Edge of Black: Dr. Samantha Owens, Book 2

Edge of BlackAuthor: J.T. Ellison
Book Name: Edge of Black
Series: Dr. Samantha Owens
Order: #2
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Rating:  Good

Blurb:  Dr. Samantha Owens is starting over: new city, new job, new man, new life. She’s trying to put some distance between herself and the devastating loss of her husband and children–but old hurts leave scars.

Before she’s even unpacked her office at Georgetown University’s forensic pathology department, she’s called to consult on a case that’s rocked the capital and the country. An unknown pathogen released into the Washington Metro has caused nationwide panic. Three people died–just three.

A miracle and a puzzle…

Amid the media frenzy and Homeland Security alarm bells, Sam painstakingly dissects the lives of those three victims and makes an unsettling conclusion. This is no textbook terrorist causing mayhem with broad strokes, but an artist wielding a much finer, more pointed instrument of destruction. An assassin, whose motive is deeply personal and far from understandable.

Xander Whitfield, a former army ranger and Sam’s new boyfriend, knows about seeing the world in shades of gray. About feeling compelled to do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Only his disturbing kinship with a killer can lead Sam to the truth…and once more into the line of fire.

Review:  After the first book, this one ended up being a bit of a disappointment in comparison because this jumped into the mostly ridiculous arena with regards to the characters and their jobs.

Sam has gone from being an ME to a teacher after book one, which works and isn’t the issue.  Within a chapter, she is already neck deep in doing not only ME things again, but police investigation, probably even on a level of what should be homeland security or some other alphabet soup kind of a job.  She isn’t any of those things, except the ME.  Outside of a page or two of teaching, she didn’t do any other teaching in this book even though that is what she is supposed to be doing because she couldn’t handle the stress and emotional weight of being an ME any longer.

Then we have Xander, who of course jumps in and goes all lone wolf, not once but twice with his manly man, commando self.  Just because you are ex military, even special forces, does not suddenly make you the only man on the planet that knows what is going on and how to catch the bad guy.  He becomes the cliched one man army, then later drags not only his pacifist dad into an incredibly dangerous situation, but his completely untrained and unqualified girlfriend, too.

Yes, this is a really entertaining and intense read and for the most part, I actually did enjoy the story, but I am just a little tired of characters that are not cops or law enforcement being the only characters in any kind of crime drama book that seem smart enough or capable enough to solve the crimes.  Why even bother having the police if they are that incompetent?  I will accept a certain level of bleed in or cross over in job duties, but the level that it happens in this book is way out there, especially when these characters go and do all this stuff without authorization and there is absolutely no fall out for going against the rules.

Book one did a much better job of keeping the characters within the lines drawn for them than what we see in this book or at least made the reasons for crossing those lines seem more legitimate to where they actually worked.  Not sure if the next book will follow in the path of this book or the first one, but I’m hoping for the first.


Author: TJ Fox

Slightly sane artist, book addict, wife and mom who is forever rethinking her place in this world.

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