Edge of Black by J.T.Ellison
Harlequin Mira, ISBN 978-0778313724
November 13, 2012, 368 pages
For Dr. Samantha Owens, Washington D.C. is the perfect place to start over after the devastating loss of her family. She has a new job, teaching forensic pathology at Georgetown University, a new love interest, although exactly where that relationship stands is a bit up in the air. And she has a new city. D.C., large enough to get lost in and yet in many ways a small, company town, the company being the U.S. federal government.
Which also makes it a target .
Sam has barely moved in when she finds herself in the middle of what seems like a terrorist attack, the release of some sort of unknown toxin in the Metro subway system. Since one of those who became sick was a student of Sam's, right in the middle of a lecture, she gets involved in the mystery from the very first, when officials are still trying to determine what happened. Hundreds become sick, and three die, which is a tragedy. But still, it is rather strange, that only three people died, especially as who the victims are become clear.
As soon becomes clear to Sam, it appears these were not just three random victims but a case of a targeted assassination. Which makes the mystery not only why these three were killed but how the assassin could have possibly targeted just these three...and who he might have in his sights next if he is not stopped!
Let's get it out of the way in the beginning.
This is the second book featuring Dr. Sam, and while I am sure the first book was just as good, I did not read it and if you did not either, I don't think it will hurt your enjoyment of this one at all.
We are given enough background to understand how she got to this point and enough to appreciate her boyfriend, ex- army ranger Xander Whitfield..and they will make a fine team helping to track the killer and his motives down. OK, maybe a tiny bit too many coincidences as I look back on the plot, but it shows the strength of the writing did it did not occur to me as I was racing through these pages.
And race I did.
Although it come close to my dreaded 400 page limit it was a very fast, very absorbing read. There was no lull in this book, no pages I had to skimmed over to get back to the action. Sam and Xander and Detective Darren Fletcher are all very good, very believable, very smart characters. You know there is nothing I hate in a book more than stupid characters, but nothing to fear here on that count. There is a lot going on in this book and it happens fast, really keeping the plot moving along at a snappy pace. No sooner did I have an idea, see a possible connection, than the characters did too! I love when they are at least as smart as me!
OK, there was one glaring exception...how did they not put that together??...but I will forgive it. No one, even pretend people, is perfect.
I have read several other books by Ellison, and enjoyed them all, but I will be looking forward to the next with Dr. Sam and Xander..and hopefully his way too fun and interesting hippy parents. You have to love a book where the so tough, ex-soldier (what a disappointment to his counter culture parents) calls his mom by her first name...Sunshine. Not that they are not up to a challenge too when it comes their way, as we see.
If you want a fast paced, absorbing, well written book to start off the new year, this is one I can recommend.