The Night We Burned
by S F Kosa
A new psychological thriller from suspense powerhouse S.F. Kosa featuring a decades-old secret, a mysterious cult fire, and a woman looking to outrun the ashes of her past...until they come roaring back once more.
Dora is always aware of the line between fact and fiction. As a fact checker at an online magazine, her job depends on it. And as a woman outrunning her secrets, so does her life. But when a colleague decides to pursue a story about a murder in her hometown, one linked to a deadly fire at a cult compound twenty years prior, suddenly all of Dora's carefully spun deceptions are at risk.
And if she can't stop the story, her entire life is on the line.
As Dora works with her colleague, altering facts to hide her past along the way, she's thrown back into a world she tried desperately to leave behind. One of ritual and belonging, of danger and darkness. A world where two girls promised to help each other through...until it all went up in flames.
As her lies pile up, so do the murders. Until Dora realizes she won't be lucky enough to escape twice.
The Night We Burned is a non-stop, timeline-flipping story of secrets and lies. We meet Christy, who is drawn into a seemingly friendly self-sufficient group, living together and working together. The reader, like Christy, soon realises that all is not as it first seems, and, whilst her new friend, Eszter, may be kind, there are sinister goings on in this cult known as Oracles of innocence.
This eventually leads to a large fire at the compound, from which Christy escapes.
Twenty years later, we find her working for Hatchet, a new online magazine in Seattle. She’s working as Dora Rodriguez, her latest incarnation, as a copy editor and fact-checker. She’s settled, happy. Then a story breaks that threatens it all.
Miles, a dogged colleague, has got hold of a story. The investigative reporter is intrigued by a death at a trailer park. After a trailer burned, a man’s body had been found in a bath. But, rather than being killed by fumes or flames, he’d been stabbed to death, a rock placed in his mouth.
Dora offers to join Miles on the case. As a researcher, her job if to make sure that the magazine’s stories are clear and corroborated, only this time, she wants to steer the story away from her.
As the story unravels, it’s clear that Dora’s past has caught her. Dora runs, and runs, a form of control, but she can’t outrun this! Used to hiding her physical and mental scars, Dora may have to deal with the survivors of the cult, who are being bumped off. After she’s recognised, the race to avoid prosecution, and worse, is well and truly on.
The novel ends with a twist I didn’t see coming. Will you?
About the Author
S.F. Kosa is a clinical psychologist with a fascination for the seedy underbelly of the human psyche. Though The Quiet Girl is her debut psychological suspense novel, writing as Sarah Fine, she is the author of over two dozen fantasy, urban fantasy, sci-fi, and romance novels, several of which have been translated into multiple languages. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their (blended) brood of five young humans.