Book Review: The Echo Killing

I confess, I don’t read a lot of thrillers and those I do I usually don’t like. Usually, it’s not because of the plot. It’s because of the characters. And if you read my post about Books I Read April, 2018, you’ll know this review was coming and that I gave this book 4 stars. Which means I liked it, right? Yep, for the most part I did enjoy it, but you guys know I never give a completely positive review—I love my critiques. So, let’s go!

Release: March 13, 2018

Plot: Harper Mcclain is a crime reporter living in Savannah, Georgia. When she was a young child, she came home to find her mother brutally murdered. Her murder was never solved. Now, fifteen years later, another mother is murdered…in exactly the same way as Harper’s mother, with her young daughter finding her. Now, Harper begins to investigate, determined that the two cases are connected.

Non-Spoiler Review

The plot is one of the best I have read from a thriller in a long time. While I suspected who the murderer was, I was even questioning my theories throughout the book. From the first page to the last page, I was pulled into this plot completely. I could hardly put the book down and sat on the edge of my seat with every discovery Harper made. I will say the ending left me a little disappointed, but I’ll get to that in the spoiler part.

Just as the plot was exceptional, so was the immersion into the world. Christi Daughtery, the author, worked for many years as a crime writer for a newspaper around the Savannah area, and the setting really shows this. From the realism of Harper’s communication with co-workers and her job to the feel of being in Savannah, the setting was amazing. While Daughtery admits in her acknowledgments that most of the places mentioned, as well as the police force, for fictional, it still feels real.

Now, this wouldn’t be my review without looking at the things I didn’t like about the book. And most of these critiques surrounded the characters. Honestly, I didn’t like them.

For one, there were way too many characters who were pointless to the plot. One example was Bonnie, Harper’s friend who works as a bartender. She only showed up when Harper needed to talk about her love interest Luke Walker. She was pointless otherwise, and added nothing to the plot or character development. I mean, she was introduced on page 45, and then is forgotten about until page 136…that’s pretty bad. And there were many minor characters besides her that took pretty pointless roles.

But nothing could go higher than my hatred for the romance. Let me just say, I liked both Harper’s character and her on-and-off boyfriend and undercover police officer Luke Walker. They were both interesting in their own respects and when they were discussing the mystery. However, when it came to their personally relationship, it was horrible.

There was little growth and most of the time it was more about them arguing and then jumping in bed together. While there was certainly the sexual attraction between them, that was all. There was no relatability between them or a connection of their ideals, interests, and getting to know each other.

I mean, Luke literally points out, “I like the way you look, Harper” (pg. 211). That was all there was. They liked the way each other looked. There was never a scene where they started to get to know each other and build an emotional relationship outside of sex. If that makes sense…

Now, onto the spoiler section.

Spoiler’s Ahead!

This will be a rather short section.

I absolutely loved how the author kept making me question whether the two crimes were connected. Everyone started thinking Harper was crazy for thinking the murderer was the same, but I will confess I was disappointed that the murderer was not the same and, though they were slightly connected—as the murderer of the second investigated the first—we were left with a lot of questions. While I didn’t mind this, it did prove to everyone that Harper was slightly crazy in connecting the two. If there wasn’t that dilemma throughout the book, I wouldn’t have minded this twist.

Honestly, this book would have definitely been five stars if the characters and romance had been better. Though I will concede that, if all you care about is the mystery, than this book was amazing. But still, despite the issues I had with this book, I did enjoy it.

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Madame Writer

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