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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Echoes

The Kinship Series Book 4

ISBN: 9781250839664

Publisher: St Martins Press/Minotaur Books

Publication Date: 03/29/2022

Format: Other

Macmillan Audio

Audiobook Narrated by Susan Bennett

My Rating: 4 Stars (ARC)

The fourth in Jess Montgomery's evocative Kinship series, The Echoes combines exquisite storytelling with extraordinary crime plotting.

"A beautifully written tour de force."

—Linda Castillo on The Stills

As July 4, 1928 approaches, Sheriff Lily Ross and her family look forward to the opening of an amusement park in a nearby town, created by Chalmer Fitzpatrick—a veteran and lumber mill owner. When Lily is alerted to the possible drowning of a girl, she goes to investigate and discovers schisms going back several generations, in an ongoing dispute over the land on which Fitzpatrick has built the park.

Lily's family life is soon rattled, too, with the revelation that before he died, her brother had a daughter, Esme, with a woman in France, and arrangements have been made for Esme to immigrate to the U.S. to live with them. But Esme never makes it to Kinship, and soon Lily discovers that she has been kidnapped. Not only that, but a young woman is indeed found murdered in the fishing pond on Fitzpatrick's property, at the same time that a baby is left on his doorstep.

As the two crimes interweave, Lily must confront the question of what makes family: can we trust those we love? And what do we share, and what do we keep secret?

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"An evocative and beautifully written tale of hardship, love, and kinship."

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“The multiple plot lines… are interwoven magnificently in this atmospheric tale, rich in historical detail, the fourth in the Kinship series.”


Praise for the Kinship Series:

"A beautifully written, finely crafted, character-based mystery that uses historical detail to enhance a powerful story."

―Kirkus Reviews (Starred) on The Stills

"Like Sharyn McCrumb’s and Julia Keller’s thrillers, this third Lily Ross tale (following The Hollows, 2020) is a fine example of Appalachian storytelling, thoughtfully portraying characters at the intersections of kinship, poverty, power, and survival."

―Booklist on The Stills

"The Widows kept me on the edge of my seat. Montgomery is a masterful storyteller."

―Lee Martin, author of Pulitzer Prize-Finalist The Bright Forever

"The Widows is a gripping, beautifully written novel about two women avenging the murder of the man they both loved."

―Hallie Ephron, New York Times bestselling author of You'll Never Know, Dear

"With a seemingly effortless touch, Montgomery manages to deftly weave together believable characters, dark historical truths, and an enthralling mystery in The Hollows. The result is genuinely mysterious and utterfly satisfying."

―Greer Macallister, author of Woman 99 and The Magician's Life

"The Hollows is much more than a murder mystery. It weaves racial integration, labor organizing in the Appalachian coal mines, prohibition and women's rights through the narrative, set against an authentic backdrop crafted by Montgomery's careful attention to historic detail."

―Associated Press

"A simultaneous examination of women's rights, coal mining, prohibition, and Appalachian life, this is a fantastic choice for historical fiction fans."

―Library Journal (Starred) on The Widows

My Review

Inspired by Ohio's first female sheriff in 1925, each Kinship Mystery Series written by the talented storyteller—Jess Montgomery includes co-narrators with Sheriff Lily Ross, the protagonist. Smartly written each co-narrator may have a different perspective on Lily and her case.

THE ECHOES is a powerful story, a mix of historical mystery, rural and Gothic. Fans and newcomers will enjoy the tenacious Sheriff Lily Ross. The fourth in the Kinship mystery series.

In the Echoes, her mom is one of the co-narrators, Beulah McArthur—and she has plenty of SECRETS. She has not always been comfortable with her daughter Lily having such a dangerous job. (can you imagine back in this period).

The plot revolves around Roger, Lily's brother and Beulah's son Roger and his time in the Great War, deceased. Both Lily and Beulah work together to resolve the numerous issues in The Echoes, which also helps connect them.

The other co-narrator is Esmé, the secret daughter Roger fathered in France, and now her mother's family can no longer care for her due to health reasons, she is sent to them. However, things do not go as planned.

The novel starts on July 4, 1928, at the opening of an amusement park named after Lily's brother, who died during the war. Chalmer Fitzpatrick is the owner.

However, a dark shadow falls on the town with more than one tragedy. Pearl Riley is found murdered in the park's pond.

Chalmer's wife, Sophia, finds a month-old infant by their side door. Was the baby an affair with Chalmer and Pearl? However, Sophia has secrets of her own, among many others.

Lily does not know about her brother Roger's daughter that her mom had kept a secret. Beulah now has arranged to have Esmé come from France to America, and she is only 9 yrs old, with a chaperone.

However, along the way, Esmé goes missing. Was she kidnapped? If so, the motive?

Many secrets keep the drama and suspense high from the baby, the affairs, and then more murders. There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, and Lily and her family have their work cut out for them. How are all the components connected?

Everyone involved in the novel is trying to protect their family, but how far will they go?

A story of family, love, loss, and traumas— PTSD from the war to those who have experienced traumatic events. How do we deal with traumas as it echoes through families and personal lives? A fitting title. Asks several questions: what war does do to soldiers' minds and how does trauma trickle through generations of families, communities, and countries.

You will enjoy this Kinship series if you love strong women and historical fiction. I really enjoyed this author's writing. While this was the first book in the series I have had the opportunity to read, I would recommend reading the prior ones, even though it can be read as a standalone. I look forward to reading THE WIDOWS, THE HOLLOWS, and THE STILLS.

I read the e-book and listened to the audiobook narrated by the fabulous Susan Bennett for an entertaining listening experience. Highly recommend the audiobook.

Thank you to #StMartinsPress, #MacmillianAudio, and #NetGalley for an ARC to read, enjoy, and review.

@JudithDCollins |#JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

About the Author

Jess Montgomery is the author of the Kinship Historical Mysteries, set in 1920s Appalachian Ohio and inspired by Ohio’s true first female sheriff. Under her given name, she writes the “Level Up Your (Writing) Life” column for Writer’s Digest. She also hosts the “Tea with Jess: Chatting with Authors & Artists” in which creatives share their journeys and insights. She was formerly a newspaper columnist, focusing on the literary life, authors and events of her native Dayton, Ohio for the Dayton Daily News. She is a three-time recipient of the Individual Excellence Award in Literary Arts from Ohio Arts Council, a two-time recipient of the Montgomery County (Ohio) Arts & Cultural District (MCAD) Artist Opportunity Grant, and has been a John E. Nance Writer in Residence at Thurber House (Columbus, Ohio). WEBSITE



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