By JT Ellison
So WHEN SHADOWS FALL is out in the world, and there have been a few write-ups and reviews, interviews and guest blogs. In the interest of housekeeping, I’ve gathered them all together.
Interviews and Blogs
One of the most extensive looks at WHEN SHADOWS FALL, really digging down into the story, comes from Bookreporter.com
I am so honored to have been asked to do an interview for She Reads, one of the book world’s leading curators for new books, book clubs, book blogging… they’re awesome!
Riffle Backstory – Riffle is a cool new site dedicated to readers, helping you find and share your favorite books, and this is a fun interview – with many of my favorite books and writers listed.
I did a brief podcast with my awesome audiobook publishers, Tantor Audio. The audiobook of WHEN SHADOWS FALL comes out March 31.
I’m always so excited to do anything with my good friend Allison Brennan, who’s new book NOTORIOUS is coming next month. Here’s a guest blog on her Murder She Writes
I participated in the ITW Thriller Roundtable – How do News Events Shape Your Plots discussion
On Writerspace, Samantha Owens took the Proust Questionnaire, and I also discussed the book’s path into being.
I did a piece about never giving up for The Strand Magazine’s Mystery Center (Link to come)
And from CAFTAR – Campaign for the American Reader
- WHEN SHADOWS FALL takes the Page 69 Test
- My Book the Movie – and I have some new casting ideas
- What is J. T. Ellison reading?
- Writers Read: J. T. Ellison
Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week (February 24, 2014)
Starred Review in Publishers Weekly
Exceptional character development distinguishes Thriller Award–winner Ellison’s third Samantha Owens novel (after 2012’s Edge of Black), the best yet in the series. When Sam, now head of Georgetown University Medical School’s forensic pathology department in Washington, D.C., receives a letter from a stranger named Timothy Savage asking her to solve his murder, she gets drawn back into her former career in law enforcement. Sam performs an autopsy on Savage, who recently died in Lynchburg, Va., and the examination shows he did not commit suicide, as the police ruled, but was indeed murdered. Meanwhile, Sam and her boyfriend, former Army Ranger Xander Whitfield, become embroiled in a search for a missing child whose disappearance may be related to Savage’s death. The suspense builds as Sam and Xander, aided by D.C. homicide detective Darren Fletcher, chase down a host of surprising leads. The author’s ability to neatly tie together the mysterious clues helps make this a standout in the romantic thriller subgenre. Agent: Scott Miller, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)
What at first appears to be a suicide propels Dr. Samantha Owens into a case that will test her resolve and sanity in Ellison’s third novel to feature the forensic pathologist. It starts with Owens receiving a letter from the victim—posted before his death—asking her to solve his murder. She is also listed, it turns out, as one of the beneficiaries in the man’s will. Having no idea who he is or why he sought out her services, she reluctantly conducts an autopsy and discovers that the death was, in fact, murder. How did he know he was going to be killed? His secret will shock Owens and her colleagues to the core, forcing them to ask hard questions about themselves, their careers, and how something as infallible as DNA can produce the wrong results. The mystery only intensifies as the narrative unfolds, and it’s a guarantee that readers will not figure out all of the details before the end. Ellison has crafted a terrific thriller, and fans of forensic mysteries, such as those by Patricia Cornwell, should immediately add this series to their A-lists. Knowledge of the prior books is not necessary to enjoy this one. —Jeff Ayers
Ellison excels at imaginative and terrifying plots, and this thriller is a fine example that sucks readers in at the beginning and spits them out at the end, emotionally drained. The latest Samantha Owens installment is a complex story with interwoven mysteries and a frightening conspiracy. Villains range from just greedy to truly evil.
