What a thriller! A fast paced, keep you glued to the page, perched on the edge of your seat kind of thriller. If you like the works of authors such as Brad Meltzer and Dan Brown you are going to love this one by Jeremy Burns. “From the Ashes” is a story of secret government agencies and the cover-ups of a conspiracy dating from the depression-era. When Jon Rickner’s brother Michael is found dead in his apartment by his fiancé Mara, and learns that the authorities are calling his death a suicide Jon wants answers. Michael had been working on his dissertation and had stumbled upon a huge conspiracy that involved the Hoover Administration, the Rockefellers and the rise of Nazi Germany, a secret so big that his brother was killed to keep it contained. Jon and Mara embark on a quest to find the secret dossier the private government agency “The Division” is looking for before any more innocent lives are lost. Following a series of encrypted clues and with the help of a rogue Division agent the couple are lead to museums, churches and monuments throughout Manhattan dodging attempts on their lives until they find the coveted dossier bringing the truth to the world. The story is well thought out with many factual details included in the telling. Readers will find themselves questioning if in fact this scenario could be possible and realizing the lengths that the omnipotent government would go to in order to keep it from the masses. I know I did. This book is a must read for conspiracy theorists or those with a passion for the thrill. Go out and buy the book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kamas Kirian

    It could have been better. Really, I think the author would have benefited from a strong editor, it's his first novel. The first third of the book was quite frustrating to read as it kept dancing around WHAT the big secret was. There was just a little too much ambiguity in the story line for my tastes, and too much concentration on describing physical things. But, the last half of the book was much, much better. It flowed along at a good pace, and the narrative was much stronger. I actually like It could have been better. Really, I think the author would have benefited from a strong editor, it's his first novel. The first third of the book was quite frustrating to read as it kept dancing around WHAT the big secret was. There was just a little too much ambiguity in the story line for my tastes, and too much concentration on describing physical things. But, the last half of the book was much, much better. It flowed along at a good pace, and the narrative was much stronger. I actually liked the second half of the book. I think a good editor probably could have convinced the author to change the roles of Wilkins and Leinart, possibly even eliminating them altogether as they didn't seem all that necessary to the story. At times it seemed like it was basically just a scavenger hunt with deadly consequences. The eBook was formatted acceptably. There were a small handful of spelling errors, and some characters that couldn't be rendered by my Nook. The paragraph spacing was also somewhat odd.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David

    Really not a bad book, the writing is decent and the characters work pretty well. The thing that kept me from rating it higher is that the whole plot seemed ripped off from a Dan Brown knowledge, to the point where, once I realized they were on a treasure hunt by picking up clues left by a famous person in plain sight, I predicted the entire rest of the book, including the surprise twist at the end.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    I picked up this book as a freebie from B&N's Free Friday and it was almost worth what I paid for it. Uninspired characters, ponderous writing style, sloppy editing and predictability made for a long, dull read. The only reason I stuck with it was because I kept hoping it would get better. It didn't. I've read worse but not by much. I picked up this book as a freebie from B&N's Free Friday and it was almost worth what I paid for it. Uninspired characters, ponderous writing style, sloppy editing and predictability made for a long, dull read. The only reason I stuck with it was because I kept hoping it would get better. It didn't. I've read worse but not by much.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    If I read "the young scholar" one more time... If I read "the young scholar" one more time...

  11. 4 out of 5

    M

    Took me twice as long to finish this book as I thought it would....Slow pacing, unrealistic and weird dialogue, and villains who couldn't pull off an assassination for the life of them. Of course with the exception of the guy that had to die to get the story rolling. Definitely not a good combination for a supposed thriller.. Took me twice as long to finish this book as I thought it would....Slow pacing, unrealistic and weird dialogue, and villains who couldn't pull off an assassination for the life of them. Of course with the exception of the guy that had to die to get the story rolling. Definitely not a good combination for a supposed thriller..

