As a medical examiner, Samantha Owens knows her job is to make a certain sense of death with crisp methodology and precision instruments. But the day the Tennessee floods took her husband and children, the light vanished from Sam’s life.
She has been pulled into a suffocating grief no amount of workaholic ardor can penetrate—until she receives a peculiar call from Washington, D.C. On the other end of the line is an old boyfriend’s mother, asking Sam to do a second autopsy on her son. Eddie Donovan is officially the victim of a vicious carjacking, but under Sam’s sharp eye the forensics tell a darker story. The ex-Ranger was murdered, though not for his car. Forced to confront the burning memories and feelings about yet another loved one killed brutally, Sam loses herself in the mystery contained within Donovan’s old notes. It leads her to the untouchable Xander, a soldier off-grid since his return from Afghanistan, and then to a series of brutal crimes stretching from that harsh mountainous war zone to this nation’s capital. The tale told between the lines makes it clear that nobody’s hands are clean, and that making sense of murder sometimes means putting yourself in the crosshairs of death.
About the author
J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 novels, and the EMMY® award winning co-host of the literary show A WORD ON WORDS. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 28 countries. She lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.
Thriller Award winner Ellison (Where All the Dead Lie) introduces Dr. Samantha Owens, Tennessee's head medical examiner, in this scintillating first in a new forensic series. Sam, still reeling from the loss of her husband and young children in a flood two years earlier, receives a desperate phone call from Eleanor Donovan, the mother of a boy she dated at medical school in Georgetown, security consultant Eddie Donovan. Eddie, a former Army Ranger who served in Afghanistan, was shot dead in an apparent carjacking, but Eleanor, convinced her son wasn't a random victim, implores Sam to come to Washington, D.C., to conduct a second autopsy. Once in D.C., obsessive-compulsive Sam must face the demons of Eddie's memory and his widow's resentment. Meanwhile, other former members of Eddie's Ranger unit start turning up dead. The suspenseful plot takes many a twist and turn before reaching its startling conclusion.