Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book Review: 'When Shadows Fall' by J.T. Ellison

After enduring a series of traumatic losses that could have left her emotionally crippled, Dr. Samantha Owens, former Chief Medial Examiner for the State of Tennessee, is making a valiant effort to get her life back on track. She has moved to the nation's capital, where she will be head of the forensic pathology department at Georgetown University Medical School. Sam's newfound contentment may also be traced to her relationship with ex-army ranger Xander Whitfield, whom she has grown to love deeply.

Dr. Owens still has occasional bouts of anxiety, but she believes that work and Xander's presence are the best medicine for what ails her. However, deep down, she misses law enforcement, and wonders if her new job will prove to be challenging and fulfilling enough to satisfy her. In J. T. Ellison's "When Shadows Fall," Sam is dragged back into the field when a man she has never met sends her a letter. In it, he tells her that he has been murdered and he wants her to find the perpetrator. Along with Special Agent John Baldwin from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, Detective Darren Fletcher, and others, Sam becomes embroiled in a labyrinthine case that will place all of their lives in danger.

Sam is the prototypical smart, beautiful, and spunky heroine who is never at a loss for male attention. This lively and suspenseful thriller ticks all the boxes: psychopathic serial killer; charismatic cult leader; abducted children; and seemingly upstanding citizens who are secretly engaged in nefarious acts. There are steamy encounters, brutal executions, and the usual twists and turns, some of which are genuinely surprising. Ellison's complex plot, well-staged confrontations, and sympathetic main character make "When Shadows Fall" gripping entertainment.

Editor's note: This review was written by Eleanor Bukowsky and has been reposted with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right

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