  12. 5 out of 5

    Judyspadoni

    reminded me of a Daniel Brown book, Liked the characters but they seemed a little forced. There was suspense but not enough to keep me from putting the book down and doing something else. Have no desire to read another book by this author

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    History, mystery, DiVinci code like. A good read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Athena Thomas

    fast-moving conspiracy theory within conspiracy theory -- well founded in WWII "start up" fast-moving conspiracy theory within conspiracy theory -- well founded in WWII "start up"

  15. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    Never read anything before by this guy before but i really enjoyed this book from the ashes good storyline

  16. 5 out of 5

    Erth

    now i am hooked. This was such a great, easy and creative book. i was hooked after the first page. The characters were easy to fall in love with and follow, along with the story. the author made the mental visions so easy and vivid of the surroundings and the characters actions felt so real. i would highly recommend this author and this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daphne Lewis

    A fast-paced story to uncover the clues to find the answer to a conspiracy which began many years ago. The scenes in New York City and Washington, D.C. give us a look at the current cover-up and the history which created it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shayna Gier

    What I Loved: Twists, twists, and more twists! This story absolutely captivated my attention by the end of the first chapter. And if enthralling plot twists around every corner isn't enough, the word choices that Jeremy Burns uses are exquisite. I'd be reading along and just be like "What?" and then I had to go back and re-read this just-beyond-awesome quote that is genius. An example of such a quote was featured in my Teaser Tuesday on April 10th. And finally, though certainly not least, I loved What I Loved: Twists, twists, and more twists! This story absolutely captivated my attention by the end of the first chapter. And if enthralling plot twists around every corner isn't enough, the word choices that Jeremy Burns uses are exquisite. I'd be reading along and just be like "What?" and then I had to go back and re-read this just-beyond-awesome quote that is genius. An example of such a quote was featured in my Teaser Tuesday on April 10th. And finally, though certainly not least, I loved the way that Jeremy weaves together his own invention, history, and fact of the world we live in so seamlessly. His writing really pushes the 4th wall into oblivion, and several times I wondered if this wasn't all true. What I Didn't Like: No complaints here! My Overall Rating: (5 of 5 Stars) A Mindbending Mystery Full of Twists and Adrenaline From the Ashes is a wonderfully written tale of Jon, the son of an archeologist, who gets wrapped up in uncovering a secret that the United States government– or a section of it at any rate–has been trying to hide at any–and all–costs for the last century when his brother, Michael, is found dead in his own apartment. Taking on his brother's job, both literally and metaphorically, it's now up to Jon and Michael's fiancée, Mara, to right a wrong that goes to the start of the 1900's, and the same government division that hasn't hesitated to kill civilians throughout this last century isn't afraid to kill them either. If that summary doesn't get your interest, then I dare you to read just the first three chapters and put it down. I guarantee that you won't be able to. There is a little bit of everything in this book... except for maybe romance... yea. Other than that you have a rouge employee of a government operation, a professor with questionable motives, a history that readers will recognize as being planted in their own world, and at least 4 action-packed and tension-filled chapters that literally had my heart racing when I finished them. Disclaimer: This book was provided for me at no charge, nor was I given compensation of any kind for this review. This review only reflects my personal opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steven R. McEvoy

