Nonstop action, exotic locales, keep this thriller fresh and exciting.
Philip Donlay’s Deadly Echoes is a thrill ride from start to finish. In his fourth outing, Donovan Nash finds himself up against his longtime sworn enemy, Garrick Pearce. Globe-trotting and nonstop action keep readers on the edge of their seats as Nash fights to save his business, and his life, from ruin. Thrillers rely on systematic plot points and aggressive action to keep the story moving and the bullets flying. Deadly Echoes is no different. The standard characters are all here, as well. Donlay keeps this fresh by amping up the action to full speed.
Nash is the typical good guy. He’s bighearted, assertive, and very capable of taking care of himself. Pearce, the villain, is everything that Nash is not. His evil comes shining through, particularly in his plan to ruin Nash by destroying his environmental protection and research activism group, Eco-Watch. The bad guy takes something that the good guy values and essentially holds it hostage.
Donlay is an expert at fast-paced scene description and putting the reader right in the middle of the action: “Donovan knew they weren’t going to stop before they reached the fence. His thigh burned in protest as he used all his strength on the brake pedals…Like a fifteen-foot scythe, the wing tip sliced into the fence, ripping it to shreds as the entire left side of the plane slammed into the water-filled culvert creating a huge geyser.”
The exotic, and even the not-so-exotic, locales really add to the story, as well. They keep the pace of the plot in high gear, and they add depth and interest to the story. Because of his extensive travel, Donlay is able to recreate a wide variety of locales—Alaska, Hawaii, Southern California, Iceland, Paris—that keep his readers actively pursuing the story. Donlay also combines a number of modes of transportation such as private jet and boat to increase interest.
While none of the characters goes beyond the standard thriller-mode, Nash and his compatriots are likable enough. The good guys are good and the bad guys are bad with few nuances. That said, because the plot moves so fast, the lack of any significant characterization is not harmful in the least.
Thriller fans and fans of the other books in the Donovan Nash series will be pleased with this book. It is not necessary to have read the first books in the series to understand Deadly Echoes. It would be helpful simply to get to know Nash, but no loss of story is suffered by diving right in to this one as a stand-alone.
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