Review: Echoes of the Fall by Hank Early

Title: Echoes of the Fall by Hank Early
Earl Marcus Mystery Series Book Three
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Earl Marcus has faced a litany of demons in his time, but a grisly murder sends him spiraling into a vortex of long-buried secrets.

After losing a hotly contested sheriff’s race to the lackey of corrupt politician Jeb Walsh, Earl Marcus has had the worst summer of his life. But worst turns deadly when a body turns up on Earl’s front lawn, accompanied by a cryptic letter.

Earl finds a cell phone in the victim’s car and tracks it to The Harden School, an old, isolated campus surrounded by barbed wire and locked gates, and catches a sneak peek at a file labeled complaints, where he finds a familiar name: Jeb Walsh. Jeb’s ex-wife Eleanor had lodged multiple complaints against the school on behalf of her son, and when he contacts Eleanor, the horrifying truth begins to emerge.

Desperate to make a connection between the school and the dead man, Earl journeys into a world where nothing is sacred.


Echoes of the Fall by Hank Early is a gritty mystery set in rural Georgia. Although this newest release is the third installment in the Earl Marcus Mystery series, it can be read as a standalone,

Earl Marcus’s latest case literally begins in his own yard with the discovery of a murdered man. Unable to trust the local sheriff’s department to investigate, he turns to his close friends, Rufus Gribble and Ronnie Thrash to help him unravel the mysterious death. Earl’s search for the victim’s identity and that of his killer leads him a local reform school which has unexpected ties to his nemesis Jeb Walsh. Will Earl, Rufus and Ronnie untangle the twisted web that is inexplicably and unexpectedly connected to Rufus’s distant past?

With his girlfriend, Mary Hawkins, now living out of state, Earl is relying heavily on whisky to help quiet his demons.   Rufus and Ronnie grow alarmed as their friend’s drinking spirals out of control. With their help, he manages to stay mostly sober during the investigation. Armed with little more than the victim’s first name, a bookmark and a letter from the mysterious Dr. Blevins, Earl’s search for answers leads him to the Harden School which has a bit of a dubious  history.

Unbeknownst to Earl, Rufus is also struggling with the ghosts of his past.  When the investigation takes an unanticipated turn, he finds himself face to face with his own troubled and unresolved history.  Rufus is in the middle of revealing  his long held secrets to Earl when he is ruthlessly kidnapped and forced to reckon with the mistakes he made as a young man.

Despite a somewhat slow start, Echoes of the Fall is an intriguing mystery that is quite riveting. Earl is achingly fallible as he self-destructs after making a whisky fueled decision and the implosion of his personal life. Rufus reflects on his own shortcomings as he attempts to escape from his increasingly perilous predicament.   Hank Early brings this dark mystery to an edge of the seat, explosive finale.  Another deeply satisfying addition to the Earl Marcus Mystery series that will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next book in the series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Crooked Lane Books, Earl Marcus Mystery Series, Echoes of the Fall, Hank Early, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

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