    This story is the debut novel from Jeremy Burns. It is a thriller novel, but more than that it is historical fiction with a twist. It was a fast-paced race from the beginning to the end. It was more enjoyable than the Dan Brown books I have read and almost reads like a cross between Tom Clancy and John Grisham. The writing was superb and the story excellent. The greatest strength though was probably the characters. Once you start reading about Jonathan Rickner you will find yourself wanting more This story is the debut novel from Jeremy Burns. It is a thriller novel, but more than that it is historical fiction with a twist. It was a fast-paced race from the beginning to the end. It was more enjoyable than the Dan Brown books I have read and almost reads like a cross between Tom Clancy and John Grisham. The writing was superb and the story excellent. The greatest strength though was probably the characters. Once you start reading about Jonathan Rickner you will find yourself wanting more. The cover of the book has a sub title "A Jonathan Rickner Thriller" and I, for one, hope it is the first in a long line of novels featuring this character. Not since I first read the Jack Ryan or Spencer for Hire novels 20 years ago have I found a character I liked so much in the mystery or suspense genre. Jon cannot accept that his brother's death was a suicide, and as he begins to look into his brother's thesis research, he uncovers the tangled threads of a deadly Depression-era conspiracy - one entangling the top levels of the Hoover Administration, Rockefeller, and the rise of Nazi Germany. Joining forces with Michael's fiancée Mara Ellison and with Michael's thesis advisor Professor Leinhart doing research from the background, Jon and Mara travel to New York to discover Rockefeller's deepest secret and hidden clues to a secret that could rock the nation. Maybe even the world. With an attempt on his life and then encountering the assassin again in New York, the pressure is on. A secret government agency known only as The Division is after a few pieces of paper, paper they have been trying to track down for over 70 years. Jon, relying only on his brilliance and following his brother's clues, is on the hunt and he will either uncover a buried truth or be buried along with it. In a chase that crosses the country and travels all over historic sites in New York City, the story will catch you and keep you reading as you cannot wait to find out what happens next. This story was very well written and as I stated earlier, I can only hope it will be the first in a series! Read the review on my blog Book Reviews and More.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rob 'Crash'

    From the Ashes strikes me as being very similar in plot and design to Dan Brown's novels of mystery, puzzle solving, and adventure, of which I'm a huge fan. Despite the 3 star rating, I really did enjoy reading this book. Unfortunately I found much of the dialogue, characters, and situations to be somewhat unbelievable. I first became suspicious early in the story when Jon, the main protagonist goes of into a long dissertation about the history of the World Wars and the depth of politics surroun From the Ashes strikes me as being very similar in plot and design to Dan Brown's novels of mystery, puzzle solving, and adventure, of which I'm a huge fan. Despite the 3 star rating, I really did enjoy reading this book. Unfortunately I found much of the dialogue, characters, and situations to be somewhat unbelievable. I first became suspicious early in the story when Jon, the main protagonist goes of into a long dissertation about the history of the World Wars and the depth of politics surrounding it, including specifics of dates and names. I might find this level of detail believable from a 50-something history professor who instructs a class on contemporary history, but not from an early 20-somethings guy who hopped around the world with his parents and brother on various archaeological studies. You'd have to have a pretty deep geeky devotion to the study of history to rattle off some of the details that seem to be at the tip of Jon's tongue--from medieval to contemporary history, his depth of knowledge just smacks as fake. Some of the situations, clues and findings in the book seem a bit coincidental and contrived. Solutions that should take a team of brilliant minds and research to work out hit Jon or Mara like they are obvious. Too fantastic to be believable. And a bit of the dialogue seemed off. I found myself thinking: "People don't really say that kind of thing, or talk, or act like that." A few conversations just felt a little weird or awkward, making the characters feel unintelligent when they are supposedly brilliant. Despite all that, I truly did enjoy the story. Jeremy Burns' style kept me in the story and looking for more, even if I didn't feel the story was entirely believable. The writing and style are great. The research and attention to historic and modern detail is excellent. The story is a good read, just don't expect to feel like it is something that may actually happen.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Viviane Crystal

