#Book Bingo 2018 is a collaboration challenge I am completing with my favourite blogger, Theresa Smith Writes. How does it work? We have devised our own personalised book bingo card game. Twice a month, on the first and third Saturday of the month, Theresa and I will complete a book review post, outlining our respective bingo card entries. The book bingo card contains a total of 25 squares, which we will complete over the course of the year. To accommodate all the squares, we will be posting additional entries in the months of March and June, this will ensure that we stay on track to complete the book bingo game by December. To keep things interesting for ourselves and those following along with us, the choice of bingo square to be covered will be entirely down to us. We invite you to join us in this fun book related challenge, by linking your bingo card entries in the comments section of this post or by visiting Theresa Smith Writes.
Wholesome country living isn’t what it used to be… This town has a dark side, but what will these cops sacrifice to save it? A compelling suspense, set in the outback.
Blue lights in the red dust…
Echo Springs on the edge of the outback – a town where everyone knows your name, and your business. But the wholesome country living and welcoming community aren’t what they used to be. Echo Springs has a dark underbelly, and it is seeping ever outward.
The small police station is overrun, and officers are working overtime to stem the tide of illegal activity from graffiti through to murder. From prickly Leila to heartsore Ben, Cooper with something to prove to Mac who’s driven to succeed, the Echo Springs force is determined to keep the town safe.
Putting everything at risk…
But the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been, and it’s not just the town these officers have to keep safe. It’s their hearts as well. With bullets flying and bodies piling up, they will have to decide how much they’re willing to risk and what they’re willing to lose.
Echo Springs is a brand new four author collaboration effort. This compelling collection features four separate stories that all intersect on the same town. Echo Springs opens the wound that is Australia’s dark underbelly, exposing the depths of crime, murder, drug operations and arson that occurs in the outback. Echo Springs also explores the small town politics, policing efforts, various authorities and local community figures that pepper this intricate town. At the heart of each of these intriguing tales are the local police officers. The reader soon learns of the pressures placed on these local heroes, including the issues they face in their personal and professional lives. Although each police officer is facing their own personal crisis, whilst dealing with various criminal activities, what appears abundantly clear is their motivation to uphold the safety of the town and its citizens. Matters of the heart also come into play as these brave officers negotiate the challenges faced by this small speck on the map, Echo Springs.
Prior to receiving a copy of Echo Springs via a giveaway courtesy of Daniel De Lorne, the author of one of the stories in Echo Springs, I must admit my interest level was set high. This series has received a number of endorsements courtesy of my work as an editor on The Australian Women Writers Challenge. As a fan of Australian romantic suspense myself, I was keen to delve into the pages of each of these four tales.
Dangerous Echoes by Leisl Leighton
Dangerous Echoes marks the series opener and it is an explosive one at that! This first volume sees the tentative return of forensic pathologist Erika Hanson, an ex local, who left Echo Springs many years ago to pursue a lucrative career. We also learn Erika was keen to escape a past marred by tragedy and heartbreak. Now her only tie to the town of Echo Springs, her brother Peter, is what calls her back. When there are hints that Peter’s recent disappearance is linked to a local drug ring and a meth lab explosion, Erika knows this is not the work of her brother. As Erika fights hard to discover the truth and clear her brother’s dirtied name, Erika finds she is falling for Hartley, a local police officer assigned to the case. Dangerous Echoes is full of suspense, danger, murder and intrigue. It also explores some of the suspect operations happening across Australian bush based towns right now. There is a sense of gritty realism that goes hand in hand with the romantic elements presented in this series introduction piece. Dangerous Echoes also sets up a great premise for what is to come, offering up plenty of questions for the discerning reader to discover.
