cover image Echoes of the Dead

Echoes of the Dead

Spencer Kope. Minotaur, $28.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-17940-1

Kope’s tense fourth Special Tracking Unit novel (after 2020’s Shadows of the Dead) pits FBI tracker Magnus “Steps” Craig against a mysterious killer with a twisted vendetta. When four men disappear during a fly-fishing trip, Steps is called to the Upper Kern River outside of Bakersfield, Calif., to investigate. After one of the four turns up dead in a sadistic scenario, Steps—who can see what he calls “shine,” a person’s aura left behind on the things they’ve touched—realizes time is running out to save the remaining men. Steps’s task is complicated further by one of the missing men being a divisive politician with more than a few enemies. Steps’s partner, Jimmy Donovan, and intelligence analyst Diane Parker provide grounding with their ordinary human capabilities. Though fueled by relentless pacing and an impressively knotty plot, the real narrative power comes from Steps’s ability to see shine and the questions raised about death and beyond, which add a philosophical element to this singular saga. Paranormal thriller fans are in for a treat. Agent: Kimberley Cameron, Kimberley Cameron & Assoc. (Sept.)