After several years of tragedy and danger, forensic pathologist Samantha Owens has accepted a teaching position at Georgetown University in an effort to lead a calmer life. Her plan is shattered when she receives a letter from a dead man, Timothy Savage, asking her to solve his murder. Savage’s attorney is then murdered, and the killer is working his way down the list of Savage’s beneficiaries. Sam becomes involved with the FBI’s investigation of a missing girl and finds out Savage was an FBI agent who went undercover in a cult to rescue a young girl. (MIRA, Mar., 416 pp., $24.95) —Joyce Morgan
Dr. Samantha Owens is transitioning into her new job teaching and chairing the forensic pathology department at Georgetown University Medical School when she receives a cryptic letter from a stranger asking her to solve his murder. Hesitant to get involved in fieldwork after recently opting out of law enforcement, Sam ignores the request. When the dead man’s will stipulates that Sam perform the autopsy, her curiosity is piqued. The autopsy indicates murder, catapulting Sam and those closest to her into an intense FBI case. In her five harrowing days on the case, Sam uncovers dangerous links among a missing FBI agent, cold-case child abductions, and a suspicious religious cult led by a charismatic female. VERDICT Ellison’s third Samantha Owens installment (after A Deeper Darkness and Edge of Black) is a gripping page-turner. Skillfully seasoned with suspense, intrigue, adventure, and a dash of romance, it’s essential for suspense junkies. Fans of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta books may notice similarities but will find that Ellison puts her own unique spin on forensic investigation. —Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Ellison, yet again, offers up a story that goes from 0-to-60 in seconds.
Dr. Samantha Owens is working to set up her classroom for her new job as head of the Georgetown University Medical School’s Forensic Pathology Department in Washington, D.C. She is extremely happy about her new career and has no regrets about giving up a life in law enforcement.
While she’s going about her work, looking forward to the new path her life is taking, she receives an extremely odd letter. The letter is from a corpse who states that he’s dead and wants, more than anything, for Dr. Owens to solve his murder. In addition, the supposed victim is even more helpful by compiling a list of suspects for the doctor to look at, and setting aside some money in order to cover any expenses she has during the investigation. Downside? The corpse also states that Dr. Owens life will definitely be on the line if his killers find out she’s received this post-mortem letter.
Samantha doesn’t have a clue as to who Timothy Savage, the signer of the letter, is. What makes it even more confusing is when she’s approached by his lawyer and informed that Savage was not murdered at all; he is dead by his own hand.
After a great deal of hesitation, she agrees to perform an autopsy on Savage and finds that natural causes or suicide are not the case at all. Add to this, another plot where her significant other, Army Ranger Xander Whitfield, is pulled into a case involving a search for a missing child whose disappearance may be connected to the death of Mr. Savage, and the story blows up. When Homicide Detective Darren Fletcher arrives, anything and everything boils to the top.
Full of carefully mastered clues that tie both cases together, this is a true thrillfest that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end. —Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian & Co-Owner of The Write Companion
Dr. Samantha (Sam) Owens is an expert forensic pathologist the FBI would love to have working for them. After turning down their job offer, Sam wants nothing more than a normal life teaching at Georgetown University. She’s deeply in love and building a life with Xander Whitfield, a former Army Ranger, and content with her decisions. That contentment crumples when she receives a strange letter from a man named Timothy Savage begging her to solve his murder, even though his recent death has been ruled a suicide.
Things become even more bizarre when Savage’s will names Sam as executor, as well as a benefactor, compelling her to autopsy his body to learn the truth. Her findings verify his death was murder, not suicide, but there’s also foreign DNA on him that belongs to a girl who was found dead years ago. That’s impossible, or is it?
Each step taken in the investigation turns up even more questions. Who is [Timothy] Savage, and how did he know he was going to be killed? How did he get a dead girl’s DNA on his body? Is the DNA wrong? The mystery unfolds and intensifies with many shocking twists and turns leading to a totally incredible conclusion.
J.T. Ellison’s WHEN SHADOWS FALL is a cleverly devised forensic thriller with multifaceted characters and a compelling storyline. Even though it’s part of a series, WHEN SHADOWS FALL is an excellent stand-alone novel giving all the background information that’s needed for its total enjoyment. Ellison is a master-craftsman at developing superb forensic thrillers! —Tanzey Cutter
And last, but not least, here’s a short Excerpt from WHEN SHADOWS FALL
Thanks for your support!