Happy release day!
Thanks to Sourcebooks Landmark for the free early copy in exchange for my honest review
THE NIGHT WE BURNED – S.F. Kosa (Released August 10th, 2021)
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 murder crops up in her old town, one linked to a deadly fire at a cult compound twenty years prior, suddenly all of Dora’s carefully spun deceptions are at risk.
Because she’s seen a murder like this before. She knows what the police missed.
And if she doesn’t stop the story, she may be next.
As Dora follows the journalist, altering facts to hide her identity 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.
And Dora knows, she won’t be lucky enough to escape twice.
My Thoughts: 5/5 stars
The blurb had me at “mysterious cult fire” and I’m so happy I picked this up. THE NIGHT WE BURNED is my second book by SF Kosa and while I loved THE QUIET GIRL, I think this is my favorite of the two. Dual timelines, an online fact-checker, murder, and all with connections to a cult? Prepare for an exciting thriller that really looks into the lasting effects from being in a cult and the psychological repercussions it can have on a person.
What I loved the most was that at the back of the book, the author (who is also a psychologist) explained that she took inspiration from real events and cults to write this book – like Jonestown, Heaven’s Gate, the Brand Davidians, and even Manson’s Family. Her research shows and I was absolutely fascinated by the Oracles of Innocence (the fictional cult in this book). This is why you should always read the Author’s Note or any Q&A’s that could be hiding at the end of the story.
The dual timelines really gave us a good look at how life was while in the cult and trying to live life after escaping. If you haven’t been in this situation, it’s incredibly hard to imagine how difficult it must be mentally and emotionally to leave that all behind you. I think Kosa does a great job highlighting this and really developing our main characters. I don’t want to give away too much about the plot, but you’re definitely in for an addictive thriller. While there were some aspects I was able to guess, I wasn’t able to guess the ending (which is always a plus!). Highly recommend picking up her books and I’m already anxiously waiting for her next one.