Ever since she was twelve years old, Harper McClain has had an intimate connection with death. Now, as a reporter for the Daily News, Harper uses her spot-on gut instincts and nearly obsessive attention to detail to cover the stuff that happens during the dark hours of the night in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia.
Harper is a crime reporter, and she’s great at her job.
One night, while working on a story she was covering from the actual crime scene, Harper caught a glimpse of a victim’s body and was taken aback by the similarities to her mother’s murder so many years ago. Marie Whitney, the woman whom the police just discovered was murdered, was — like Harper’s mother — lying naked on the floor with multiple stab wounds covering her whole body. Even more bizarre is the fact that Whitney’s mutilated body was discovered by her twelve-year-old daughter, who is precisely the same age that Harper was when she returned home from school to find her own mother dead.
Police seem positive that the cases are not in any way connected, but Harper cannot get over how much Marie Whitney’s murder echoes that of her mother, and sets about proving her theory that the same killer is behind both murders.
Thankfully for Harper, she has some help. Her cameraman, Miles Jackson, shares her passion to never let a story go — and helps her exhaust all possible leads. Robert Smith, the head of Savanah’s crime unit, played an active role in Harper’s upbringing, especially after her father became the primary suspect in her mother’s murder (he was cleared, but his relationship with Harper remains damaged). And then there’s Luke Walter, Harper’s lover, though the two are forced to keep their relationship a secret because Walter is an undercover police officer, and a cop dating a crime reporter is, well, seriously frowned upon.
While Jackson, Smith, and Walter all care about Harper and want to help her see her theories through to the end, they don’t all agree with her assessment that the murderer is a cop — something she keys in on due to the lack of physical evidence at both crime scenes. Harper, meanwhile, risks everything — including relationships — to try and prove what she believes, leading to a shocking ending that paves the way for at least one more book in this universe moving forward.
Christi Daugherty delivers in a big way. Harper McClain is a compelling new character, and The Echo Killing is a great book with serious franchise potential. . . fans of Meg Gardiner and Lisa Gardner will devour this book!
Author: Christi Daugherty
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck is the editor-in-chief of The Real Book Spy, and one of the thriller genre’s most well-recognized critics. He currently lives in southwest Michigan with his wife and their five children. For more information, make sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook!