“The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries or death – however mutable man may be able to make them – our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfilment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.” – Stanley Kubrick
So I hope you’ve all been paying attention to my reviews, if so then I’m hoping you’ll remember my throwback review for the Taylor Jackson series. So this is a spin off series about Dr Samantha Owens, medical examiner and Taylor Jackson’s best friend.
In 2010, the Tennessee floods took the lives of her husband and children and Dr Owens blames herself for their demise, the light vanishing from her life. Being the workaholic she is, Sam plunges herself into her work.
“…And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy. And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields. And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. – Kabul Gibran
Until that is, she receives a phone call from Washington D.C. On the other end of the phone is her ex-boyfriends mother, asking Sam to do a second autopsy on her son. Eddie Donovan was a victim of a carjacking. His mother thinks something more sinister has happened.
So Sam travels to DC and whilst doing the autopsy, notices what the forensics are telling her – there’s a darker story than to what meets the eye.
“Hope that wouldn’t alter this empire of fire. D.C. was immortal: the more things changed, the more they stayed the same. Even Icarus flew too close to the sun. But in D.C. , the sun moved out of the way for the chosen ones…Nothing ruined a career in D.C. except for the obvious: a dead girl, a live boy or pictures of your junk all over the internet. Still, no one was ever totally destroyed. Even in death, the vanquished took on mythic qualities.”
This ex-Ranger was murdered, but not for his car. But for what? Why? Then a series of deaths start rolling in with one common denominator – they were all in Donovan’s troop.
“The case was turning into a sprawling, convoluted mess, spreading across multiple jurisdictions, diving in and out of logic. He had no way of knowing if he was dealing with a single killer or more. Whether the military angle was even relevant. Where the last piece of the puzzle was. All he knew for sure was things just weren’t adding up.”
Forced to confront memories of another loved one, Sam loses herself in the world of mystery contained within Donovan’s notes which are all written in Latin.
The notes lead Sam to Xander, a soldier who has gone off the gird since his return from Afghanistan and the Lone Ranger still alive; and a series of brutal crimes which have followed them from Afghanistan back home.
“Never shall I fail my comrades…Readily will I display the intestinal fortitude required to fight on to the Ranger objective and complete the mission though I be the lone survivor.”
Reading between the lines, it’s clear that nobodies hands are clean and putting yourself in the crosshairs of death may be the only way to make sense of murder.
“No going back…you don’t get do-overs in this life.”
Sam, together with D.C. detective Fletcher and his partner Hart, they must piece together all the clues but with a murder on the lose, there seems to be a hit list. Who’s next?
Will Sam ever find sanctity, a safe place and a happiness again?
“In your presence I don’t want what I thought I wanted.” – Rumi
Will they catch a killer?
“If you know your enemy and you know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles.”
This is a tale of a band of brothers from the army. What joins them together, is the very same thing that broke them apart.
“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…” – William Shakespeare, Henry V
With compelling characters, forensic details that keep you fascinated and a suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat, the twists and turns in this thriller, you’re not going to want to put this book down!
If this is your kind of book then check it out!
Until next time,
Keep reading! Oh and keep an eye out for my review of the sequel, Edge of Black.