I think mystery, horror, thriller, and paranormal junkies will find this book quite delicious. There’s a wonderful balance of ghostly happenings and witchcraft with concrete, by-the-book police procedurals and scientific fact. Erin shows great skill at creating creepy atmosphere and nail-biting suspense. And her characters are people we can relate to, void of clichés or one-dimensional caricature studies.
It’s always the small things that win me over. Early on in the book, the lead investigator attends an autopsy, and, in order to mask the smell of death, he chews on a piece of peppermint. Most readers would skim right by this. But as a person who’s actually attended autopsies, the use of something as mundane as peppermint validates this novel for me. It shows me an author who pays meticulous attention to detail.
You can classify Grave Echoes as a paranormal mystery, but at its core, it’s really about transitions and transformations. Kate Waters is at a crossroads. On the one side, she must remain true to how she's defined by her vocation, standing firm on rock. But on the other side, she must deal with her grief by stepping off the cliff of her emotions and trusting in unseen forces. Erin Cole has done an outstanding job at scripting a very believable parallel between Kate’s emotional turmoil and the seismic rumblings of Mt. Hood’s volcanic activity happening all around her.
Erin Cole’s Grave Echoes does just that; it resonates perfection. I anxiously await the sequel.