Dying Echo by Judy Clemens

A Grim Reaper Mystery, Book 4

Synopsis: It’s been years since Casey Maldonado visited her hometown, and the only reason she’s returning now is to get her brother Ricky out of jail, where he sits after being arrested for the brutal murder of Alicia McManus, his girlfriend of several months.  Casey believes in her brother’s innocence, but proving that to the cops is a different thing altogether, especially since she has her own murder warrant to worry about.  Perhaps even more frightening than the law is Casey’s confrontation with her personal demons – the home she shared with her late husband and son, the resentment of her mother, and even the presence of Eric (Embrace the Grim Reaper), who wants to be more than just a friend. 

As Casey and her ever-present companion Death investigate Alicia’s murder, it becomes clear she was not who she claimed to be, from her name to her non-existent past.  Instead of a solid history, she left only questions when she died.  Where did she come from?  What secrets did she know?  And, most importantly, who were the three people she spoke of when Death carried her away? 

Casey must sort the truth from the elaborate fiction of Alicia’s life in order to clear Ricky’s name, but as she reveals the woman’s secrets Casey begins to see just how alike their lives appear.  Is Casey destined to an existence as empty and dark as Alicia’s, or can she overcome the tragedy of her past and move forward into a life worth living? 

review: I confess I was immediately intrigued by the synopsis as soon as I read it. It’s always interesting I think to have Death presented as a real character in a story. I only saw that in the Kalayna Price books and I was very curious to know how it would be this time with this new protagonist. Plus, I love to follow a great investigation and this one is really perfect!
I didn’t know this series or this author before and I was sure that this one was the first in the saga… Well I was wrong, but I think I’m getting used to that. It finally wasn’t a problem at all and it was easy to get into the story. It’s also why I’m now curious about the other novels. I wonder what we can learn and if one features the meeting between Casey and Eric.
In this book, Casey comes back at home to prove the innocence of her brother who is accused of murdering his girlfriend. But I have to say that this event had turned his life upside down and he doesn’t even want to defend himself. However, our heroine is determined to not give up and to know the answers to her questions. With the help of Death, she will discover little by little the truth about this young woman: Alicia that nobody really knew about. With Death who can tell her what she needs, it’s finally not so difficult. The only problem? She can’t even talk to the Police as she is afraid they think she is crazy. And when Eric comes and wants to help her, she can’t send him back at home. A story that will turn upside down our heroine physically and emotionally. It’s true I didn’t expect the complexity of the plot and Judy Clemens had a lot of wonderful ideas about it. This investigation was fascinating and we can really know the last word at the end of the book. We can only be sad about the events, if only one person would have said something… their life would have been totally different.
What can I say about the characters? Casey is a woman hunted by the memory of the dead and it’s this same thing that will prevent her to have a real life, far from her ghosts. The presence of Death doesn’t help to surpass her trauma. I however really enjoyed his nature; he is at the forefront of technology, alwayshelping Casey as he can, giving advice about what she should do. It was nice to meet him.
But I think I also really liked Eric. This young man never gets upset and I was impressed by hisdetermination to stay with Casey, especially given the treatment sheinflicts. But heremains stoic throughout the book, trying to understand and make her accept that they could have a relationship. It was always interesting to follow them both, to see how they interacted together. A real pleasure!
This fourth volume was very pleasant to discover, I am curious to knowmore about the adventures of Casey and to see what will happen to her relationship, whether with Eric or even Death.

22 thoughts on “Dying Echo by Judy Clemens

  1. A Grim Reaper Mystery? How awesome does that sound?? x) I love that Death is represented by an actual character in the story too — you don’t get that happening in a lot of books! The characters and the plot all look so wonderful, and now you’re making me intrigued to pick up the first book too! (I’m intrigued that Death is actually HELPING Casey!)

    Awesome review, Mel! I’m going to have to check this out! 😉 <3

    • yes paranormal as there is Death, I would say a fantastical mystery, but it’s a lot about the mystery. It’s a big investigation with the help of death. If I had to choose another author in this genre I would say Amanda Stevens even if it’s darker and a lot more ghosts.

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