Category Archives: JT Ellison

Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

Title: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel. 

They built a life on lies 

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

Review:

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison is a twist-filled, suspense laden mystery about a missing wife whom the police eventually suspect the husband might have murdered.

Sutton and Ethan Montclair are a seemingly perfect couple.  Both are successful authors who lead a somewhat glamorous life. They live in a beautifully remodeled home in an upscale neighborhood. However, after enduring an absolutely heartbreaking loss, cracks appear in their once rock solid happy marriage and both suffer a few upsetting career setbacks.  So when Ethan wakes up to find that Sutton has disappeared without taking any of her personal possessions, he is concerned about her in spite the note she left for him telling her not to look for her.  After Ethan reports her disappearance to the police, he becomes their prime suspect after they uncover damning information that leads them to believe he might have murdered Sutton. One of the investigators on the case, Holly Graham, is not quite convinced that Ethan is responsible for his wife’s disappearance but will she uncover the evidence she needs to clear him of wrongdoing?

The mystery surrounding Sutton’s disappearance is gripping and initially, Ethan’s version of events rings true. However, disquieting information is quickly disclosed that allows doubts to gradually creep in. His behavior is erratic and some of his reactions seem just a tad bit… off. The information the police uncover is sinister but would Ethan really be stupid enough to leave evidence if he is actually responsible for Sutton’s suspicious disappearance?

Interspersed with the unfolding events are chapters from an unidentified person’s perspective. These chilling entries paint the picture of a very disturbed individual. The addition of this unknown entity ratchets up the tension as the search for Sutton intensifies.

Lie to Me is an extremely clever mystery with a dark and twisted storyline that keeps the novel moving at a blistering pace. The characters are not likeable and as the story progresses, they become increasingly unreliable. Readers will remain glued to the pages of this diabolical thriller as they attempt to piece together the truth about whether or not Ethan has anything to do with Sutton’s disappearance.  Through a series of cunning twists and shocking turns, J.T. Ellison  brings the novel to a jaw-dropping conclusion. A masterfully written thriller that I absolutely LOVED and highly recommend to fans of the genre.

3 Comments

Filed under Contemporary, JT Ellison, Mira, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

Title: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel. 

They built a life on lies 

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

Review:

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison is a twist-filled, suspense laden mystery about a missing wife whom the police eventually suspect the husband might have murdered.

Sutton and Ethan Montclair are a seemingly perfect couple.  Both are successful authors who lead a somewhat glamorous life. They live in a beautifully remodeled home in an upscale neighborhood. However, after enduring an absolutely heartbreaking loss, cracks appear in their once rock solid, happy marriage and both suffer a few upsetting career setbacks.  So when Ethan wakes up to find that Sutton has disappeared without taking any of her personal possessions, he is concerned about her in spite the note she left for him telling her not to look for her.  After Ethan reports her disappearance to the police, he becomes their prime suspect when they uncover damning information that leads them to believe he might have murdered Sutton. One of the investigators on the case, Holly Graham, is not quite convinced that Ethan is responsible for his wife’s disappearance but will she uncover the evidence she needs to clear him of wrongdoing?

The mystery surrounding Sutton’s disappearance is gripping and initially, Ethan’s version of events rings true. However, disquieting information is quickly disclosed that allows doubts to gradually creep in. His behavior is erratic and some of his reactions seem just a tad bit… off. The information the police uncover is sinister but would Ethan really be stupid enough to leave evidence if he is actually responsible for Sutton’s suspicious disappearance?

Interspersed with the unfolding events are chapters from an unidentified person’s perspective. These chilling entries paint the picture of a very disturbed individual. The addition of this unknown entity ratchets up the tension as the search for Sutton intensifies.