    Jonathan Rickner and his brother are very close but have not spoken frequently to each other because Michael Rickner has specialized in American history and Jon European history and when this novel opens, Australian. Michael says he has something to share with Jon, a something Michael never gets to tell because he is found dead in his apartment, although the crime has been written off by the police as a suicide! Which is it? Jon races back to Washington D.C. in shock and mind-numbing grief. The Jonathan Rickner and his brother are very close but have not spoken frequently to each other because Michael Rickner has specialized in American history and Jon European history and when this novel opens, Australian. Michael says he has something to share with Jon, a something Michael never gets to tell because he is found dead in his apartment, although the crime has been written off by the police as a suicide! Which is it? Jon races back to Washington D.C. in shock and mind-numbing grief. The greater shock occurs when he hears from Michael's fiance and sees evidence that now leads him to believe Michael was murdered! To say more would be a spoiler. But the mystery that slowly begins to emerge has to do with the relationship between German and America before the beginning of WWII, one that could shatter those who tell American history from a particular point of view. It's also one that a secret organization is racing to hide by finding and destroying the ultimate paper documents that would prove this to be fact rather than fiction. The Division will stop at nothing and will use any and all available persons to achieve their end! But the plot goes awry when the head of the Division is faced with a terminal illness and one of the specially trained agents of the Division begins to "think" and "feel" about what his part is in this secret group who have more power than anyone could conceive. How will what seems a straight-forward, simple plot be resolved? Fortunately, the simple becomes a complex, amazing plot that is fiction but could all too well be actual reality. Jeremy Burns is a true espionage writer who knows when to ramp up the action and when to insert some provocative description in a well-balanced tapestry of historical, adventure-packed fiction. Well done, indeed, Jeremy Burns!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Harvee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4/5 out of 5 stars. A political not a religious thriller, From the Ashes reminded me nevertheless of The DaVinci Code, in its message of old conspiracies, deadly secrets carried into the present, and lots of codes as clues. In this case, a graduate student Michael is killed when he discovers a political cover up from the days preceding and during WWII. His older brother Jon and his fiancee Mara find Michael's notebook with maps and notes and try to discover the secrets that led to Michael's death 4/5 out of 5 stars. A political not a religious thriller, From the Ashes reminded me nevertheless of The DaVinci Code, in its message of old conspiracies, deadly secrets carried into the present, and lots of codes as clues. In this case, a graduate student Michael is killed when he discovers a political cover up from the days preceding and during WWII. His older brother Jon and his fiancee Mara find Michael's notebook with maps and notes and try to discover the secrets that led to Michael's death. In the novel, the late John D. Rockefeller Jr. and the Hoover administration made decisions in he early 1930s regarding Germany, the Communist movement, and the emerging Nazi party. A secret arm of the CIA is hell bent on keeping these a secret and finding Rockefeller's revealing Dossiers, hidden among the buildings and monuments Rockefeller funded and built in the middle of Manhattan. Rather than the Vatican City as in the DaVinci Code, the setting the two protagonists rush through is Manhattan, where they discover clues that lead to other clues to the hidden Dossiers, which the Division is dedicated to find and either hide or destroy. Lots of action, with bad guys hunting Jon and Mara as they try to work their way in and out of this political and historical maze. A very enjoyable plot- centered read. How much of the history, if any, might be truth or fiction is left by the author for the reader to decide

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Kelly

    From the Ashes is an entertaining read which starts with the very bloody murder of Michael Rickner by an unknown assailant. Jon Rickner, his brother is off climbing, he receives a message from Mara Ellison , Michael's fiancee, that Michael is dead, a presumed a suicide. Why would a young man who just asked his girlfriend to marry him the night before and was so excited about his work commit suicide? It does not add up and as Jon soon learns, Michael was working on his dissertation of something t From the Ashes is an entertaining read which starts with the very bloody murder of Michael Rickner by an unknown assailant. Jon Rickner, his brother is off climbing, he receives a message from Mara Ellison , Michael's fiancee, that Michael is dead, a presumed a suicide. Why would a young man who just asked his girlfriend to marry him the night before and was so excited about his work commit suicide? It does not add up and as Jon soon learns, Michael was working on his dissertation of something that could conceivably change the course of history since the early 1920's onward. With the help of Michael's professor, and his fiancee Mara Ellison, he seeks to find out how his brother actually died. What follows is an unbelievable journey of conspiracy theories, Nazi's, assassins, a secret department of the US government, secrets that someone doesn't want known and adventure galore. A very fast paced, at times scary, dangerous, well researched and quite plausible story that takes Jon and Mara to churches, museums and to the very heart of New York City and its rich history. They both come to find that no one can be trusted and they are alone in their search for the truth. A book that will certainly keep the reader turning the pages, I loved every part of the story. The author is very knowledgeable and I look forward to reading more of his work. I give this book 5 stars...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alan Williams

