Review: The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

Title: The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty
Harper McClain Series Book One
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 356 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


When a murder echoing a fifteen-year-old cold case rocks the Southern town of Savannah, crime reporter Harper McClain risks everything to find the identity of this calculated killer in Christi Daugherty’s new novel The Echo Killing.

A city of antebellum architecture, picturesque parks, and cobblestone streets, Savannah moves at a graceful pace. But for Harper McClain, the timeless beauty and culture that distinguishes her home’s Southern heritage vanishes during the dark and dangerous nights. She wouldn’t have it any other way. Not even finding her mother brutally murdered in their home when she was twelve has made her love Savannah any less.

Her mother’s killer was never found, and that unsolved murder left Harper with an obsession that drove her to become one of the best crime reporters in the state of Georgia. She spends her nights with the police, searching for criminals. Her latest investigation takes her to the scene of a homicide where the details are hauntingly familiar: a young girl being led from the scene by a detective, a female victim naked and stabbed multiple times in the kitchen, and no traces of any evidence pointing towards a suspect.

Harper has seen all of this before in her own life. The similarities between the murder of Marie Whitney and her own mother’s death lead her to believe they’re both victims of the same killer. At last, she has the chance to find the murderer who’s eluded justice for fifteen years and make sure another little girl isn’t forever haunted by a senseless act of violence—even if it puts Harper in the killer’s cross-hairs…


In The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty, crime reporter Harper McClain is driven to solve a murder that is eerily similar to the still unsolved slaying of her own mother.

Fifteen years earlier, twelve year old Harper arrived home to a discover her mother has been brutally murdered.  Fast forward to the current murder of Marie Whitney where Harper catches sight of the victim’s twelve year old daughter Camille being escorted from the scene.  This immediately strikes chord with Harper and she knows she HAS to see the murder scene. She is stunned to discover it looks so much like her mother’s that she is immediately convinced that the two cases are connected. Despite pleas from her friend, photographer Miles Jackson, her love interest, undercover cop Luke Walker and father figure and head of homicide Lt. Robert Smith, Harper refuses to stop investigating both cases.

Harper never recovered from the tragic death of her mother.  After her relationship with her father is irrevocably fractured, she becomes quite close to Lt. Smith and his family. Although she spent a lot of time at the police station in the years after losing her mom, she had no interest in becoming a cop. An internship at the local newspaper sets her on the course to become a reporter and her connections with the police make her a natural fit for becoming a crime reporter. Working the evening shift, Harper is a workaholic who does not date or have many friends outside of her childhood pal Bonnie Larson who remains her best friend.

Harper quickly becomes obsessed with Marie’s murder after her quick glimpse of the crime scene. When she learns there is absolutely no forensic evidence for the police to investigate, she becomes convinced the perpetrator is a cop. The lack of evidence is also another similarity to her mother’s still unsolved murder so Harper becomes focused on trying to find an officer who is connected to both cases. Despite warnings from the detectives working the case, Miles, Luke and her boss, Harper is willing to risk her career, friendships, her fledgling relationship with Luke and ultimately, her life in her zealous attempt to unmask the killer.

The Echo Killing is initially a bit slow paced but it quickly hits its stride and becomes an engrossing mystery that is impossible to put down. Harper is a likable protagonist but she is reckless and so blinded by obsession that will do anything in her quest to prove her theory that both murders are connected.  Although savvy readers will most likely guess the perpetrator’s identity well before Harper stumbles onto the truth, this does not lessen the overall enjoyment of the unfolding story. Christi Daugherty brings the novel to an exciting conclusion but a couple of loose ends leave the door open for a sequel.

1 Comment

Filed under Christi Daugherty, Contemporary, Harper McClain Series, Minotaur Books, Rated B+, Review, Spotlight, Suspense, The Echo Killing

One Response to Review: The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy