Title: A Deeper Darkness by J.T. Ellison
Dr. Samantha Owens Series Book One
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
First book in a brand new series by J.T. Ellison.
Into the flood again…
As a medical examiner, Samantha Owen’s job is to make a certain sense of death with crisp methodology and precision instruments.
But the day the Tennessee floods took her husband and children, the light vanished from Sam’s life. She’s pulled into a suffocating grief no amount of workaholic ardor can penetrate—until she receives a peculiar call from Washington, D.C.
On the other end of the line is an old boyfriend’s mother, asking Sam to do a second autopsy on her son. Eddie Donovan is officially the victim of a vicious carjacking, but under Sam’s sharp eye the forensics tell a darker story. The ex-Ranger was murdered, though not for his car.
Forced to confront the burning memories and feelings about yet another loved one killed brutally, Sam loses herself in the mystery contained within Donovan’s old notes. The trail leads her to the untouchable Xander—a soldier off-grid since his return from Afghanistan—and then to a series of brutal crimes stretching from that harsh mountainous war zone to this nation’s capital. The tale told between the lines makes it clear that nobody’s hands are clean, and that making sense of murder sometimes means putting yourself in the crosshairs of death.
A Deeper Darkness is a compelling mystery that provides an in-depth view into the oftentimes unseen toll that war takes on servicemembers and their families. J.T. Ellison brings many of war’s hidden battles to the forefront as Dr. Samantha Owens is unwittingly drawn into the investigation of the death of her former boyfriend Eddie Donovan.
Dr. Sam Owens is emotionally fragile and wracked with guilt over the deaths of her husband and children. Her trip to Washington, DC offers her some much needed distance from her tragic past. It provides her with valuable insight that allows her to begin to heal and move on with her life.
It is Sam’s forensic findings and a second murder involving one of Eddie’s Ranger buddies that changes the course of the murder investigation. Sam and Detective Darren Fletcher’s hunt for the killer exposes a horrific series of events that haunts the men whose close bond of friendship was forged by their wartime experiences.
A Deeper Darkness has an outstanding cast of well rounded three dimensional characters and a superb storyline. The plot goes in many varied and unexpected directions. J.T. Ellison provides a long list of suspects and she does a fantastic job keeping readers guessing the killer’s identity.
The ending of A Deeper Darkness is more of a beginning as Sam comes to terms with her past and moves forward with the help of her surprising new love interest. I am very much looking forward to seeing what Ms. Ellison has planned for this marvelous new series.