Death Echo by Elizabeth Lowell
Death Echo is another Elizabeth Lowell book featuring St. Kilda Consulting operatives. She started putting them out in 2006, with The Wrong Hostage; Death Echo is her fourth book using this backdrop.
This time around, our heroine is Emma Cross, an ex-CIA agent who’s tasked with finding missing yachts as part of her work for St. Kilda. She and St. Kilda enlist the help of Mac Durand when he’s the hired skipper of a yacht that may or may not be the one Emma is looking for. Throw in a Russian who means business, U.S. government pressures, and some shady characters and you’ve got the basic recipe for Death Echo.
Emma and Mac are well-developed protagonists. As a reader, I understood where they were coming from and why they made certain decisions. One thing that wasn’t as excellent as usual was the romance between them. Usually, Elizabeth Lowell does a fantastic job of crafting the romantic elements of her book but I felt like the relationship between Mac and Emma was lacking a bit of her usual flair. I’ve been trying to pinpoint why this might be but I’m coming up empty, I’m afraid. It’s really just a feeling, more than anything.
This doesn’t mean that I disliked the book. On the contrary, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It was fun to have Joe and Grace as secondary characters and Elizabeth Lowell is a master of writing mysterious spooks. I also really liked how much of the story we got from the perspective of the bad guy, which doesn’t always happen in her books.
I’ve been an Elizabeth Lowell fan for years and am always entertained by her stories. They are full of wonderful characters and intriguing plots, and are beautifully written. They’re the books I can go back to time and again, revisiting the characters, which isn’t something I can say for all of the authors I’ve read. There are other books in her catalogue that I prefer but Death Echo is definitely a strong entry.
Other St. Kilda Consulting books (click on title to purchase through The Book Depository)