Death Echo: Book summary and reviews of Death Echo by Elizabeth Lowell

Death Echo
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2010,
    400 pages.

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Book Summary

When she joined St. Kilda's, the elite security consulting firm, Emma Cross thought she'd left behind the blood, the guilt, and the tribal wars that defined her life at the CIA. Yet, trading spying for investigating yacht thefts didn't alleviate the danger—or melt away her professional paranoia. Now, the same good instincts that got her into trouble at the agency might be what will help her survive her latest case.

With some arm-twisting, St. Kilda and Emma are tracking a yacht named Blackbird, a dead ringer for another ship that went missing somewhere between Vladivostok and Portland a year earlier. Emma knows the boat's intended cargo is lethal. What she needs to find out is whether it's biological, chemical, or fissionable. And she's only got seven days to uncover the truth ... or a major American city will be lost.

Fortunately, she's working with a new partner as menacing and distrustful as the worst enemy she's ever faced—and as deadly. A honed killer, MacKenzie Durand led a special ops team that was deployed to some of the world's nastiest places. But five years ago everything went to hell in Afghanistan, when bad intel hung his team out to dry. The only survivor, Mac walked away and never looked back, preferring to make money sailing high-end boats like Blackbird.

But Emma and Mac aren't the only eyes watching Blackbird. Taras Demidov, an expert in extortion and execution in the pay of the oligarchs running the former Soviet Union, is also waiting in the shadows, determined to intercept a fearsomely powerful arms dealer with the money, weaponry, and connections to alter the geopolitical balance.

Thrown together by an organization of enemies with global ties more dangerous than either of them realize, Mac and Emma must put aside their growing attraction for each other to save more than just their own lives. In a deadly game where the rules change without warning and the line between friend and foe is blurred, the pair must find answers fast—or watch as innocent civilians are sacrificed in a cold-blooded grab for power and supremacy. And even Mac and Emma aren't sure just who will get to the finish line alive ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Lowell’s primary focus on espionage rather than on romance is a major change from earlier novels, albeit a pleasing one." - Publishers Weekly

"The predictable romance decreases the suspense in this low-wattage thriller." - Kirkus Reviews

"There is plenty of action and suspense, so if you enjoyed earlier Lowell novels this one is a treat." - Stuart News

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Reader Reviews

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Carol G. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)
Death Echo
Although I enjoy Lowell's books as they are usually good, light reading, 'Death Echo' was too similar to some of her other St Kilda books. The story was too basic, not much tension created and weak character involvement. It is a fast read for easy summer reading. I will still continue to read her in the future but may be a little more discriminating about which books I choose to read.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Chris W. (Temple City, CA)
fast read
This is a suspenseful page turner with likable main characters, "bad guys," and interagency conflict. The intrigue, the descriptions of the scenery in the Pacific Northwest, and the details about yachting were enjoyable, and I learned quite a bit. The romantic attraction was a little too instant. The book was entertaining and a fast read. I liked the short chapters and would enjoy another novel with the same main characters. I wouldn't recommend it for book club discussions.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Jenny P. (Cupertino, CA)
Death Echo
This book was a fun, entertaining suspenseful reader. The format of the story playing out over only a week led to a lot of action playing out very quickly. At times, it was difficult to believe that the major characters could work together and trust each other so quickly and there were times when it was necessary to just suspend disbelief and keep reading ! It was however, a well written, believable story and the many twists and turns held my interest right to the end. This book would appeal to any one who likes a fast paced thriller with a little romance thrown in for good measure. The plot hung together well and the twist at the end was pretty clever.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Brenda S. (Grand Rapids, MN)
A Book That's Easy to Put Down
Although there was a good story between the covers, the interaction between the characters became annoying and redundant. I'm not sure how many ways there are to describe some shiny white teeth, but Elizabeth Lowell gave it her best shot.

The story line was difficult to follow if the sea is not your first passion. I found the plot confusing but worth trying to figure out.

I would read another story by Ms. Lowell; hopefully, something on terra firma.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Gail B. (Albuquerque, NM)
Old Fashioned Spy Story
Death Echo has just enough sex and intrigue to make it an exciting page-turner. Emma Cross is fed up with the gamesmanship of working for the CIA but is drawn back into what becomes the adventure of her life as she meets professional sailor, ex-Seal MacKenzie Durand. An interesting mix of superb seamanship, modern technology and just a touch of MacIver, and the pair takes on the dangers of the deep to save each other and thousands of innocents from former U.S.S.R. bad guys. Just what you'd expect from an old fashioned spy story -- an adventurous, quick summer read.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Marilyn J. (Harvey, ND)
Death Echo
Having never read another of Elizabeth Lowell's books, I didn't know what to expect so expected nothing. That's kind of what I got. There were so many characters that I couldn't keep track of who they were, where they were from, and for whom they worked. Emma and Mac, the protagonists, were underdeveloped. They engaged in some snappy dialogue, however, and finally, after much talk and teasing, acted on their attraction for each other. Most of the exciting stuff happened in the last few pages, but prior to that it was a rather ho-hum story with more than ample boat talk and confusing espionage. This might be a good book for readers who like boats, water, and spies, but it was not engrossing to me. I felt lost and confused most of the time.

...19 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Elizabeth Lowell Author Biography

Individually and with co-author/husband Evan, Ann Maxwell has written seventy novels and one non-fiction book. There are 30 million copies of these books in print, as well as reprints in 30 foreign languages. The novels range from science fiction to historical fiction, from romance to mystery to suspense.

Writing as Ann Maxwell, she began her career in 1975 with a science fiction novel, Change. Since then, seven of her nine science fiction novels have been recommended for the Science Fiction Writers of America Nebula Award; A Dead God Dancing was nominated for what was then called TABA (The American Book Award).

In 1976 Ann and Evan (as A. E. Maxwell) collaborated with a Norwegian hunter and photographer, Ivar Ruud, on The Year-Long Day a nonfiction work that was condensed in Reader&#...

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