    This is a great conspiracy thriller which mixes accurate historical facts with just enough fictional make-believe to spin a very strong tale. The action takes place both in Washington and New York, with both cities being accurately portrayed, adding to the strength of the story. The historical elements are very well done, without being overplayed or making the story drag. There’s just enough of a taste of history to make the whole story believable. The fictional side also seemed plausible, althou This is a great conspiracy thriller which mixes accurate historical facts with just enough fictional make-believe to spin a very strong tale. The action takes place both in Washington and New York, with both cities being accurately portrayed, adding to the strength of the story. The historical elements are very well done, without being overplayed or making the story drag. There’s just enough of a taste of history to make the whole story believable. The fictional side also seemed plausible, although I had problems believing that the conspiracy, really was something that required being covered up to such an extent. Even when it came out it didn’t cause that big a stir, ergo why the need for the level of cover-up? There were a couple of continuity problems that also detracted from the story e.g. cell phones that one minute don’t have voicemail, and yet the next minute do; which was a shame. The characters were believable and strong, they seemed human enough, and had strengths and flaws which added to the story. It was easy to see why they were doing what they were doing, particularly Jonathan and Mara. This would make a good holiday or travelling read, I could see myself sitting on a beach somewhere with a copy of this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dori

    I am often reading two books at one time. I just switch back and forth between them throughout the day...kinda like TV shows. Ironically enough, the book I chose to read in conjunction with this one was "Sarah's Key" (for which I just submitted a review) I don't think that I could have picked two more parallel stories to read together. This book is complicated...but in a nutshell, the basic premise of the story revolves around the theory that the United States borrowed money from JD Rockerfeller I am often reading two books at one time. I just switch back and forth between them throughout the day...kinda like TV shows. Ironically enough, the book I chose to read in conjunction with this one was "Sarah's Key" (for which I just submitted a review) I don't think that I could have picked two more parallel stories to read together. This book is complicated...but in a nutshell, the basic premise of the story revolves around the theory that the United States borrowed money from JD Rockerfeller to fund and support the rise of the Nazi Party and Hitler in Germany following WWI. This was done because the weakness of the Weimar Republic made Germany a hotspot and extremely vulnerable to, what was at that time,the real enemy: Communism. It would be hard to provide more description without spoiling the story, so I shall refrain from going further. I found this theory, this idea that the United States helped to bring one of the most vile men in history to power positively fascinating and beyond intriguing. Could it have happened, could it have been possible? Well, you'll have to read the story and come up with your own conclusions.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    There are always hidden secrets – everywhere you look. The Federal Government probably has more than most and one of them is the subject of this well-written book. A man is murdered and his brother isn’t believing the suicide decision made by the local cops. Jon heard about Michael’s death while climbing in Australia. Michael had just proposed to the love of his life, why would he end it? Jon and Michael’s fiancé, Mara, both agree on one thing: whatever Michael was researching got him killed and There are always hidden secrets – everywhere you look. The Federal Government probably has more than most and one of them is the subject of this well-written book. A man is murdered and his brother isn’t believing the suicide decision made by the local cops. Jon heard about Michael’s death while climbing in Australia. Michael had just proposed to the love of his life, why would he end it? Jon and Michael’s fiancé, Mara, both agree on one thing: whatever Michael was researching got him killed and when someone tries to take Jon out for being in his brother’s apartment they are positive. And they’re right. Michael had discovered something some very powerful people are willing to do anything to acquire. A piece of paper signed by the Federal Government and given to…..well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? Amazing historical research, very frightening agent-types and some people just trying to do the right thing and led into it quite nice by author Burns. Even if you don’t believe in secrets, this is a story of the first-order and if you like mysteries pick it up. You won’t be sorry.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed this Dan Brown-esk book. Jon sets off on a search that will turn the country's view after he exposes what really happened with the US and Hitler. Jon joins up with Mara, his murdered brother's fiance on a puzzle ridden journey through New York. Both of them are being tracked by "the devision" whose mission is to keep this conspiracy hidden from the public. The division's goal is to kill all that are a threat to expose the conspiracy. Jon and Mara don't know who to trust, especia I really enjoyed this Dan Brown-esk book. Jon sets off on a search that will turn the country's view after he exposes what really happened with the US and Hitler. Jon joins up with Mara, his murdered brother's fiance on a puzzle ridden journey through New York. Both of them are being tracked by "the devision" whose mission is to keep this conspiracy hidden from the public. The division's goal is to kill all that are a threat to expose the conspiracy. Jon and Mara don't know who to trust, especially when one of the division tells them a lot of information. It is a goal for Jon and Mara to continue to be alive and expose the conspiracy after numerous run ins with the division. Unfortunately, Mara is hospitalized after a gunshot wound. It is very surprise ending and the good guys do win, the bad guys lose. I couldn't put this book down and I encourage all Dan Brown fans to read this novel.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    This is a solid 4.5 stars for me. The government has been covering up its involvement in Hitler's rise to power. There's this uber secret group that makes its business to eliminate anyone with any idea about the secret cover up. A history student discovers it and is killed for his efforts. His fiance and adoring younger brother take up the task of finding out why and who killed him. Plenty of twists and turns, plenty of action, plenty of turning the spy, plenty of tourist guide to keep anyone ha This is a solid 4.5 stars for me. The government has been covering up its involvement in Hitler's rise to power. There's this uber secret group that makes its business to eliminate anyone with any idea about the secret cover up. A history student discovers it and is killed for his efforts. His fiance and adoring younger brother take up the task of finding out why and who killed him. Plenty of twists and turns, plenty of action, plenty of turning the spy, plenty of tourist guide to keep anyone happy. There's enough factual data to keep it interesting and true to life. There's plenty of fiction that could be truth to keep it interesting and true to life. No, I won't divulge the secret nor the ending. I guess you'll have to read it. Watch your back though because they're still out there.....or are they?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jonna

