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?
The Great War casts a long shadow in Montgomery's disappointing fourth mystery featuring Kinship, Ohio, sheriff Lily Ross (after 2021's The Stills). On July 4, 1928, businessman Chalmer Fitzpatrick opens an amusement park named after Lily's brother, Roger, who died in the war. That night, Pearl Riley, a local spinster, is found murdered in the park's fishing pond, and Chalmer's wife, Sophia, finds a month-old infant by their side door. Sophia claims that the baby is the result of an affair between her husband and the dead woman, but Lily doubts Pearl could have hidden her pregnancy. Meanwhile, Lily discovers that her mother, Beulah, has been concealing a secret: Roger fathered a daughter, Esm , in France, and with Chalmer's help Beulah has arranged to bring the nine-year-old to America to live with them. When Esm disappears, evidence that she has been kidnapped adds a high-stakes mystery to Lily's workload. Esm is an intriguing addition to the cadre of strong females at the series' heart, but the welter of minor characters and incidents introduced before crimes occur or detection begins generates more confusion than suspense. This outing will best please existing fans. Agent: Elisabeth Weed, Book Group.