cover image The Echo Killing

The Echo Killing

Christi Daugherty. Minotaur, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-14884-1

Newspaper reporter Harper McClain, the narrator of YA author Daugherty’s uneven adult debut, peers through a window at a crime scene on a quiet Savannah, Ga., street and spies single mother Marie Whitney lying naked on her kitchen floor, covered in stab wounds. The tableau is identical to what Harper saw 15 years earlier, when she came home from school to find her own mother dead. The police claim that it’s unlikely the same person committed both murders, but Harper remains convinced. As the Whitney case starts to cool, Harper becomes increasingly desperate and reckless, breaking rules, burning bridges, and endangering her own life in an attempt to link the two women and catch their killer. What begins as an overwritten, overwrought crime novel with a laughably hard-bitten protagonist relaxes into an engrossing, multifaceted mystery with snappy dialogue, a well-drawn cast of characters, and a sizzling romantic subplot. The book ends with a clever plot twist that paves the way for a sequel. Readers will eagerly await Harper’s further adventures. Agent: Madeleine Milburn, Madeleine Milburn Literary (U.K.). (Mar.)