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3.1 out of 5 stars
Echo (Alex Benedict)
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Nearly ten thousand years in the future people are still making bad decisions about what to buy on the Internet.

Antiquities dealer and well-known historical detective Alex Benedict purchases a stone tablet covered with inscriptions in an unknown language. When he sends his long-time assistant Chase Kolpath to pick it up, she runs into a few problems. As Alex and Chase make repeated attempts to find the artifact, they encounter false leads, attempts on their lives, and the terrified silence of those keeping a thirty-year-old secret. Could Sunset Tuttle, the deceased owner of the tablet, succeeded in his lifelong search for a new alien civilization? If so, why would he keep it quiet...?

This latest Benedict/Kolpath adventure is a good read. There is a mystery to solve, a few clues, a few more false clues, and an end-of-the-book resolution to most of the story's questions. Fans of this series get to see interesting developments in Alex's and Chase's personal lives. And there is the trademark skimmer-in-trouble-over-water scene.

There is the same odd, patchwork view of civilization as in the other books of this series. We see lots of business- and neighborhood-level scenes, and a few descriptions of planetary cultures, but not much at the level of cities or regions. It is as though there is no longer cultural differentiation at this level. Maybe this is intentional, meant to be the result of planet-wide communications and low-cost, high-speed travel. But it feels odd. Consistent, but odd.

The book is a must-read for McDevitt fans. Readers new to this author, or to the Alex Benedict series, should start with A Talent For War.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
I enjoy Jack McDevitt as an author. Echo is a solid, fun space opera romp which deserves more than off-hand one-star reviews from people who haven't read the book. So I'm giving it five to balance the karma.
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on 12 May 2012
I have to confess that American author Jack McDevitt is one of my favourites. It should be noted that he is not often published in the UK. As far as I am concerned he has never written a poor novel and some are excellent. This is his last but one in the Alex Benedict series of SF/Mystery novels of which there are now six. Set in a far future where humanity has colonised numerous star systems but lost much of its history the series concerns the activities of a future dealer in antiques of humanities past looked upon by some as a grave robber. The stories are narrated by his female assitant Chase Kolpath. There is always a mystery to be solved that frequently leads to a surprising conclustion and as usual it is a good satisfying read. I should also add for new readers that each book is complete in itself and can be read in isolation without any real problems of continuity. I look forward to reading the next in the series 'Firebird' when finances permit
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on 3 May 2013
About a third of the way in I started wondering - mind wandering - so took a look at the ending. Then read the last third.
May have been my state of mind, so I'll shelve it and try to re-read it in a couple of months' time. It's written competently enough and I read its successor straight through the next day, so it may really be a problem with this story.
Don't understand quite why Amazon lists these as "Alex Benedict" stories - they're told (in the main) from the viewpoint of Chase Kolpath.
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on 30 October 2011
A partial return to form after the disastrous Time Travellers never die. The plot is intriguing and moderately well worked out, though I thought the final "explanation" of the basis premise was something of a cop-out (can't say any more because it would spoil the plot). My main problem with this series, which I do enjoy very much, is that the home planet setting is becoming more and more like 21st Century middle-class America with added proton guns. I mean - an amateur dramatic society...
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on 6 December 2012
An enjoyable read which keeps you guessing up to the end. As usual with McDevitt good characterisation coupled with a well thought out plot. McDevitt uses his imagination to the benefit of the plot and by not bending the scientific possibilities to the extreme. I did find a couple of minor mistakes on the second or third reading one of which was a Typo. I would not knock Echo for this.
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VINE VOICEon 25 January 2012
This is a pretty run-the-mill McDevitt title, and as such, it's rather mundane. He's been there and done it all before, and the conclusion to this one is pretty weak. It's difficult to comment without spoiling the story, but if you've read any of his other "Benedict" novels, you won't find anything new or terribly compelling here. I'd skip it.
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0 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2011
I bought this for my husband as a gift. He read it and put it straight into the box to go to the charity shop saying it was 'okay' even thought this is the type of book he normally enjoys and would keep to re-read.
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