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When Shadows Fall (Dr. Samantha Owens #3)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  1,393 Ratings  ·  192 Reviews
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 m
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Harlequin MIRA (first published January 1st 2014)
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Ruth-Ellen I always like to read the series books in order. I guess you could read this without the first two. She does talk about her past but it might not…moreI always like to read the series books in order. I guess you could read this without the first two. She does talk about her past but it might not matter.(less)

Community Reviews

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I won a copy of "When Shadows Fall" by J.T. Ellison through the Goodreads Giveaways Contest. This is a fast-paced murder mystery that keeps the reader gripped to the story to see what will happen next. As the main protagonist, Dr. Samantha Owens, is a forensic pathologist, the reader is exposed to the fascinating process followed in her field.

Sam had left Nashville, to get away from the loneliness after the passing of her husband and her twins, following the flood in Nashville. She was now worki
Dec 13, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a great read. I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed this 3rd book in J.T. Elliot's "Dr. Samantha Owens, ME" series.

Sam and Xander's relationship is as strong as ever - a blip now and then to make them human. John Baldwin (from the Lt. Taylor Jackson series) makes more than an appearance for good reason. Detective Darren Fletcher plays a large role in this book and maybe finally finds stability in his personal life via Special Agent Jordan Blake (wink, wink).

The story line is strong and well
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This is a thriller that took me into the twisted heart of darkness. Just when it felt like I was starting to get things figured out, more questions arose. I liked it, and it was a fast-paced read, even though it was a bit disturbing at times. I will be tracking down the first two books in the series.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur magazine in the March 2014 issue:
Jenifer Mohammed
Feb 25, 2014 Jenifer Mohammed rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hard-boiled
Absolutely, wow!

This is an amazingly complicated and nuanced story. You think you know what's going on only to realize that things aren't what you thought they were. The story begins when Sam receives a letter from a man who claims that he has been murdered and asks Sam to find out who killed him. From that moment on, the reader is falling down the rabbit hole and into a fascinating, dangerous, and deeply conspiratorial story. Loved it!
Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
Feb 15, 2014 Carol - Reading Writing and Riesling rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
My View:
The opening letter to Dr Owens sets the scene for a wonderfully plotted, intense and at times brutal journey directed by the deceased from the grave as he attempts to seek some sort of belated redemption for past sins. This is a great police and forensic procedural and I can see a great future for Dr Samantha Owens in future novels by this author. I think she will rival Tempe Brennan in her quest for truth on behalf of the dead.

This is the third book in the series yet despite not having
Jun 08, 2014 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
I have to say that When Shadows Fall is by far the best book in this series. I really felt like I found my niche with all of the characters. They were not just characters from a series but friends. The connection was the strongest it has been. Sam and Xander are a great couple together. I hope that one day they do get married. It would be nice to see Sam have her happy ending again with a family.

This story was darker and twisted. There were about three storylines taking place in this book but a
Jun 14, 2014 Nancy rated it liked it
I'm not as enthusiastic as the other Goodreads reviewers about this book, but I did not read the 1st or 2nd in the series of Dr. Samantha Owens thrillers, so that may color my impressions. This is a pretty fast-paced mystery that is fairly convoluted, a nefarious religious cult, serial kidnappings, a serial murderer, with a dash of Owens' angst over previous (unknown to me save for the hand-wringing) bad stuff that happened, and a soupcon of professional ambivalence. I thought the book moved alo ...more
Jan 19, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it
This just might be my favorite book in the Samantha Owens series so far. There was a lot going on in this book. Not only were there a lot of new characters, but a lot of our known characters from the series, stepped up and played more major roles. Also, the plot had a lot going on with it, but the author did a superb job keeping the storyline flowing. In the beginning, Samantha receives a letter asking for help that starts the whole story off, and the story just shoots out from there and doesn't ...more
Sherrie Saint
Mar 08, 2014 Sherrie Saint rated it it was amazing
I love the way that Sam is evolving. It has taken her leaving her comfort zone of Nashville and moving to begin to find herself again. It is nice to see her finding friends and possibly love again. I like that she is human and the things she has gone through are shaping her life--as they do with us all. Her job has been the one thing that she could count on and it is as much a part of her as her heart and brain is. Her professionalism has Timothy Savage seeking her help to solve his murder. And ...more
Oct 11, 2014 Shahrun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another exciting, edge of my seat read from the amazing JT Ellison! How does she do it? So many threads, expertly woven together, but keeping you guessing the whole time. Wow! Please write some more soon.
Steven Zacharius
Nov 23, 2014 Steven Zacharius rated it really liked it
My first JT Ellison book and I really enjoyed it. Deals with exposing a cult and loaded with twists and turns and plenty of action. Would definitely recommend.
May 03, 2016 Sarah rated it did not like it
Never ending - like a cheap version of a Kay Scarpetta book
Jul 31, 2016 Pam rated it it was amazing
Very good ready to get the next book in the series
Nov 22, 2016 Serena rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, suspense
The mystery started with a rat's nest of names of murder victims and persons of interest. I was rewinding my audible book so often that I had to pause and read the first ten chapters of the ebook before I could put together a mental map of who's who in the story. Deapite the annoying start, I quite enjoy the suspense and the fluffy banters among the characters. Although the crime involved murders, abduction and abuse of children and cult activities, the book did not not dig into the wounds. Good ...more
Krystin Rachel
As I've come to expect from J.T. Ellison, the action starts out immediately on the first page.

