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The Echo (1998)

The Echo (1998)

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3.61 of 5 Votes: 1
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0515122564 (ISBN13: 9780515122565)

About book The Echo (1998)

After a recommendation from a friend, this is the firdt Minette Walters book I have read but I think this is the start of many more to come.'The Echo' follows a small time journalist, Michael Deacon, as he looks into the issue of homelessness for the political paper he writes for. When looking at the death of a homeless man, who died of starvation in a local womans garage, Deacon uncovers more than he bargained for, and solves the mystery of the disappearance of two missing men from many years ago.There were two main qualities of this novel. The first is the plot, which is full of mystery and intrigue from the outset. There are continual questions about who the homeless man really was, how his life came to such a tragic end and what his motivations were during his life. Walters leads the reader down many paths before pulling the mystery together brilliantly during the last few chapters.Secondly, the characters that Walters creates are imediately interesting and have you asking questions about them and wanting to know what happens next. There's Deacon himself who seems to take on various personas throughout the novel, being determined reporter, wannabe detective, fatherfigure to a 14 year old homeless boy, and unsuccessful husband and son. The characters that Deacon interacts with throughout the novel bring to life all of his different sides with real ease and create a really interesting central figure that you really want to read about.I also liked Walters style in that there were various snippets of newspaper articles and diary entries which break up the text and add some interest to the page.I will be searching out other Walters novels having read this one as as a fan of crime fiction, I am irritated that I have deprived myself of her writing for so long!

I have no idea why this book is called The Echo - perhaps I'm terribly dense and missed that part. A mystery centred around the death of a homeless man, and why he chose to starve to death in a certain woman's garage, it is well written but rather confusing - I found myself backtracking occasionally, trying to figure out what was going on as more and more elements of the mystery were revealed. I still have no idea who the woman in South Africa was, but I was too sick of figuring things out to work that one through.I liked Terry, the young homeless boy, and discovering the personality of Billy, the dead man - but the opaqueness and complexity of the mystery really detracted from the book as a whole. It wasn't the sort of complex story where you sit back and go "Aaaah!" at the end, fascinated at how it all pulled together - just the sort of complexity that makes you go "Huh?". So it was kind of a "Huh?" book for me, even though I enjoyed parts of it.

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I usually love Minette Walters - but this one i found difficult to enjoy. I though the plot too convoluted and even occasionally muddled. I read lots of crime fiction but found this one over-populated and filled with too many coincidences. It's hard even to explain what this book is about but essentially it unravles the story behind a homeless man dying in the garage of a seemingly random woman. She is obviously not random and thi sfact takes the whole book to come out. I liked Micheal Deacon, the main character inthe book but i had to question to relationships he has with other characters. Too many of them seem contrived - would any man in the world actually allow a homeless boy into his flat for Christmas? I found this book contrived. Very unlike the Walters i so like. I am glad this is not the first Walters i ever read, for then it may have been the last.She is better than this

Not my favorite Minette Walters book. The overlapping plots were just a bit too much and not believable at all. I liked the Billy Blake character a lot and the friendships that get formed later in the novel, but the mystery portion of it was a bit too confusing and then came out with a series of tidy coincidences that kind of left me feeling cheated. The novel is about a couple of missing persons who were related to huge frauds and how their stories resurface when a homeless man is found in a woman's garage having starved himself to death. The journalist tries to be a bit Sam Spade-esque and doesn't really make it.

Very enjoyable. This book reminded me a little bit of some of the better Dick Francis novels albeit much more gritty and with more swearing and references to graphic sexual practices in extremely colourful language of the sort that would not have turned up in Mr Francis' books - not the ones I read at any rate.I like a book with deeply developed personalities, complex interpersonal relationships and lots of conversation. There were plenty of quotes from the poetry of William Blake which I relished and some juicy turns of phrase by the young lad the 'hero' Deacon takes under his wing.All this and murder too? Ambassador you spoil us :)
—Michele Brenton

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