Lie to Me is an extremely clever mystery with a dark and twisted storyline that keeps the novel moving at a blistering pace. The characters are not likeable and as the story progresses, they become increasingly unreliable. Readers will remain glued to the pages of this diabolical thriller as they attempt to piece together the truth about whether or not Ethan has anything to do with Sutton’s disappearance.  Through a series of cunning twists and shocking turns, J.T. Ellison  brings the novel to a jaw-dropping conclusion. A masterfully written thriller that I absolutely LOVED and highly recommend to fans of the genre.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, JT Ellison, Lie to Me, Mira, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: Field of Graves by J.T. Ellison

Title: Field of Graves by J.T. Ellison
Taylor Jackson Series Book Eight
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 368
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

With FIELD OF GRAVES, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison goes back to where it all began…

All of Nashville is on edge with a serial killer on the loose. A madman is trying to create his own end-of-days apocalypse and the cops trying to catch him are almost as damaged as the killer. Field of Graves reveals the origins of some of J.T. Ellison’s most famous creations: the haunted Lieutenant Taylor Jackson; her blunt, exceptional best friend, medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens; and troubled FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. Together, they race the clock and their own demons to find the killer before he claims yet another victim. This dark, thrilling and utterly compelling novel will have readers on the edge of their seats, and Ellison’s fans will be delighted with the revelations about their favorite characters.

Review:

Field of Graves by J.T. Ellison is a riveting addition to the Taylor Jackson series.  This enthralling mystery is a prequel that provides readers with an insightful peek into the background of Lt. Jackson and Dr. John Baldwin.

Taylor is a hardworking detective whose meteoric rise through the ranks is well deserved.  Having recently returned to duty following her self-defense shooting of a fellow officer, she is still struggling with nightmares and the occasional panic attack.  When someone begins murdering young college women, Taylor and her team work around the clock to capture the person responsible for the deaths. 

The evidence recovered from the victims’ bodies is puzzling but it is unique enough to link the crimes together and the police soon fear a serial killer is on the loose.  FBI profiler John Baldwin joins the investigation as a consultant, but he is battling his own demons from a case that went horribly wrong several months earlier.  When another body is discovered and they learn another young woman is missing, Taylor, John and the rest of the investigators finally uncover the link between the victims but will they find the catch the killer before it is too late?

While Taylor has the unconditional support of her boss and her team of detectives, she is well aware that other members of law enforcement are not so forgiving.  She is still wrapping up the final details stemming from the shooting and the corruption case she uncovered. With a grand jury appearance looming over her, Taylor focuses her full attention on the troubling murders.   The dump site has been elaborately staged and it is apparent the killer performed some of ritual on the body. The cause of death is equally disturbing and Taylor is stymied as she tries to understand the possible motive for the murders. While she welcomes John’s assistance, she is afraid his baggage might interfere with his ability to put together a viable profile of the killer.

Deeply depressed for months and drinking heavily while contemplating his next move, John is not exactly jumping at the opportunity to help solve the case.  His reluctance to join the investigation slowly disappears as he becomes intrigued by the various elements of the murders.  Taylor is quick to notice how deeply troubled he is and she does not hesitate to confront him about some of his behavior.  Much to her surprise, John is soon fully immersed in the case and as they are closing in on the killer, he is able to accurately piece together the reasons for the murders.

Field of Graves by J.T. Ellison is a compelling police procedural that has an unusual storyline and a multi-faceted cast of characters. Although initially a little slow paced, the novel quickly builds up steam and hurtles to a rather dramatic and pulse-pounding conclusion.  Although this latest release is the eighth book in the Taylor Jackson series, it can easily be read as standalone. I highly recommend this outstanding mystery to fans of the genre.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Field of Graves, Harlequin, JT Ellison, Mira, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Taylor Jackson Series

Review: No One Knows by J.T. Ellison

Title: No One Knows by J.T. Ellison
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 368 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

In an obsessive mystery as thrilling as The Girl on the Train and The Husband’s Secret, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison will make you question every twist in her page-turning novel—and wonder which of her vividly drawn characters you should trust.

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on; she wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious yet strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

In No One Knows, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the Nicholas Drummond series expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. This masterful thriller for fans of Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins will pull readers into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.

Review:

No One Knows by J.T. Ellison is a riveting mystery that is full of twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the novel’s jaw-dropping conclusion.

