First line: "The first time I saw her, she made me remember and she made me forget."
Matt Coyle makes his debut with former cop and current restaurant manager, Rick Cahill. While a police officer in Santa Barbara, Cahill is accused of murdering his wife. He was released but never cleared as a "person of interest" in the case. Now he's working with his college buddy Turk Muldoon at Muldoon's La Jolla restaurant.
Even trying to keep his head down and his nose clean, Cahill can't avoid trouble. It seeks him out in the form of a beautiful reporter named Melody Malana. After meeting one night in the restaurant, Cahill is unable to refuse her plea for help when she returns after hours with visible bruises. But the stakes go much higher than rescuing a damsel in distress when Melody's felon ex-husband is found dead in her hotel room along with evidence that Cahill had been there.
Corrupt cops, a former Vegas casino owner, and high ranking politicians are all tied up in the secrets surrounding the murder. Cahill has to figure out how to keep from being the scapegoat or this time could mean his life.
Yesterday's Echo is a solid first novel from Matt Coyle. Cahill encompasses many of the traditional P.I. characteristics, but he also has a more modern dimension, emotionally. His connections with friends, former girlfriends, even his dog, show a vulnerability that makes his struggle with the loss of his wife authentic and impactful.
Coyle throws a good mix of shady characters into the plot, several of whom end up surprisingly complex. The plot twists and red herrings keep the pace moving swiftly. And readers will find a scenic view of his Southern California setting.
Peppered throughout the novel are little writing gems. One of which is the book's title. Much the way Michael Koryta's Sorrow's Anthem hit me when the title's meaning was revealed, "yesterday's echo" is double-take worthy. It's thought-provoking and lasting...echoing, if you will.
PI and police procedural fans, Matt Coyle is a writer you'll want to watch. He's carving a place for himself in the genre and I'm excited to see where he goes from here.
Yesterday's Echo is available in hardcover (ISBN: 978-1608090761) from Oceanview Publishing. It's also available as a Brilliance unabridged audio (ISBN: 978-1469277462) narrated by Nick Podehl.