I probably should've written my reactions to Diana Gabaldon's Breath of Snow and Ashes before I read Echo in the Bone. The story so captivated me, however, I just kept reading from one book straight into the next. This is the Diana Gabaldon we've all come to know and love. The place-marker pace of The Fiery Cross is gone and Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger and everyone else are off at breakneck speeds once more. Both books keep up the energetic pace and...wait. I'm getting ahead of myself.
One of the hallmarks is a good story is evident when the reader can't get the story out of his/her head, even when doing mundane tasks like laundry or grocery shopping or teaching a class. Okay, the last isn't mundane, but shows the depth to which these characters and the events that happen to them (or they cause to happen, which is more often the case with Jamie) stick with the reader. Breath of Snow and Ashes has a scene that made me put down the book and sit and think about it for a good, long time.
I need to put in a small spoiler here, so if you haven't read the book and don't want any spoilers, stop reading at this point and go here to read something on a completely different topic.
(I'm putting my badge here as a way of helping to put space before the spoiler. You've been warned!)