Monday, January 07, 2013

Edge of Black - J.T. Ellison

I don't read a lot of current thrillers, but one author who has become a favorite is J.T. Ellison. EDGE OF BLACK is her second novel to feature forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens, who also appeared in Ellison's Nashville-set police procedural series starring Detective Taylor Jackson.

In this one Sam has relocated to Washington D.C. and become a professor instead of a medical examiner, but that doesn't stop her from getting involved in the investigation of an apparent act of biological terrorism that leaves three random victims dead. Ah, but are they really random? It comes as no great surprise that they're not.

Ellison does a fine job of gradually uncovering the different layers of the plot. I really enjoy books structured like that. She's also very good at creating likable protagonists, and Sam Owens certainly falls into that category. Her romantic interest, former Army Ranger Xander Whitfield, is a good character, too. Yeah, he's a little idealized, but not annoyingly so, probably because the romance angle is played down enough to make this novel, for the most part, a combination of police procedural and anti-terrorism thriller.

Mostly, though, it's well written, smartly paced, and highly entertaining. If you're a fan of contemporary thrillers, you should check out J.T. Ellison's work, and EDGE OF BLACK would be a good place to start since it's out now. Even though it's part of a series, it works just fine as a stand-alone.

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