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  • THE ECHOES by Jess Montgomery

    THE ECHOES by Jess Montgomery is the fourth book in the Kinship series. It’s the well-crafted story of Sheriff Lily Ross, her family, and the small community of Kinship, Ohio during the summer of 1928. It’s also a story of community, helping one another, surviving loss while learning to move forward, and secrets being revealed and the consequences. Sheriff Lily Ross - a widow living with her two young children, her mother (Beulah) and her brother, a late in life baby who is about the same age as her son – is good at her job. At times that means appeasing 97 year old Maybelle and her visions. That what she did when she searched for the floating woman’s body that didn’t exist – yet any ways – at the lake on Chalmer Fitzpatrick’s property. The lake is going to be part of an amusement park. In the course of that investigation, she learns of the long-time Fitzpatrick family split caused by a dispute over property. Things start to unravel when Lily finds out her mother’s been keeping secrets – not days or weeks but years - about her deceased brother she adored. Seems while he was in France fighting in the war, he met and fell in love with a local woman. The French woman ended up pregnant before he was killed in action. Three years ago, Beulah started receiving communication from this baby girl’s grandmother, who was her guardian after the death of her mother. These communications started a genuine friendship. Hating to stir up a hornets nest and disappoint Lily’s ideal memory of her brother, she’d kept those communications secret. However, when Esme’s French grandmother became gravely ill, preparations began to bring Esme to the states to live. Thinking she’d wait for the perfect time, which never seem to present itself, she never got around to it. And here she is to arrive on the next day’s train! Lily is shocked and at first upset, not at the child but her mother’s secret keeping, but she knows there’s no way she would turn her back on her brother’s child. She does worry about the woman he had left behind when he went off to war – Hildy. She’s become a dear and treasured friend and she worries about how the news will affect her. However the train arrives with no Esme to be found. It soon becomes apparent that she’s been kidnapped. Then to make matters worse, a woman’s body is found in the lake just as Maybelle had predicted wearing the same clothing she had described. Is there a connection between a baby that’s left on a door stoop to this woman’s death? When a man steps forward and confesses, will Lily accept it at face value or let her heart direct her investigation? Will it take more deaths to set them on the right path of who done what and when? Will they be able to find Esme? Will she be found unharmed? Will Lily find a way to open up her heart again? Will Benjamin help in that healing process as well as in the search for Esme? Will Esme finally find that safe haven in the United States she’s been told was waiting for her? What will happen to the baby left on the porch? THE ECHOES is an exceptional story that will have you turning pages, falling in love with the characters and learning more about life in the post war times in the United States. You can tell Jess Montgomery has done her research to accuracy of events and ways of the time. As you stepped back in time through the pages, you will feel the sadness from those lost in war, see folks stepping up to take on responsibilities not normal for the time because it had to be done, and the strength of family – by blood or those that we accept as family. Love the way she weaves more than one mystery into the story so seamlessly that it isn’t hard to go from one to the other. THE ECHOES is definitely a book that needs to be on your TBR list. It will surely will not disappoint you as your fly through the pages. For me, it was most wholeheartedly a FIVE STAR read!

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