In Dying Echo by Judy Clemens, we meet Casey Maldonado who has not been back to her hometown since her husband and young son were killed in a car accident. Now that her younger brother has been arrested for murdering his girlfriend, she is compelled to return to Colorado to help him. However, his girlfriend Alicia seems to have been living a secret life because there is no documentation of her existence prior to a few months earlier. As Casey tries to find out Alicia’s identity and why someone would want her dead, she stumbles onto a cold case from nearly 20 years ago. While Casey confronts her past demons, she must learn to rely on others again.
Dying Echo is the fourth book in the Grim Reaper Series. I have not read any of the previous books, but I believe doing so would probably help the reader understand Casey’s background better. Throughout the story, the personification of Death follows Casey everywhere. However, Death is not portrayed as someone bringing doom and gloom. Instead, it is a rather humorous and insightful being leading Casey on the right paths to search for clues to help her brother. It also seems to want to help Casey get back to living a happy and healthy life.
Dying Echo is a solidly written and entertaining story. Much of the book focuses on research and fact-finding missions to uncover Alicia’s past. Also prominently featured are Casey’s struggles to face her losses and to move forward in forming close relationships with new people. The action comes in at the latter stages of the book as the truth about the cold case begins to unravel. There are some editing issues in this work. I am working with an uncorrected proof, so I hope those problems are fixed prior to its release.
Dying Echo is written for an adult audience who enjoy a good mystery and at the same time likes to understand the heroine’s background. Humor, drama, and raw emotion are incorporated into the story to help it feel more personal. I am interested in reading more about Casey and whether she will be able to escape from Death.
(Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views)