“Yesterday’s Echo”

“Yesterday’s Echo” by Matt Coyle is the first book in the Rick Cahill series. With “Lost Tomorrows,” book six in the series, arriving on December 3, 2019, this is an appropriate time to look back at how it all started. Rick Cahill arrived on the pages burdened with a traumatic past, an unstable present, and an uncertain future. Before readers even met Cahill, his father had resigned from the La Jolla police department in disgrace suspected of malfeasance and corruption. Cahill had attempted to outrun the cloud of dishonor by joining the police force in Santa Barbara; however trouble followed there as well. His wife was murdered, and although charges against him were dropped, he was always a person of interest in her death. When readers meet Cahill, he still agonizes over this; “Coleen used to say she felt safe with me and that she knew I would always protect her. And I had. Except for the one night that had really mattered

The books are structured as Cahill’s first person narrative, and readers are immediately pulled into Cahill’s life, the struggles, the successes, and the overwhelming guilt. He talks to readers as if talking to a friend; he shares his philosophy of life; “Sometimes you have to do what’s right even when the law says it’s wrong.” And he describes his current choice of occupation; “Now strangers come to me with their problems and I try to solve them. I do it for money, not for love. It’s easier that way. Fewer people get hurt.”

La Jolla provides the framework for Cahill’s experiences; both the beautiful, “At night, it was magical. Scattered rainbows of lights from the restaurants stores, and hotels of the Golden triangle to the north gave way to the intermittent twinkles of house lights among the dark vacuum of hills rolling down to the black expanse of ocean rimmed by white splashes of broken waves.” And the painful; “It was a police station. A place where I used to belong, but never would again. A place where you were forced to face the truth, even when you lied.”

“Yesterday’s Echo” introduces characters who drop in and out of Cahill’s life in the years to come. Readers who missed the first installment in Rick Cahill’s life will appreciate the consistent earnestness that propels him from the start and carries him through the books that follow. This is a good time for faithful readers to revisit Cahill’s past in preparation for revelations of “Lost Tomorrows.”