    I downloaded this book from Barnes & Noble to my Nook from their Free Fridays and this is the 2nd book I've gotten from there that I've really enjoyed. Yes, this is a "National Treasure" kind of story. Were there areas of the book that I felt were a little cheesy, of course. But that's why I liked it. It was a light, easy, enjoyable read. It was adventurous and fun. I liked the characters (at least most of them) and I liked the mystery - even if it was slightly predictable - because that's the kin I downloaded this book from Barnes & Noble to my Nook from their Free Fridays and this is the 2nd book I've gotten from there that I've really enjoyed. Yes, this is a "National Treasure" kind of story. Were there areas of the book that I felt were a little cheesy, of course. But that's why I liked it. It was a light, easy, enjoyable read. It was adventurous and fun. I liked the characters (at least most of them) and I liked the mystery - even if it was slightly predictable - because that's the kind of book you know you're reading. You're almost certain you know how it's going to end but it's really fun getting there. By means is this not in my top 10 of the most memorable books I've ever read, but it was entertaining and it was fun and I'd read more of Jeremy Burns books should he write more in this fashion.

  30. 4 out of 5

    William Bentrim

    From The Ashes by Jeremy Burns An action thriller with historic inferences might best describe this captivating book. Two Indiana Jones type brothers face a government cover-up and a generations old secret in this first of (I suspect.) the Jonathan Rickner thrillers. Mr. Burns does a nice job on the back story. He fills in blanks and fleshes out both the characters and the story. There is plenty of material alluded to that may provide the seeds for forthcoming books. I liked the characterizations From The Ashes by Jeremy Burns An action thriller with historic inferences might best describe this captivating book. Two Indiana Jones type brothers face a government cover-up and a generations old secret in this first of (I suspect.) the Jonathan Rickner thrillers. Mr. Burns does a nice job on the back story. He fills in blanks and fleshes out both the characters and the story. There is plenty of material alluded to that may provide the seeds for forthcoming books. I liked the characterizations and the action. The loyalty of Jonathan and Mara to a memory was touching. The tenacity to which they ascribed their quest was laudable. This story has a little something for everyone. Treachery, government conspiracies, Nazi politics and pre-cold war machinations all combine in a very good book. I recommend the book.

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