Review (that almost wasn’t): The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty

I recently consolidated all the calendars and app support I’ve been using into one calendar. After much reflection, internal debate, and input from others (wife, therapist, friends), I decided to let go of my Franklin Covey binder, the online calendars (3) for various jobs, as well as several “productivity” apps I’d been using to try to get/stay organized. I even took down the two big white boards from the walls of my office.

The information I needed was written in too many places. I felt like I was spending more time figuring out what was where than actually getting work done.

My schedule and to do list are now contained in a week-view Moleskine calendar. I still use the calendar app that came on my phone for on-the-fly stuff and auditory reminders, but the only calendar that matters is my Moleskine.

Moleskine Weekly Notebook (

What does this have to do with The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty, you ask? I do have a point that I’m getting to.

On the evening of the day that I transferred all of my calendar appointments and deadlines into my new Moleskine, I sat down with a big sigh of contentment and the reward for a job well done: starting a new book.

I had also recently reorganized the shelves where I keep review copies, library books, and books I’m using for current study or research projects. Before I cracked open the new book, I glanced at the shelf with review copies, proud of myself for finally getting organized. As I scanned the titles my breath caught in my throat. Oh, no! There was a book on the shelf that I didn’t recall writing on my deadline list just hours before.


I jumped up and looked at my deadline list (nope, not on it), then pulled the book off the shelf to check the upcoming publication date (it was very soon). Ack! 

So I dropped the book I was going to start reading and started the book that needed to be read NOW. It was a book I was looking forward to, hence agreeing to review it, but you know how it is when you have to read a book under pressure, right? It can feel like homework from a class that you hate.

You’ve probably guessed that the book was The Echo Killing.

I’m telling you all this because reading The Echo Killing was absolutely nothing like doing yucky homework. It was a complete pleasure, even after that initial jolt of adrenalin from almost screwing up. The fear of feeling like I had to cram evaporated a few pages into the novel. I read the book in two days (this is fast for me) which allowed me ample time to reflect on the novel and to write the review.

Even if I had not been under deadline, I would have ripped through this book. The plot is fresh and different, the writing is clear and swift, and the characters seem like real people. 


The Echo Killing by Christi Daugherty (


When a murder echoing a 15-year-old cold case rocks the Southern town of Savannah, crime reporter Harper McClain risks everything to find the identity of this calculated killer in Christi Daugherty’s new novel The Echo Killing.

I was immediately pulled into this novel and read it in just a few sittings over two days. This might be Christi Daugherty’s first novel for adults, but her storytelling skills have been well-honed by the five novels she’s written for young-adult readers.

Adults who read YA novels often say they do so because the focus is on telling a good story without the clutter of gratuitous sex and violence that is often found in adult novels. Daugherty’s success with writing for young adults is evident in that she’s written a solid story with steady action that does not involve a complicated and/or superfluous subplot. Sure, there is some sex and violence in the book, but it is seasoning rather than the main course.

At 22 years old, Daugherty started working as a crime reporter in Georgia. Her experience and familiarity with the job and the setting are evident from page one of the novel:

[Please click here to read my review on Criminal Element]


Title: The Echo Killing (Harper McClain Series #1)
Author: Christi Daugherty (writes YA under C.J. Daugherty )
Publisher: Minotaur Books (on sale date: March 13, 2018)
Source: Review copy
Bottom Line: The plot is fresh and different and the writing is clear and swift with characters that felt like real people. A great opportunity for mystery fans to get in on the ground floor of what is going to be a killer series.


  1. Myself, I only have one calendar and one “to do” app. Of course, my job is pretty simple… That said, I enjoyed your review and will look forward to seeking out the book.

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