My rating: 3 of 5 stars
To my satisfaction, Death Echo is one of the stronger Elizabeth Lowell thrillers I’ve read in a while. It’s #4 of her St. Kilda Consulting series, and of the set of those, this one so far has been my favorite. I’m pleased in particular that our heroine, Emma Cross, is the St. Kilda agent, while hero Mackenzie Durand is the freelance boat captain she has to work with; this does much to put these two on a more equal footing than I’ve seen in many Lowell novels.
Death Echo‘s conflict is driven by Emma’s mission to track down a yacht called the Blackbird, and discover what its intended cargo will be–for there’s a threat to a major American city at stake. Mac’s part in the plot is to provide her boat transport, and, familiar as I am with Lowell’s older novels, this called back hard to Amber Beach. But I enjoyed this book much more than that earlier novel, in no small part because of that equal footing I mentioned. There’s a great tense sequence through the climax where Emma has to take over the boat she and Mac are on, thanks to what happens to poor Mac. And if you’re at all familiar with this kind of romantic suspense novel, you can probably easily fill in that blank.
As always with Lowell, there’s angst-filled pasts galore for hero and heroine alike, and still nothing here that’s terribly new for her. Still, though, this felt like a maturer work than many of hers, and it was a good solid read. Three stars.