Monday, March 28, 2022

The Echoes by Jess Montgomery

 
First Line: Esmé nearly escapes.
 
As July 4, 1928 approaches, everyone in the Kinship, Ohio area is looking forward to the opening of an amusement park created by veteran and lumber mill owner Chalmer Fitzpatrick. When Sheriff Lily Ross is alerted to the possible drowning of a girl on Fitzpatrick's property, she goes to investigate and winds up discovering old animosities that go back generations. There's long been a dispute concerning land that the amusement park is built on.

While Lily is involved with events surrounding the amusement park, her entire family is rocked by the news that before Lily's brother died, he had a daughter, Esmé, with a woman in France. Arrangements have been made for Esmé to immigrate to the U.S. to live with them, but the little girl never arrives, and Lily soon learns that she's been kidnapped. 

To further complicate matters, a young woman is indeed found murdered in the pond on Fitzpatrick's land, and a baby is left on the mill owner's doorstep. As the two crimes begin to interweave, Lily must confront some tough questions about what makes family. Can we really trust the people we love? What do we share? What do we keep secret?

~

Jess Montgomery's Kinship historical mystery series is one that all lovers of the genre should read. These books-- and The Echoes is no exception-- are filled with evocative storytelling, intricate plotting, and compelling characters. Small, telling details put readers right into the time period. Who would have believed that there'd be such a thing as a parking lot for automobiles? And that "cardboard fan with a flat wooden handle from the funeral home" made me look for the one that's been in our family since 1909. (Yes, I did find it.) Then there are also aggravating details such as the fact that married women weren't allowed to be schoolteachers, and the derogatory way some folks there in Kinship call Lily Ross "She-riff." 

But it's the people, not the historical details, that are the flesh and bone and blood of The Echoes. Esmé, a little girl kidnapped in a strange land. Lily's mother, Beulah, who keeps too many secrets. Other people "so proud of their hate" that they carry it "like a torch." (Have you ever been able to understand people like that? Neither have I.) And Lily Ross herself. Strong. Indomitable. So sure of herself and her convictions that she tends to scare the people who know her best. 

Montgomery shows us-- and shows us in lyrical, heart-bruising style-- that hurt only needs to find people once for it to echo through the rest of their lives. This is a marvelous series and one that should not be missed.

The Echoes by Jess Montgomery
eISBN: 9781250623430
Minotaur Books © 2022
eBook, 320 pages
 
Historical Mystery, #4 Kinship mystery
Rating: A
Source: Net Galley

12 comments:

  1. That's definitely the key to strong series, Cathy: well-developed characters, strong, tight plotting, and a sense of setting. I feel bad that I've not tried this series yet, although I know about it. I know, I know - what's keeping me?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this recommendation. Judy

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the sound of this one! And yay...my library has it and the other books in this series. I will definitely be checking them out. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this series. Can't wait to read this book.

    Is Malvena in it, one of my favorite characters?

    I've had this on library hold for months.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am one behind on this series, but have The Stills checked out from the library right now. And I'm first on the list for this book, The Echoes. I've been catching up on series that I'm a little behind on. I finished the 3rd Sujata Massey book set in India, The Bombay Prince, this morning. From India in the '20's to Ohio in the '20's...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The 1920s are becoming very popular in crime fiction, aren't they?

      Delete
  6. It seems especially in crime fiction set in India, and also in England for some reason. I guess for Britain, it was post WWI and a lot happened then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. England was hard-hit by the war. So many thousands of men used as senseless cannon fodder. All the eligible young men in a village would enlist at the same time and all be put in the same regiment which meant that the manpower of countless villages was wiped out. All this meant that a lot of things had to change.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!