From Helen FitzGerald, bestselling author of The Cry, comes Ash Mountain, an Australian disaster thriller you will never forget.

Click here to read the first chapter, before the book lands on shelves on 23 February.

Australian-born, Glasgow-based FitzGerald draws on her memories of growing up in rural Victoria to craft a vivid portrayal of small-town life. The novel follows Fran, who thought she’d never return to Ash Mountain – but her dad has become ill, her relationship is over, and she hates her dead-end job in the city anyway. In a sweltering summer, childhood memories prick at her fragile self-esteem as old friendships and rivalries are renewed and new ones forged. But the tumult of her home life is the least of her worries, because a bushfire is roaring towards Ash Mountain, and the town’s long-held secrets will soon be exposed in the carnage.

Ash Mountain is uniquely Australian domestic noir – warm, blackly funny and a powder keg of accumulated tension. But don’t just take our word for it …

Praise for Ash Mountain

‘Haunting, thrilling, dark, funny and devastating’ Christian White

‘This is a writer at the absolute top of her game’ Erin Kelly

‘I’m a huge fan of Helen FitzGerald’s offbeat characters and mordant wit … As a terrifying bushfire rampages through a close-knit community, secrets great and small are up for grabs – which will survive and which be buried with their owners? I loved it!’ Louise Candlish

‘You are a GENIUS Helen FitzGerald. I bow down to your craziness and passion’ Louise Beech

‘It’s dark, yes, but with an effusive sense of humanity at its heart … highly recommended’ Mystery People

‘Fitzgerald is back with a new all-grown-up, returning-home drama that shows both the funny and tragic side of small-town life’ The Sun

‘Once again Helen Fitzgerald kicks it out the park – don’t miss it’ Chapter in my Life

‘A haunting poignancy … with rays of light via Helen’s humour’ The Reading Closet

‘A tour de force. It still gives me goose bumps to think about it’ Live & Deadly

‘There was the right amount of thrills, humour and drama that kept the pace moving throughout’ Afternoon Bookery

‘A compelling and gripping read’ Raven Crime Reads

‘This book is a little bit mystery, a dash of thriller, and a heaped scoop of literary fiction mixed together to create something that every reader can appreciate’ What Jess Reads

‘A difficult, thought-provoking read, made all the more real by the recent bushfires that tore through Australia’ Feminisia Libros

‘A poignant book that will stay with you’ Jackie’s Reading Corner

‘An engaging, gritty read … Helen’s edgy writing is completely unique and not a word is wasted … her best work to date’ Tales before Bedtime

‘A fast-paced read. It is the first time I’ve read one of Helen’s novels and I will definitely read more’ Emma’s Biblio Treasures

‘A beautifully rendered, diverse cast of characters and an outstanding sense of place’ Hair Past a Freckle

‘I could feel the heat of the fire as the inferno reached its peak … hauntingly beautiful and yet scary at the same time’ Ebook Addicts

‘A rollercoaster from start to finish … absolutely outstanding and heartbreaking … five stars all the way!’ The Twist and Turn Book Blog

‘A very different and thought-provoking read’ Nicki’s Book Blog

‘Fitzgerald is a master of her trade and a pleasure to read’

Cheryl M-M’s Book Blog

‘The joy of a thriller is all the twists and turns, trying to work out where the story is going and then being proved wrong over and over again … this story does that multiple times and I just couldn’t put it down’ PRDG Reads

‘Fitzgerald explores some really important issues … sexuality, sexual abuse and death … which make this novel really poignant’ Portable Magic

‘This haunting and evocative story is not one that I will easily forget’ The Book Magnet

‘Will keep you hooked right until the last page. Helen Fitzgerald is a unique voice’ Hooked from Page One

‘Completely engaging and so easy to read’ Online Blanket Fort

‘Atmospheric, gripping, relevant and intense … blew me away! This author has never let me down’ Crime Book Junkie

‘This story really captivated me and I just kept turning the pages needing to know more’ Read to Ramble

‘An intricate plot and wonderful, if dysfunctional characters. Hard hitting with its devastating conclusion, this is a thriller I won’t forget in a hurry’ Book Literati

‘A beautiful, heart-warming story … Dark in places, gritty and tense … you feel the heat and smoke from the fire’ Books behind the Title

‘Beautifully written, laced through with humour … with a breathtaking, devastating denouement’ Suze Reviews

‘A great mix of drama, tragedy and dark humour’ Over the Rainbow Book Blog

‘Will keep readers gripped … and have them desperately counting down the days until the next exquisitely plotted and brilliantly told thriller from this immensely talented writer’ Bookish Jottings