Embers and Echoes by Daniel De Lorne
Part two of the Echo Springs series has been penned by a local Perth writer. Embers and Echoes marks my introduction to the work of Daniel De Lorne. I am keen to explore more of De Lorne’s work after thoroughly enjoying his second instalment of this intriguing series. This time around we are faced with a spate of suspicious fires, which is being investigated by local constable Ben Fields. This line of work casts Ben in the immediate pathway of local fire-fighter Toby Grimshaw. It soon becomes obvious that the two share a history and there is a great deal of unresolved friction between these two proud men. With duty, morals, ethics and professionalism all coming into play in this dangerous arson case, this twosome will have to put their feelings aside for the sake of the case at hand. A future together seems unattainable in the conditions, as well as the past heartbreak that defines this couple. Wow, there is something magnetic about the writing of Daniel De Lorne. I found this edition of the series to be fresh and brave. Most of all I liked the territory that it explored. De Lorne has a great grasp on his characters and I appreciated his interplay between his leads. In addition, I particularly liked the way Embers and Echoes was able to directly feed into the forthcoming chapters of Echo Springs. Embers and Echoes also closely followed the same line as its predecessor.
Echoes of the Past by TJ Hamilton
TJ Hamilton, a well known Australian romance author, takes on the third chapter of the Echo Springs anthology. At the front and centre of Echoes of the Past is Leila Mayne, a complicated local woman who has had a troubled past, arousing plenty of suspicion from the local Echo Springs community. Leila is determined to put the past behind her and start afresh. She has put in the hard yards and is now a fully fledged officer of the law. However, the township is not so quick to embrace the new Leila and now this young woman faces the fight of her life to prove her worth to the local community. When Leila’s past love makes his presence known, Leila must decide if she can put past heartbreak and a possible threat to her new role aside. TJ Hamilton’s engrossing tale highlights the internal fight between love and duty, in the face of a town facing great challenges. TJ Hamilton is an author who has been on my list of Australian authors to explore and I’m glad Echo Springs provided me with the opportunity to explore this author’s writing. The third issue of this addictive series features an interesting and morally complex romantic plotline, allowing the crime elements of this story to flesh out the story further. I enjoyed the complications served up by TJ Hamilton plot wise and Echoes of the Past flowed on well from its predecessors. It also worked an appetizer of sorts to the work of TJ Hamilton.
Hopes Echoes by Shannon Curtis
In this final chapter of Echo Springs collection, Shannon Curtis brings us the story of Jacinta Buchanan. We quickly learn that Jacinta is a young woman facing great challenges. It is hard task trying to run the failing family farm, while simultaneously working to prove her worth to her single minded father. Things go from bad to worse for Jacinta and her family when an old mine on their property ignites and sadly kills a young local. Complications eventuate when Jacinta is cast as the main suspect in this case, which is being handled by her brother’s best mate, local cop Mac Hudson. For Mac, life is a constant internal struggle. He is always the bearer of bad news, issuing fines and the like to the members of his home town. When a meth lab rather close to home enters Mac’s radar, things begin to get extremely complicated. As Mac works to exonerate Jacinta Buchanan from any wrongdoing, Mac’s heart begins to open up to this old friend in need. Will this recent development concerning the Buchanan farm destroy any chance this local officer and farm girl have of finding happiness together? The concluding tale in the Echo Springs collection proved to be a winner. Shannon Curtis has been on my personal reading radar after I enjoyed her romantic suspense novel, Runaway Lies. I was expecting to enjoy this final chapter of the series and I well and truly lapped this one up! Curtis manages to deliver that winning combination of an intricate plotline, a steady pace, intriguing characters and an authentic Aussie outback setting. Hope Echoes represents a most fitting outcome to a series I took genuine pleasure in reading.
I look forward to exploring further work by each of the four separate authors featured in Echo Springs, a thoroughly captivating small town based Australian romantic suspense compilation.
Echo Springs by Leisl Leighton, Daniel De Lorne, TJ Hamilton and Shannon Curtis was published on 20th August 2018 by Harlequin – Mira . Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
*Thanks extended to the author Daniel De Lorne/Harlequin -Mira for providing a free copy of this book.
Echo Springs, is book #121 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge