Echo from a Bayou
by J. Luke Bennecke
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense / Paranormal
Print Length: 418 pages
Reviewed by Joelene Pynnonen
Thoroughly entertaining! Murder, mayhem, adventure, and another chance at a stolen love
Echo From a Bayou starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. There are a number of unanswered questions introduced right from the outset, and from there, the pages just breeze by.
After a skiing accident, John Bastian wakes, convinced that he’s another man from a different life. Memories of his life as Jack Bachman swirl in his head, impossible to ignore. Visions of a lost treasure, a gorgeous, flame-haired lover, and his own murder. With his closest friend, Kevin, in tow, he embarks on a trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The place where all of Jack’s memories center. The one place John hopes that he’ll find answers.
Hidden in the heart of Baton Rouge lies a century-old treasure, guarded jealously by a curse. One that may just be in reach if John can follow the path of Jack’s memories. The trail may be more perilous than John knows though. A hurricane is brewing along the coast and this cursed treasure may have led to Jack Bachman’s death. If John’s not careful, the same fate may befall him.
What can I say about this fantastic novel? The pacing is amazing. The action starts on the first page and only gathers momentum from there. Bennecke knows exactly where to drip-feed information and where to cut it off to keep readers hooked without being frustrated. The setup is taut. Who could resist searching for another life? One that held true love, adventure, and a fortune in gold? The premise is so intricate and uniquely executed. It’s the kind of story you can jump on board with immediately.
Characters, atmosphere, and setting are the things that keep you invested once you’ve started. John/Jack is the kind of guy you want to root for. He’s trying to keep his head above water, trying to do the right thing, but he also follows his instincts. Tammy, the red-headed woman of his memories, is as intriguing as the young woman Jack fell in love with. In the flesh, she is a dynamic powerhouse. Kevin is the ride-or-die best friend that everyone wants. Then there’s the villains. Nuanced, dark, not wholly evil but somehow more terrifying for it.
I think I’m biased about books set in bayous in general, but the entire setting works exquisitely here. A backdrop of beauty that is full of lurking dangers. The looming hurricane adds a shadowy threat throughout the story.
If anything bad could be said about Echo From a Bayou, it would be that there can be a little too much happening at times. There are suicides and murders, ghosts and curses, car crashes and airline terrorists and so much more. Amazingly, most of these elements work in tandem with each other and the author never drops the ball with them. But it can feel like too much and can detract from the main story in a few scenes.
Echo From a Bayou is a vibrant, fast-paced thriller that will keep you enthralled until its explosive end.
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