For five long years, Aubrey Hamilton has been haunted by her husband Josh’s disappearance from a friend’s bachelor party.  Almost certainly a victim of foul play, his body has never been recovered. Her mother-in-law Daisy’s petition to have her son legally declared dead has just been granted and Daisy is preparing to begin proceedings to receive the proceeds his five million dollar life insurance policy.  Aubrey is convinced Josh is dead but after meeting Chase Boden, a stranger who bears a startling resemblance to Josh, she begins to wonder if her husband might, in fact, actually be alive.

Aubrey is a fascinating character who has not had an easy life.  Orphaned at a young age, she grew up foster care where the things she was exposed to forced her to grow up way too fast.  Foster brother Tyler protected her as best he could but Aubrey always considered childhood friend turned sweetheart Josh her savior.  Although she did what she had to in order to survive her tough environment, Aubrey completely turned her life around for good guy Josh and their storybook marriage thrived despite Josh’s grueling residency schedule, staggering student loans and Daisy’s fierce dislike of her daughter-in-law.

By all appearances, it certainly seems as though Josh is deserving of Aubrey’s devotion and adoration.  He enjoyed a fairly idyllic childhood that was marred by Daisy’s intense antipathy towards Aubrey.  However, a shocking revelation drove a wedge between mother and son and while Josh grew closer to his stepfather, he distanced himself from Daisy.  Josh dreamed of becoming a doctor from a young age and he diligently worked toward achieving his goal.  Marrying Aubrey was the highlight of his life and their life together was absolutely perfect.  But, as we all know, nothing is as ever as perfect as it appears and once Josh is legally declared dead, Aubrey receives information that suggests Josh might not have as squeaky clean as she thought he was.

Aubrey’s chance meeting with Chase is the impetus she needs to stop mourning her loss and begin to move on with her life.  Deeply attracted to the handsome stranger, her out of character behavior with him sets the stage for a possible romance but thoughts of Josh continue to linger.  Determined to accept he is dead, Aubrey is shaken when she approached by a stranger who appears to have an agenda and she decides to look a little deeper into Josh’s disappearance.  A stunning revelation from her mother-in-law changes the course of her investigation but nothing can prepare Aubrey (or readers) for the shocking series of events that is about to occur.

Written from multiple points of view, No One Knows is a mesmerizing novel that will leave readers breathlessly anticipating the truth about what happened to Josh Hamilton.  J.T. Ellison skillfully weaves past and present into a compelling mystery that is part psychological thriller and part whodunit.  As the story unfolds, Aubrey becomes an increasingly unreliable narrator when disturbing information about her past is revealed. With each astonishing revelation and every shocking plot twist, No One Knows thunders to a conclusion that is absolutely stunning.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Gallery Books, JT Ellison, Mystery, No One Knows, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

Review: What Lies Behind by J.T. Ellison

lies behindTitle: What Lies Behind by J.T. Ellison
Dr. Samantha Owens Series Book Four
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Critically acclaimed New York Times bestselling author J. T. Ellison delivers another riveting novel featuring the incomparable Dr. Samantha Owens 

Waking to sirens in the night is hardly unusual for Samantha Owens. No longer a medical examiner, she doesn’t lose sleep over them, but a routine police investigation in her neighborhood has her curious. When her homicide detective friend, Darren Fletcher, invites her to look over the evidence, she jumps at the chance and immediately realizes the crime scene has been staged. What seems to be a clear case of murder/suicide—a crime of passion—is anything but. The discovery of toxic substances in hidden vials indicates that something much more sinister is at play…

As Fletch and Sam try to understand what and who they are dealing with, they are summoned to a meeting at the State Department. High-level officials are interested in what they know and seem to be keeping secrets of their own. It’s up to Sam and Fletch to uncover what lies behind the deception as the threat of bioterrorism is exposed, and her boyfriend, Xander Whitfield, may be in the line of fire.

Unsure who to trust, Sam and Fletch find themselves up against very powerful people at every stage in the investigation. No one is who they appear to be and with every minute that passes, the danger escalates. It’s Sam’s most complex case yet and the terrifying reality is beyond anything she could have imagined.

