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


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.


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.

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1 Comment

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

One Response to Review: What Lies Behind by J.T. Ellison

  1. Timitra

    Thanks for the review Kathy