Review: What Lies Behind by J.T. Ellison

What Lies Behind by J.T. Ellison
Series: Dr. Samantha Owens (# 4)
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Publisher: MIRA
Pages:  400
Source: Book provided by NetGalley for review



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: Mystery and thriller novels used to be all that I read for a long time but my genre has changed over the years.  But it was a nice change of pace to go back to my “roots”.  What Lies Behind is book four in the Dr. Samantha Owens series.  Even though this is a series and a lot of the same characters appear in multiple books, I feel that they can be read as a stand alone novels.

I was able to dive right into this story, and was intrigued from the beginning.  The premise of the story is introduced fairly quickly in the book.  Having the story take place over multiple city settings is a little confusing but each one is clearly defined and well written so you can see the characters in action.  What I did find confusing are the multiple storylines.  Not only was there more than one story going at a time, they were also being told by different people.  I found that this made the book very hard to follow.  I would just start to follow one of the characters and then it would flip to another one.  I found it all hard to keep straight.

I did like the idea of the story and the relationships that were built between the characters.  That was easy to see grow throughout the book and playful nature of some of the secondary characters added a good pop of humor throughout the book. This really helped me to see the strength of the characters and how they helped each other grow throughout the book.

All and all it was an enjoyable read.  It did have me flipping the pages to find out what was going to come next and how they would solve the mystery that started it all.  I give this a Rose in Bloom rating for being able to hold my attention and being able to draw me into the characters, settings and story line.

Favorite Quote:  “Cause it’s midnight.  The witching hour.  And you’re not a witch, you’re just a bitch.  Tommy’s place is just ahead.  Can you make it there?”