After a youth filled with tragedy and upheaval, Sarah Miller's life is finally settled with all echoes of the past silent at last. She happily calls Sanctuary her home and spends her days teaching at the local school.
Sarah's joy at her recent reunion with her sister, Hannah, and meeting the niece she didn't know she had is too soon interrupted when Deputy Sheriff Paul Gleason informs Sarah her sister has been killed.
As she learns more about Hannah's death, the circumstances are eerily similar to their parents' murder. Sarah enlists Paul's help in digging deeper into the murders the police are dismissing as burglaries gone wrong. Paul's concern encourages Sarah's growing feelings for him, but as their investigation peels back the layers of lies almost twenty years old, they get close to uncovering the truth one person will do anything to hide--even if that means coming after the last remaining members of the Miller family.
"Mehl is an amazing author who gives fans what they want and more in every book. The believable, smooth-running storyline features suspense, mystery and family tragedy with characters who are kind and charming...and a few who are not what they appear to be." - RT Book Reviews
My thoughts: First, the disclaimer. "I was provided a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own." That done, DEADLY ECHOES is the second book in Ms. Mehl's Finding Sanctuary series, but it easily stands alone. I read the first book in the series Gathering Shadows when it first came out, and I am reading Rising Darkness next, which is the third and final book in the series.
The story is in first person, but not in deep point of view. The flow of the story is interrupted a lot to tell the reader details which could've come out naturally in conversation or showing. As it was, it felt forced.
I did feel sorry for Sarah, still struggling from nightmares regarding the murders of her parents almost twenty years prior when her only sister is murdered shortly after they are reunited after being separated in foster care. The deaths seem to be related but the city police don't seem to be interested in hearing Mennonite opinions on the case.
The romance factor is weak. I would've loved to see some zing in it, but it is a quiet romance, slow moving, with a hint of the possibility of things to come. I do love how Ms. Mehl works the faith message in seamlessly. It feels natural and a part of the story.
If you like Amish, Mennonite, and other "Plain sect" stories, then DEADLY ECHOES is good to pick up. The suspense part is quiet, intrusive, though a dark shadow lurking in the background. I knew it was going to become active, but it took a slow pace to get there. I was anxious to figure out how the cases were related, and who did it.