Echo From a Bayou

Fiction - Suspense
420 Pages
Reviewed on 08/22/2023
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Author Biography

Amidst the concrete jungles of Southern California, a master civil engineer became a world-renowned author, philanthropist, and daredevil pilot. While constructing bridges and highways, Bennecke secretly plotted high-octane thrillers that became instant bestsellers. But his adventures didn't end there. As a licensed real estate broker and general contractor, he built homes with the precision of a ninja, all while jetting off to exotic destinations, voiceover acting, and giving back to the community via annual high school scholarships. Living in the shadows of Cherry Valley, CA, Bennecke's next daring escapade is always just around the corner.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

In Echo From a Bayou by J. Luke Bennecke, John Bastian, a Californian whose personal and financial life is in shambles, goes for a much-needed ski break with his friend Kevin. It ends with John in a coma, awakening with a new outlook on life and death...but not his own. Memories belonging to a Southern man named Jack Bachman take hold, including the violent murder that ended Jack's life. Visions of Jack's former life begin to overwhelm John, ultimately leading to himself and Kevin heading to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to make contact with Jack's widow, Tammy. John wrestles to balance his faith against paranormal spirituality as a real act of God gets ready to pummel the hurricane-prone region, and the bounty that Jack once chased while others chased him could very well deliver the same fate for John.

I've always been drawn to novels where intertwined plotlines explore the concept of parallel lives, but most tend to veer into past life regression. J. Luke Bennecke does an exceptional job in taking readers in an alternative direction with the dead stepping into the actual body of someone living to solve their own murder, and possibly exact revenge, in Echo From a Bayou. I loved that John was still John, that Jack was also still Jack, and that both had the kind of friend that everyone deserves as their wingman: the awesome Kevin. Bennecke shines in two areas. The first is with the element of surprise that unfolds from a mystery, and the paranormal angles that elevate both. There are more 'people' at play than John and Jack, and all of them are thoroughly developed. The second is his prose which doubles as sensory descriptions. "Perhaps I had traveled into a dimension unknown to man... Between realms. I somehow had full awareness of him and his life force." Overall, this is an excellent book and Bennecke has just roped in a devoted new fan. Very highly recommended.