Title: Edge of Black by J.T. Ellison
Dr. Samantha Owens Series Book Two
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Romance
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+
Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
Dr. Samantha Owens is starting over: new city, new job, new man, new life. She’s trying to put some distance between herself and the devastating loss of her husband and children—but old hurts leave scars.
Before she’s even unpacked her office at Georgetown University’s forensic pathology department, she’s called to consult on a case that’s rocked the capital and the country. An unknown pathogen released into the Washington Metro has caused nationwide panic. Three people died—just three.
A miracle and a puzzle…
Amid the media frenzy and Homeland Security alarm bells, Sam painstakingly dissects the lives of those three victims and makes an unsettling conclusion. This is no textbook terrorist causing mayhem with broad strokes, but an artist wielding a much finer, more pointed instrument of destruction. An assassin, whose motive is deeply personal and far from understandable.
Xander Whitfield, a former army ranger and Sam’s new boyfriend, knows about seeing the world in shades of gray. About feeling compelled to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Only his disturbing kinship with a killer can lead Sam to the truth…and once more into the line of fire.
Edge of Black, J.T. Ellison’s latest release starring Dr. Sam Owens, is a deeply compelling mystery that is action-packed and terrifyingly realistic. A biological attack at a Metro station in her new hometown of Washington, D.C. finds Sam back on the job as a medical examiner when Detective Darren Fletcher requests her assistance with an autopsy of a high profile victim.
Sam’s new life as a college professor comes to abrupt halt when one of her students falls deathly ill during class. Sam and the rest of the country are shocked at the news of a possible terrorist attack. One of the deceased is Congressman Peter Leighton and Sam’s autopsy reveals puzzling information about the possible pathogen and her subsequent investigation uncovers a surprising link between him and the other two victims who died. Sam’s lover, ex-Army Ranger Zander Whitfield, reaches a startling conclusion about the possible identity of the perpetrator, and the trail leads directly back to his past. Was the attack an act of terror? Or is there a far more twisted and personal reason for the deaths?
Sam has made considerable progress both emotionally and professionally since the end of A Deeper Darkness. More at peace with her past tragedies, she has settled into a romantic relationship with Xander and she is excited about her new teaching career. Sam cannot turn down Darren’s request to help out in the aftermath of the suspected terrorist attack and she is pleasantly surprised to find a renewed zeal for her former profession. With her professional interest piqued, Sam eagerly delves into the lives of the deceased and her discoveries change the possible course of the investigation.
Zander’s role in the investigation provides readers with important background information about his character. His experiences and contacts with the shadowy fringes of survivalists and hacktivists take him back to his hometown and the commune life he left behind when he joined the Army. His interactions with his parents and friends reveal different facets of his personality and give him much more depth.
Edge of Black is an action driven novel that moves at a blistering pace. Twists and turns keep the plot quickly moving in unexpected directions. Part political thriller, part murder mystery and part romance, J.T. Ellison brings her readers a realistic and chilling tale that I highly recommend.
Read my review of other novels in this series HERE.