Where Echoes Die: A Novel (Hardcover)
Two sisters travel to an isolated Arizona town to investigate its connection to their mother’s death, but uncover more than they bargained for in this supernatural thriller from the author of The Dead and the Dark.
Beck Birsching has been adrift since the death of her mother, a brilliant but troubled investigative reporter. She can’t stop herself from slipping into memories of happier days, longing for a time when things were more normal. So when a mysterious letter in her mother’s handwriting arrives in the mail that reads Come and find me, pointing to the small town at the center of her last investigation, Beck hopes that it may hold the answers.
But when Beck and her sister Riley arrive in Backravel, Arizona, it’s clear that something’s off. There are no cars, no cemeteries, no churches. The town is a mix of dilapidated military structures and new, shiny buildings, all overseen by a gleaming treatment center high on a plateau. No one seems to remember when they got there, and when Beck digs deeper into the town’s enigmatic leader and his daughter, Avery, she begins to suspect that they know more than they’re letting on.
As Beck and her sister search for answers about their mother, she and Avery are increasingly drawn together, and their unexpected connection brings up emotions Beck has fought to keep buried. Beck is desperate to hold onto the way things used to be, but when she starts losing herself in Backravel—and its connection to her mother— she risks losing her way back out.
In Where Echoes Die, Courtney Gould draws readers into a haunting desert town to explore grief, the weight of not letting go of the past, first love, and the bonds between sisters, mothers and daughters.
Finalist for the Oregon Book Award's Leslie Bradshaw Award for Middle Grade & Young Adult Literature, 2024
“[A] supernatural thrill ride...[Gould] carefully weaves together a powerful portrait of grief and healing that's equal parts unnerving and heartbreaking.” –Publishers Weekly (starred)
“An acknowledgment of the impossibility of staying still despite the inevitability of death, and an exploration of the ways in which grief makes us vulnerable that is at once universal and highly specific. Imaginative, unexpectedly resonant, and recommended.” –Booklist
“A sophisticated and entertaining read that is highly atmospheric...A creative exploration of loss and discovery.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Gould’s masterfully sensory descriptions of rural life will have you inhaling rusty road dust and feeling the sweat-slicked leather of a car seat in the sun sticking to your thighs from page one…you can physically feel time and space closing in as the mystery unfolds.” –Paste Magazine
"Two sisters head to the desert to find the truth behind their mother’s death in this moody, atmospheric detective story." --LitHub
“A dazzling desert fever dream. With a winning cast of characters and a voice that’s by turns eerie and gentle, Courtney Gould spins a stunning whirlwind journey through time, grief, and love. Readers will find their way to Backravel, Arizona over and over again.” --Rebecca Mahoney, author of The Valley and the Flood
“An intoxicating, dream-like mystery, as hazy as the desert heat, and a poignant story about the transformative power of trauma and grief. Where Echoes Die is a bleakly beautiful book that will unnerve and enchant you in equal measure--a stunning achievement." --Ava Reid, bestselling author of The Wolf and the Woodsman
“Eerie, tender, and inventive, Where Echoes Die is a triumph. With atmosphere as stark and ruthless as the Arizona heat and a masterfully unspooling mystery, Gould crafts a tale about survival and moving on that had me completely arrested.” —Allison Saft, NYT bestselling author of Down Comes the Night
Praise for Courtney Gould and The Dead and the Dark:
"Gould has a gift for supernatural storytelling." - Culturess
"Imagine Riverdale crossing streams with Stephen King's The Outsider and you'll get a sense of this gripping supernatural mystery...Gould's debut begins as a snappy paranormal yarn and unspools into a profound story about the complex interplay between grief, guilt, and identity." - Oprah Daily
"Gould’s atmospheric writing mesmerized me while reading... In the veins of V.E. Schwab and Courtney Summers, Gould delivers a spine-chilling and eerie debut with The Dead and the Dark that will leave readers hooked from the first page." - The Nerd Daily
"For fans of books like authors like Courtney Summers and Lisa Jewel, Courtney Gould’s debut novel The Dead and the Dark packs a chilling story of a murder conspiracy, family bonds, and the darkness that exists within the seams of society and even inside the most purest of people." - The Young Folks
"Gould's debut is an utterly dreamy romance in the midst of a living nightmare, and a true testament to the power of love in a world of hate. It's exactly the book we need right now." - Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer and editor of His Hideous Heart
"The Dead and the Dark has something for everyone: thrills, chills, a mystery that'll keep readers guessing and a romance they'll absolutely love rooting for. Snakebite is a setting as unforgettably alive as the characters who inhabit it and once it gets hold of you, it won't let go. A riveting, spooky and expertly-crafted debut from a talented new voice in YA fiction." - Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie