Tanner Stransky
February 23, 2007 AT 05:00 AM EST

Lost Echoes

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Joe R. Lansdale
publisher
Vintage
genre
Fiction, Mystery and Thriller

We gave it a B-

”I hear and see ghosts in sounds,” says Harry Wilkes in Joe R. Lansdale’s Lost Echoes. Wilkes is a tortured guy who’s doomed to silently watch murders, suicides, and beatings from the past. All it takes is a loud sound — for example, slamming the same door a murderer shut — to conjure a violent episode. When a friend’s father mysteriously dies, Harry ”visits” the scene for details that expose a twisted chain of events. Clues protrude like sore thumbs, and the overly simple characters (the dopey friend, the bitchy girlfriend) seem prepackaged for a TV movie. But quick-and-punchy chapters — about as deep as the premise — keep the narrative clipping along. B-

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