Dear Dr. Owens,
If you are reading this letter, I am dead and I would be most grateful if you could solve my murder…
Forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens thought life was finally returning to normal after she suffered a terrible personal loss. Settling into her new job at Georgetown University, the illusion is shattered when she receives a disturbing letter from a dead man imploring her to solve his murder. There's only one catch. Timothy Savage's death was so obviously the suicide of a demented individual that the case has been closed.
When Sam learns Savage left a will requesting she autopsy his body, she feels compelled to look into the case. Sam's own postmortem discovers clear signs that Savage was indeed murdered. And she finds DNA from a kidnapped child whose remains were recovered years earlier.
The investigation takes Sam into the shadows of a twenty-year-old mystery that must be solved to determine what really happened to Timothy Savage. Nothing about the case makes sense but it is clear someone is unwilling to let anyone, especially Samantha Owens, discover the truth.
I didn't want this book to end. I wanted it to move on to the next part - after the murderer is caught, and spend time with Sam and Xander because their romance really got me. I loved the page-turning speed of this book from the very first chapter and though you can guess who's probably the villain halfway through the book, Ellison does it such a thrilling way, she is now an auto-buy for me.
I found the characters interesting and believable, with little human quirks that brought them to life. The plot kept me guessing and turning pages. While this was a story about tracking a serial killer, there was not the usual blood and gore that tends to come with this genre. Ellison holds the reader's attention with character development and intrigue, rather than a lot of gory details. I love the relationship between Sam and Xander, they seem to be healing each other.
If you love thrillers and are on the lookout for another good author, get a copy of When Shadows Fall. J. T. Ellison got so into the characters that everything she writes is believable. Also there is a fine line of too many details, at least for reader like me, but she never once crossed over to the dull side. It gets five stars, because I can't recommend a better thriller.