“The Echo” by Minette Walters

Walters, Minette. The Echo (1997)  
Penguin Putnam, 351 pages, $6.99 paperback 
ISBN 0 515 12256 4

When a homeless man known as Billy Blake dies of malnutrition in the garage of an expensive home in London, police are unable to discover anything about the man’s true identity. Several months later journalist Michael Deacon is sent by his editor to interview the wealthy widow in whose garage Billy chose to die. As Deacon digs deeper, he finds echoes of both his own life and the widow’s life in the story of Billy Blake. Like Walters’s earlier novels, The Echo illustrates that appearances can be deceiving if people are unwilling to look below the surface.

I found this novel to be much less compelling than the earlier ones. The plot is way too convoluted and contrived, and the relationships between the characters and the truths the novel reveals are too tenuous to be convincing.

© 2001 by Mary Daniels Brown

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