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The Echo by [Walters, Minette]
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The Echo Kindle Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“[A] cunning psychological mystery.” —The New York Times

“Sinuous plotting.” —Chicago Tribune

“Hypnotic.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“A twisting tale of love and guilt.” —USA Today

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

The broadcast of the brilliant film adaptations of her novels on Showcase has crowned Minette Walters the new queen of British mystery writers. Her career has been little short of astonishing: With her debut novel, The Ice House, she won the British Crime Writers' Association John Creasey Award for the best first crime novel of 1992. Her second mystery, The Sculptress, won the U.S. Edgar Allan Poe Award for the best crime novel published in 1993. In 1994, she achieved a unique triple when The Scold's Bridle was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of the year. Her fourth novel, The Dark Room, received further critical acclaim when it appeared in 1995. The Echo, her fifth novel, was said by many reviewers to be her best, most intriguing mystery to date. Her sixth novel, The Breaker, was similarly praised and her seventh, The Shape of Snakes, was published to rave reviews. Minette Walters lives in Dorset, England.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3594 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (March 25, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 25, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #102,011 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Briefly, I think this book stands up to anything Ruth Rendell has written. Tightly plotted, characters are fully sketched, etc. The scan is bad and wasn't proofed and the result is hard to ignore. It might be worth it to shell out for the paper version. Amazon, this Kindle version needs work!!
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Format: Paperback
Minette Walters is a British author of mystery novels. In The Echo she brings together a wide array of characters whose lives have intersected through murder and other crimes for decades. It begins, however, not with a murder, but with a suicide. Billy Blake has died of starvation in a woman's garage, although plenty of food was within reach. Michael Deacon begins to investigate the story, hoping to bring some meaning to the plight of the homeless. His research brings to light the years' old disappearance of two men, one after his wife's suicide and the other after allegedly embezzling 10 million pounds. He questions Amanda Powell, who found Billy, and he befriends a homeless teenager and a colleague in his efforts to track down Billy's true identity. Through the course of his research he manages to solve several other mysteries.

I found this book to be a quick, engaging read, although the coincidences throughout the plot are very far-fetched. Nevertheless, Walters brings her main characters to life, and the dialogue is amusing. Michael is believable as the lonely reporter who will follow every lead to get his story, and the other characters are well-developed. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys detective and mystery fiction.
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Format: Paperback
I struggled through more than 400 pages of this novel, spurred on by the reviews that said how brilliant a writer Minette Walters was. I did something I have never done before -- I stopped about 20 pages from the end and told myself, "To hell with it." The intervening plots and complications become so confusing it is difficult to see where anything is going. I am not trying to be clever or facetious when I saw there were just too many words in this book -- about 60% more than there should have been. My suggestion: Don't waste your time with it.
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Format: Paperback
The mystery is, why would a homeless man seek out the residence of a certain Amanda Powell, an apparent stranger, and starve himself to death in the privacy of her garage within a few feet of a full freezer? The dead man in question was one Billy Blake, an apparently well-educated, 60-something (by the look of him) drunk, an occasional thief and, by his own admission, a one-time murderer. Billy slept in an abandoned warehouse by the river with a bunch of others in similar straits. He preached redemption, raved like a lunatic when he was drunk, mortified his flesh occasionally, and acted as mentor to an intelligent but under-educated homeless minor.

The case of Billy's death interests journalist Michael Deacon, the principal character of Minette Walters's The Echo. Michael winds up investigating the connections between Billy's death and a pair of celebrated disappearances: the embezzler James Streeter, who may have been murdered, and the diplomat Peter Fenton, who vanished after his wife killed herself. Walters's story is complex and not always easy to follow, though the plot is summarized neatly at the end so that one puts the book down, at least, with a fairly clear sense of what happened in it.

The book is, on the one hand, very impressive: Walters has created a very credible world, peopled by credible characters. Reading it is rather like watching one of those gritty British police dramas in which the characters all have heavy accents and you're not really sure what's going on, but the acting's so good that you keep watching. (In fact, The Echo was made into a BBC1 drama in 1998; I haven't seen it, though, so don't know whether it's in fact just that sort of gritty police drama.) The problem with the book, however, is that reading it is such hard work.
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