Friday, February 8, 2013

Mystery Monday - Dying Echo

Dying Echo
  by Judy Clemens

  Poisoned Pen Press
  August 2012

"Who were the three people she spoke of when Death carried her away?"

It was quiet that fall evening when Alicia McManus left her waitressing job at The Slope and walked home. She was tired and thoughtful and lonely. She was also nervous.

In the distance she could see the Colorado mountains and the ski lifts at the brightly lit resorts and the real restaurants. But in her mind she was thinking it was time to leave town ... after all, she had stayed in this town longer than she had been anywhere else in the past twenty years. She had messed up and now she wasn't safe. And neither were those around her.

Like her boss and her landlord, and Ricky. Especially Ricky. 

By the end of the first chapter we know that Alicia isn't her real name, she had made seventeen dollar and thirty-three cents in tips, it was a Thursday and a good night for company. But in the end she couldn't outrun her tragic past.

When Ricky is arrested his sister Casey Maldonado and her ever present companion Death show up to prove his innocence ... no small feat given her past and her own open murder warrant to worry about. Casey must sort the truth from the elaborate fiction of Alicia's life in order to clear Ricky's name, but as Casey investigates the woman's secrets it becomes clear just how alike their lives appear.  Can Casey save her brother and herself?

The author has chosen a unique idea for the series (This is #4 in the Grim Reaper - paranormal - Series) and it is apparent that she is an experienced storyteller. I suspect fans of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse (Southern Vampire Series) will enjoy this one.

A note from Annette Rogers* -

Dear Reader,
  What I like most about Casey Maldonado in Judy Clemens' Dying Echo is that she's unsparing and tough. Casey's often compared to Lee child's Jack Reacher because they both walk the earth fixing problems, solving crimes, and physically fighting to get their point across. They're our solitary knights, traveling the mean streets of mystery.
  Reacher has the edge of military experience, confidence, training, and intimidating physique. Casey's edge is less obvious. She's spent years on the run, trying to escape grief and loss from a deadly accident, tempering her body and mind by isolating herself socially....

* Annette Rogers is the Acquisitions Editor at Poisoned Pen Press.

Note: A copy of this review is posted on

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