Friday Face Off : Echo Man by Sam Holland

FFO

Today is another Friday Face Off, originally created by Books by Proxy).  This is an opportunity to look at a book of your choice and shine the spotlight on the covers.  Of course this only works for those books that have alternative covers (although sometimes I use this to look at a series of books to choose a favourite). . So, if you have a book that has alternative covers, highlight them and choose your favourite.  If you’re taking part it would be great if you leave a link so I can take a look at what you’ve chosen.

My book this week is another one that I read late last year, Echo Man by Sam Holland – an impressive debut about a copycat serial killer.

Here are the covers:

My favourite this week is :

Echo2

Which is your favourite?

I like the injection of colour in this one and the way the title echoes.

Join me next week in highlighting one of your reads with different covers.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Twenty by Sam Holland

CWW

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Twenty by Sam Holland.  I enjoyed the Echo Man so will have my sights set on this one.  Here’s the description and cover:

TheTwenty

A tense novel from a fast-rising star, Sam Holland, The Twenty fuses a chilling race-against-time with blood-curdling crime fiction. For fans of Harlan Coben and Thomas Harris, Sam Holland offers readers a page-turning serial killer thriller with “echoes of Lisa Gardner” (AJ Finn, #1 NYT bestselling author, on The Echo Man).

When DCI Adam Bishop arrives at the crime scene in the dead of night, the sight of the body is bad enough—but what Adam notices next chills him to his core. More bodies surface. And the spray-painted numbers daubed above the corpses reveal the horrific truth: the killer is counting down. But to what end?

Adam has no idea—until Dr. Romilly Cole knocks on his door with damning evidence pointing to a series of murders fifteen years earlier—a case she knows intimately from her past. Now, it’s personal—and the next knock on his door could be fatal.

Sam Holland’s gripping debut novel, The Echo Man, riveted readers and critics alike with its raw and brutal depiction of the unthinkable depredations of a serial killer. With The Twenty, Holland kicks her depraved milieu into even higher gear with a page-turning, up-all-night read that left us breathless.

Expected Publication: May 2023

The Echo Man by Sam Holland

Posted On 14 June 2022

Filed under Book Reviews
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My Five Word TL:DR Review: Read it if you dare

echoman

The Echo Man by Sam Holland is an impressive debut.  The main concept of a copycat serial killer is chilling and horrifying to read and the pace and tension are ramped up as the police try to stop the killer before more lives are lost.

Jess Ambrose’s life is shattered when her house goes up in flames killing her husband and leaving her as the chief suspect.  Determined to prove her innocence she runs from the hospital and the police and goes into hiding with the help of a renegade, and currently suspended, detective called Nate Griffin.

At the same time Cara Elliott is taking the lead on a number of recent and grisly murders.  These cases are believed to be unconnected until one of the most recent murder scenes triggers a connection and the police become aware that these cases echo the  MOs of previous serial killers.  With this in mind, the manhunt is stepped up and at the same time the body count climbs ever higher as the murderer becomes over confident.

What I liked about the Echo Man is that the author manages to provide the characters with their own stories, background, family and tragedies.  Both Jess and Nate have personal issues that they struggle with on a daily basis and are drawn to each other in an almost protective way.  Cara is also struggling.  She has a devoted police team but the surge in murders means that most of the time time she’s in work, missing her husband and daughter and the simple everyday things that they usually enjoy.  On top of this Cara and Nate are brother and sister, which doesn’t necessarily make working together easy, particularly as Nate is liable to blow up, has a hate/hate relationship with one of the other detectives and doesn’t really follow orders.

Now, I’m just going to point out that this book makes for some shocking, vivid and almost nightmarish descriptions of murder.  This is not for the faint hearted.  I’m not saying the blood and death here is gratuitous because that certainly isn’t the case.  The murderer is mimicking famous serial killers and posing his death scenarios in a way that is almost like a tribute to them – the fact that these are real murderers is probably what gives this the real shock value.

In terms of criticisms.  Well, I had to suspend my disbelief in relation to certain things.  I found myself reading and at first harboring niggles about the unlikelihood of certain elements that took place.  Then I gave my head a wobble and decided that regardless of a few plot holes here and there I was going to read this for the murder mystery/chiller element that I thought was really well done.  I must say that the one thing that really struck me though was the timeframe at the end – the murders were stacking up with almost indecent haste and it felt too frantic.

Overall, I think this is an impressive debut.  It’s chilling, bloody and fast paced.  I practically whipped though this one with indecent haste because I was desperate to know the who/what/why element and in spite of the grim bloodfest I barely put this down and in fact found myself missing the characters when everything came to an end.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating between 3.5 and 4 stars.  Rounded up to 4