Monday, May 5, 2014

J. T. Ellison's When Shadows Fall Presents Creatively Complex Mystery and Suspense!

"I'd like to hear more about
Eden. Is it rare to have a
female cult leader? Sam
asked.
Thurber nodded. "Not rare,
but certainly not common.
Eden was an interesting crew.
They were set up to work in a
trinity--I don't know if you are
familiar with the idea of
synarchist rule?
Harmony among multiple
leaders?






When Shadows 

                  Fall...




By J. T. Ellison
A young girl, a middle-aged
woman and a woman in her
seventies/"
"Maid, mother and crone?"
"Right. But the older woman
was among the dead at the
barn
.
~~~
Historically,Eden has three
leaders, all from the same
bloodline. Three generations of
women
.

"Let not your heart be concerned with death,
for the three corners of our life are at hand.
Birth, life, death: this is the only cycle that matters.
Death is the great equalizer. Whether your life is
year or one hundred years, you will be
resurrected in me, and we shall all live forever
when the shadows at last fall."
--Curtis Lott


  
This latest version of this series was a first for me...Wow! I really enjoyed it and wish I had time to go back and catch up--I still might! Everything forensics is fun for me... Mostly because they are very detail-oriented and includes consideration of all things affecting a crime. This makes for a very complex mystery and suspenseful time for readers, wading through what is happening and trying to, maybe, solve the mystery in advance.. Obviously I have to recommend this one!
Dr. Samantha Owens stared out the window
of her new office, admiring the view she'd be
enjoying for the next several years. Trees...
And so different from her anonymous, stain-
less steel office in Nashville. A welcome
A change she'd openly pursued, sure to the
core she no longer wanted to work in law
enforcement. The idea of keeping herself
separate from the hurt and fear and messi-
ness of the real world appealed to her...
~~~
Lots and lots of trees. The Georgetown Univer-
sity campus was landscaped to perfection,
bringing the joys of wildlife and green space
to their urban oasis. Maples and will oaks,
zelkovas and ginkgo, viburnum and holly, and
more she had no names for. In truth, this deep
into the war, wet D.C. summer, everything was
so green it made hr eyes hurt. It was all so
bloody alive.
~~~
He was much bigger than she was; she could just reach her arms
around his body. She pulled him closer, and closer still, until he
picked her up as if she weighed no more than a leaf, and her legs
wrapped around his waist. He went to his knees and bent her backward
into the grass, and she wanted him, wanted him so badly, she didn't
care that people were walking down the street five feet away, on the
other side of her fence. She wanted him now...
~~~
The knock at the door made Thor leap
to his feet and go tearing into the hall.
He was too well disciplined to bark, but
stood at attention, yellow eyes fixed on
door. Xander tensed. He didn't like
unscheduled visits...
~~~
Samantha Owens  has been through some major personal issues, which is all I'll say because I haven't read those books... however, it has led to her accepting a teaching job to get away from the daily nightmarish environment of a forensic pathologist. Her husband and twins had been killed and she was still recovering, although she had met someone who had been able to push through to her emotions. Xander had a background that had also left him with issues, so that he lived in a cabin, along with his friend, Thor, away from it all, but he, too, fought being pulled back into dangerous situations...


She was already to go up until right before school would be starting... And she received this 
“Dear Dr. Owens,

If you are reading this letter, I am dead. I would be most grateful if you would solve my murder. I know how determined you are, and talented. If anyone can figure out this mess, it’s you.


I’ve compiled a list of suspects for you to look at, and set aside some money to cover your expenses. I fear your life may be in danger once they find I’ve contacted you, so I urge you to take every precaution.

Yours,
Timothy R. Savage”

"Let's get his clothes off. I can't believe they
redressed him after they examined him," she said.
"From what I've been told, there was no real
examination at all. You have a clean slate."
Sam looked at Regina. "What? I knew there
wasn't an internal exam, but nothing external,
either?"...
Sam shook her head, partly annoyced and partly
glad. When they said no post, she'd assumed they
were talking about an internal exam. What sort
of fool wouldn't do any external exam on a dead
body? Someone was trying to get Timothy
Savage out of the way, and fast...
They manhandled the body so it was facedown,
and Sam gasped.
~~~
Her first reaction was to ignore it; she could not get back into that work. But then a lawyer came to visit her and explained Savage had appointed her as executor as well as a request that she conduct an autopsy to prove he was murdered!

But before that lawyer left town, he had been killed!

...the doors to the conference
room opened and people started
streaming in. Fletcher entered
first and he introduced Sam and
 Xander to Agent Rob Thurber
and Agent Jordan Blake...
Last through the door was
a man Sam knew well,
tall and intense, with black
hair and the greenest eyes
she'd ever seen. Supervisory
Special Agent Dr. John
Baldwin...and her best
friend's fiance'...
~~~
Sam at least had to get the police involved, so she did talk with Fletcher, with whom she had worked in the past. Little by little she was drawn in and finally knew she had to help solve this case! At least to do the autopsy...
Fletcher was hooked up with an FBI agent for the kidnapping case, while Sam got to see another agent with whom she'd been involved in the past--as the financee of her best friend!

And then a series of murders started to occur...and they realized that those being killed had been listed in the will of Jack Savage!

But as these dual investigations continued, they began to intersect and two main issues became clear. There was a serial killer involved! And the cult that seemed to be right in the middle was also involved in criminal activities...



The upper part of Savage's back was covered
 in tattoos. Spirals and triangles and
stars, what seemed to be a type of Celtic
love knot. No faces, no names, just strange
symbols, arranged in what looked to be
a repeating pattern...
Later they discovered that this symbol
was placed on every member...~~~







Now everybody was moving forward, searching for Eden...
The complexity of this story is unbelievable, yet Ellison has put it together so that readers can get totally involved, at least up until the last few actions! It didn't surprise me, but I didn't have a clue what was going to climatically close out this one. Lots of great investigators in local and federal levels has been created so that relationships are easily developed and expansive to a series that could go on for quite some time without getting old. By the way, the characters included here were actually selected by the author, so I enjoyed making some final decisions and merging them into my review! Kudos to the author of this series!

There were many different aspects to what was happening with Sam, so that I wasn't quite sure that, after everything settled, she would continue with the plans as included... My guess is that ultimately she'll go back to full-time forensics work... What do you think? Do you agree? The author has given us a main character in whom we immediately are drawn to and interested in her personal life. Xander is a perfect companion, lover, and hopefully more in the future.  Exciting, to say the least, sensational overall...a great whodunit, especially since I missed the closing! I love being surprised with the ending.  Given my reading of this one book, I can feel comfortable recommending the entire series to fans of forensics crime mysteries and thrillers!


GABixlerReviews




J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling author of eleven critically acclaimed novels, including The Final Cut with Catherine Coulter, When Shadows Fall, Edge of Black and A Deeper Darkness. Her work has been published in over twenty countries. Her novel The Cold Room won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original and Where All The Dead Lie was a RITA® Nominee for Best Romantic Suspense. She lives in Nashville with her husband. Visit JTEllison.com for more insight into her wicked imagination, or follow her on Twitter @Thrillerchick orFacebook.com/JTEllison14
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