Fascinating period detail and steadily escalating tension craft Dianna Crawford's latest in the Reardon Valley series into one of the best yet. On the 1815 American frontier, Hope Underwood has nearly given up any hope of happiness. Widowed after a brief, disappointing marriage, she has a toddler to raise and elderly in-laws growing feebler by the day. Worse, the Underwoods' spoiled, lazy youngest son seems to think he has a right to claim his brother's widow. Then Michael Flanagan returns to the valley his family fled 10 years ago under suspicious circumstances. Hope waited seven years for him before she married someone else for convenience rather than love. What could Michael want in Reardon Valley? Could he still be seeking AN ECHO OF HOPE (4)? (Aug., 336 pp., $9.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson