HAPPY EASTER! I hope you’ve all indulged and enjoyed plenty of chocolate!
So here it is, the sequel to Edge of Black – this is When Shadows Fall.
“A human being is only breath and shadow.” – Sophocles
“You are a human being, and so you must honour thy mother; she is the life of all things, the soul of your breath, your stars, your moon, the bringer of air, the guide of the tides. I am your mother your breath, your sight and your feelings. Honour not me, but what I can be for you.” – Curtis Lott
Dr Samantha Owens finally seems to have her life back under control. She now has a new job teaching forensic pathology students at Georgetown University.
“To show them the hardest truth of all: the dead have no secrets.
But the living do.”
That is, until a disturbing letter from a dead man is delivered to her, asking her to solve his murder. But two issues arise: 1) Timothy Savage’s death was very obviously a suicide that it was marked a suicide, 2) Sam doesn’t know of any person named Timothy Savage – so why her?
“Dear Dr. Owens,
If you are reading this letter, I am dead. I would be most grateful if you would solve my murder…I’ve compiled a list of suspects for you to look at…
Timothy R. Savage”
But the mystery deepens. Sam learns that Savage has left a will, in it he requests Sam to undertake a second autopsy, so she feels compelled too. She has no choice.
“To think of shadows is a serious thing.” – Victor Hugo
“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 equaliser. Whether your life is one 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
Sam’s own post-mortem reveals many answers and poses many more questions. No one conducted an external exam. No one conducted an internal exam. This is a clean slate for Sam to work with and discovers soon enough that Savage was indeed murdered.
“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.”
In addition, Sam also finds DNA from another source…matching a child who was kidnapped twenty years ago and whose remains were discovered several years earlier.
“Death or freedom. There are no other choices for me now.”
“Three hoots means death is coming.”
Sam is also realising how much she is falling for Xander. With every moment, her stomach flips, both romantics and fatalists. Her relationship with Xander becomes of greater importance as this tale progresses.
“The heart wants what it wants, and you can try to deny it, or give in, let go and acknowledge you sometimes don’t have one hundred percent control over your life. Destiny and fate have a say, too.”
This book does take a strange turn…connecting the dots between Timothy Savage and the missing girl, is a cult named Eden. Whose leader is Curtis Lott, a woman who believes her sole purpose is God on Earth.
“…Curtis Lott, the Mother of Eden. Eden is a group of people who live an exalted life, close to the land, even closer to God…Curtis is God’s representative on Earth.”
But it will take a lot of investigating and unravelling in order to be able to suss this one out and join all the dots together.
“What would your good do if evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?” – Mikhail Bulgakov
“Evil is the bane of the world, sayeth our Lord, the one truth we cannot escape. From the matter given by the stars on the day of our great birth to the dust it becomes as our bones rot in the ground, evil will be eradicated by love of the Mother. Do not fear your dark thoughts, my children. My love ensures that you will not succumb.” – Curtis Lott
And there’s more, there is an assassin called Adrian on the hunt for Sam and the rest of the people named in Savage’s will. No body knows who will be next.
“Every time they found an answer, two more questions cropped up.”
So Sam calls on Detective Fletcher for further assistance with the case and with the Lynchburg police department not being entirely open and honest about anything, they have double the work on their hands.
“In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don’t.” – Blaise Pascal
“Faith in the Mother is the only true path. Those who do not believe will not be chosen to move on, will not see my love in heaven.” – Curtis Lott
But who on earth can they trust? In the shadows of a twenty year old mystery that must be solved if they have any chance of finding out the truth behind what really happened to Timothy Savage. Nothing makes sense and discovering the truth has never been so dangerous.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman
“Freedom is at hand, sayeth the Mother. Accept this dying breath as your final benediction and know, at last, you are free.” – Curtis Lott
Fans of the Taylor Jackson series may also recognise a certain Baldwin character making an appearance which could in turn have repercussions for both Sam and Xander!
JT Ellison has managed to superbly and powerfully link everything together in a way that draws you in and keeps you wanting more. An absolutely captivating page turner! Every single character is detailed and thought through and brings something to the story. You feel a connection to each and every one.
However, she does have a habit of keeping us in suspense and I counted at least two cliffhangers at the end of this novel! Praying they get solved in the next!
Keep an eye out for the sequel and last book (so far) in the Dr Samantha Owens series – What Lies Behind.