Review:

What Lies Behind is a fast-paced and riveting mystery by J.T. Ellison. This fourth installment in the captivating Dr. Samantha Owens series is another meticulously plotted and intriguing police procedural that fans of the genre do not want to miss.

Former medical examiner Sam Owens’ curiosity is immediately piqued when a crime occurs in her neighborhood and she readily agrees to her good friend Detective Darren Fletcher’s request to take a look at the scene. Sam immediately concludes that what was thought to be a murder/suicide is in actuality a double homicide. When she uncovers hidden evidence that suggests a possible biological threat, a top ranking government official asks them to keep their investigation under wraps. Each clue leads to more dead bodies, and Sam is stunned when their case converges with her fiancé Xander Whitfield’s current protection detail of a wealthy businessman. Sam and Darren team up with Xander and once all of the pieces of puzzle fall into place, they are horrified by the diabolical plot they uncover.

As a consultant for the FBI, Sam is also working on a series of unsolved murders spanning twenty years. While there is only a tenuous link between the killings, she and her boss John Baldwin are convinced they are the work of the same killer. Although they have just begun to scratch the surface of their investigation, the case will take on an unexpected urgency by the time the double homicide is solved.

What Lies Behind is a complex murder mystery that is full of unexpected twists and turns. The plot is brilliantly executed and frighteningly realistic. The characters from the previous novels in the series continue to evolve as new facets of their personalities are revealed while a few new faces help keep the series fresh and interesting. The main mystery is completely solved by the novel’s conclusion, but J.T. Ellison ends the story with a cliffhanger that will leave fans impatiently awaiting the next installment of the Dr. Samantha Owens series.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Dr Samantha Owens Series, JT Ellison, Mira, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense, What Lies Behind

Review: When Shadows Fall by J.T. Ellison

whenTitle: When Shadows Fall by J.T. Ellison
Dr. Samantha Owens Series Book Three
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Mira
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

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.

The Review:

When Shadows Fall is another riveting novel in J.T. Ellison’s spectacular series starring forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens. Unable to resist a dead man’s request to investigate his murder, Sam uncovers perplexing information that leads back to a long closed kidnapping case. The subsequent investigation takes many startling twists and turns and exposes a shocking secret that someone will go to any lengths to keep hidden.

When Shadows Fall opens with Sam happily settled into her new life with ex-Army Ranger Zander Whitfield and her new career as head of the Forensic Pathology department at Georgetown University. With her classes due to begin in a few days, Sam is beginning to have a few reservations about giving up law enforcement and a surprising offer to become an FBI consultant is weighing heavily on her mind. The arrival of the letter from Timothy Savage is an unwelcome reminder of what Sam has left behind and at first she refuses to become involved with his case. But the murder of Savage’s attorney piques her curiosity, and with the help of Xander and DC Detective (and close friend) Darren “Fletch” Fletcher, Sam delves a little deeper into the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

The trio have barely begun looking into Savage’s death when a young girl is kidnapped and Fletch is a paired up with FBI agent Jordan Blake to find the missing girl. Evidence from the Savage death leads back to a similar kidnapping years earlier and it soon becomes clear that present day events are somehow linked to this previously solved kidnapping. The trail takes them back to this long ago investigation and with a young girl’s life hanging in the balance, Sam, Xander and Fletch are frantically trying to fit the puzzling clues together.

When Shadows Fall is a fascinating and action filled thriller that is quite compelling. Intriguing chapters from an unknown person’s point of view add a sense of urgency to an already suspense laden storyline. Flashbacks offer chilling insight into a seemingly unrelated series of murders and the divergent story arcs begin to converge into a plausible scenario that is quite chilling.

Once again, J.T. Ellison provides readers a fresh and unique mystery that is infinitely fascinating but impossible to solve. Although it can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend all of the novels in this incredible series.

Read my reviews of the other novels in the series HERE.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Dr Samantha Owens Series, Harlequin, JT Ellison, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, When Shadows Fall