February 25, 2014
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Dear Dr. Owens,
If you are reading this letter, I am dead and I would be most grateful if you could solve my murder…
Forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens thought life was finally returning to normal after she suffered a terrible personal loss. Settling into her new job at Georgetown University, the illusion is shattered when she receives a disturbing letter from a dead man imploring her to solve his murder. There's only one catch. Timothy Savage's death was so obviously the suicide of a demented individual that the case has been closed.
When Sam learns Savage left a will requesting she autopsy his body, she feels compelled to look into the case. Sam's own postmortem discovers clear signs that Savage was indeed murdered. And she finds DNA from a kidnapped child whose remains were recovered years earlier.
The investigation takes Sam into the shadows of a twenty-year-old mystery that must be solved to determine what really happened to Timothy Savage. Nothing about the case makes sense but it is clear someone is unwilling to let anyone, especially Samantha Owens, discover the truth.
When Shadows Fall is the third book in JT Ellison's Dr Samantha Owens series. Sam's new life (after her life in the Taylor Jackson series) in Washington DC has started and she is now, truly, getting a full life established.
It's as she's preparing to start her new job at Georgetown University when a past - a job - she thought she had left behind returns. When she receives the letter, Sam knows, even if she denies it at first, that she'll conduct an autopsy on the man who penned it.
Sam's findings pull her into the case, its investigation and, of course, the danger posed to those involved - Sam, in particular, as each piece of the story comes to light. She says it's so, but has Sam really left cases and investigation behind?
I am really loving Sam's new life. In the beginning of A Deeper Darkness, the first book of the series, I was a little unsure of the new timeline and life that was being introduced for Samantha Owens. I so enjoyed her in the Taylor Jackson series that it was a bit startling for her to have something so different.
As the books have progressed, though, I've really come to love her life in Washington DC. The series' other characters are ones that I love more with each book. Xander, Thor and Fletcher are a great compliment to Sam and each (Thor, too) have a skill set that gives them a unique edge in the investigations. I really enjoyed that Fletcher's character is given some more development in When Shadows Fall. We found out about his past and he became a part of Sam's life in the first two books, now he gets to have some more story of his own.
Once again, Sam's medical knowledge and her strong desire to uncover the truth are essential to solving the case. That case that the characters get pulled into is a terrific one. We're given some insight into a character who is obviously no good, but whose role in things remains a bit hazy. Even as the 'good guys' are hunting for details, for the unknown, readers get a look into some of it through this character.
Even as the character side of the story is so incredibly strong, as their stories continue to progress, the mystery does not, at all, suffer. Ellison's created a mystery thriller that keeps readers guessing; things are not as they seem. Once it all does come together, things are definitely surprising yet they all make sense. When Shadows Fall is a very strong mystery where the pieces fit together perfectly, with fantastic characters. I'm looking forward to both more mystery in Book 4, as well as watching the characters continue to grow and develop.
Lt Taylor Jackson series (where we meet Dr Owens)
1) All the Pretty Girls (review)
2) 14 (review)
3) Judas Kiss (review)
4) The Cold Room (review)
5) The Immortals (review)
6) So Close the Hand of Death (review)
7) Where All the Dead Lie (review)
Dr Samantha Owens, ME series
1) A Deeper Darkness (review)
2) Edge of Black (review)
3) When Shadows Fall
thank you to Harlequin and NetGalley for my egalley for review