Echoes of Lies

Jo Bannister

Published by Minotaur Books, 2001
ISBN 10: 0312284322 / ISBN 13: 9780312284329
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Synopsis: Brodie Farrell finds things for a living, and when she's asked to locate the whereabouts of Daniel Hood, she sees nothing suspicious in the request. She finds the young man, passes the details on to her client, and commends herself on a job well done. But when the young man is found brutally tortured and left for dead, Brodie is overcome with guilt.

Still blaming herself when Daniel asks for help, Brodie finds it impossible to do the sensible thing and walk away. He needs to understand what happened: Until the attack, he'd never known an enemy in the world. The men who hurt him were looking for someone named Sophie, and Daniel knows no one by that name.

Finding the authors of Daniel's misfortune, in the end, resolves nothing. It only leads them both into a deeper, more complex tragedy than either imagined possible.

Review: Penzler Pick, February 2002: It's fun to see how Jo Bannister, already acclaimed for her solid police procedurals, has decided to update some of the conventions of the classic British mystery. In Echoes of Lies she presents the first case featuring Brodie Farrell, a young woman who finds things for a living and has set out her shingle--"Looking for Something?"--in a small seaside town.

The problem, we quickly learn, is that Brodie (who's not a private investigator as such but who will, for a fee, locate missing people as well as lost objects) can't answer for what happens to the information she provides after her clients have paid the bill. In a positively harrowing first chapter, a young man is mysteriously and horrendously tortured, and in the more placid but no less shocking second, a guilt-stricken Brodie believes herself responsible for the several days of agony leading to this poor stranger's ghastly death that she's just read about in the morning paper.

What the truth really is, you'll have to read Echoes of Lies to find out. And even though a fair suspension of disbelief is required as the story zigs and zags its way to several levels of denouement, there's no question that quitting before the end is next to impossible. It's simply one of those books that keeps upending your expectations and making you demand to know how it's all going to come out in the end. --Otto Penzler

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Echoes of Lies
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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