Sam receives a letter from a man who is dead - murdered. The letter asks Sam to investigate his demise. Our lovely protagonist doesn't know this man from a hole in the ground, but despite her halfhearted attempts to dismiss the letter and move on with her life, she's sucked into a dark mystery of missing children, a crazy religious cult and black market illegal adoptions.

There's a lot going on. It's e
Feb 11, 2017 Maureen rated it really liked it
Love doc Sam Owens and her helpers...great ending as usual
John Kurtze
Feb 28, 2014 John Kurtze rated it it was amazing
For a first time reader of, J.T. Ellison's, books, I was delighted with, When Shadows Fall. Ellison's introduction of Dr. Samantha Owens, helps first time readers or a fan of the series know the lay of the land. Ellison story begins slowly hooking me one page at time, making me want to know more about this forensic pathologist turned college professor.

I enjoyed how quickly readers meet all three of the men who were an influence on Owen's new life as the head of the pathology department at Georg
I won this novel through GoodReads last year, but, for some silly reason, I hadn’t read it until a few days ago. Needless to say, I quickly regretted having put it off for so long especially because I was instantly hooked!

This is the third book in the Samantha Owens series. Samantha is a medical examiner who is used to working alongside detectives in order to solve violent crimes. A past event has caused her to leave her profession for something much less stressful. She begins to prepare to teac
Victoria Trailcamgal
Another great read!!!

I would highly recommend this book... If you like Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta series, you will love Dr. Samantha Owen..

The plot is full of twists and turns and will keep you from putting the book down....
Jan 31, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Wendy by: Goodreads Giveaways
"When Shadows Fall" which I won from Goodreads Giveaways is an exciting, fast-paced murder mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. It begins when forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens receives a disturbing letter from a dead stranger imploring her to investigate his murder. With a request to autopsy his body and a list of beneficiaries in his will to track down Sam, her boyfriend Xander Whitefield , FBI agent John Baldwin and D.C. Homicide Detective Darren Fletcher begin to un ...more
Dotti Elrick
Jan 09, 2014 Dotti Elrick rated it it was amazing
When Shadows Fall is the third book in the Samantha Owens series. This is one of my favorite series and authors. This was a great story.

I first met Sam when she was the coroner in the Taylor Jackson series, which I loved. She underwent a life changing event, in that series, and has since left her coroners job in Nashville, moved to Washington D.C., decided to teach forensics, and has a new man, Xander in her life.

Now someone Sam has never met is going to throw a wrench in her new quiet life. A
Nov 30, 2013 Kathy rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

When Shadows Fall is another riveting novel in J.T. Ellison's spectacular series starring forensic pathologist Dr. Samantha Owens. Unable to resist a dead man's request to investigate his murder, Sam uncovers perplexing information that leads back to a long closed kidnapping case. The subsequent investigation takes many startling twists and turns and exposes a shocking secret that someone will go to any lengths to keep hidden.

When Shadows Fall opens with Sam happily settled into her ne
Dec 12, 2013 Deb rated it really liked it
When Shadows Fall is the third book in the Dr. Samantha Owens series of books--a spinoff from her Taylor Jackson series. Although you could read this as a stand alone and it would be fine, I would highly recommend at least reading books 1 & 2 in Samantha's series and if you like great mystery/thrillers with strong female leads, do read the Taylor Jackson series as well.

In this book, Sam is settling into life in Washington D.C. and her new job, heading up the Forensic Pathology Department at
Jan 10, 2014 Dawn rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to the world of Dr Sam Owens, Xander, Fletch and Agent Baldwin.
This is not the first in the series, but I was unaware of this author until this opportunity was presented to read an advanced digital edition from Netgalley and I am so glad I did.
The writing is tight and intelligent, expertly allowing us to tag along as the main characters are given a mystery and set out on the winding and treacherous path to its resolution.

Dr. Sam Owens has had some really ro
Apr 27, 2014 Raena rated it it was amazing
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I would give this book 4.5 stars. It was very good, but I am fairly stingy with my 5 star reviews. The version I won was the audio book, and the narration was excellent. The reader didn't have any annoying pronunciations and she did a great job with all of the voices. I was never confused about who was speaking. The story reminded me of why I like reading crime/thriller novels. This is the first book by Ellison I have read, so I may have been ...more
Tea Time with Marce
Mar 27, 2014 Tea Time with Marce rated it it was amazing
From my blog

JT Ellison just keeps getting better as an author, I have officially added her to my must read author when new books are released. A few years ago one of her books intrigued me but was a series so I started from the beginning, well this was a let down. I was so glad a publicist reached out to me and I tried another later in the same series and it was great. I have now read 5 and was only let down with that first book, loved that I gave her another chance.

This thriller had it all wit
Maria Mitchell
Feb 19, 2014 Maria Mitchell rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads to review.

I have found a new mystery/suspense writer to read! I loved J.T. Ellison's When Shadows Fall. Third in the series but worked well as a stand alone novel, too.

Dr. Owens wants to start teaching as a professor and leave her world of criminal forensics behind for good. Much to the relief of her boyfriend, Xander, they are prepared to live a happy low key normal life, at least as normal as it gets for them.

However after Sam Owen's re
Amy Lignor
Feb 23, 2014 Amy Lignor rated it it was amazing
Ellison, yet again, offers up a story that goes from 0-to-60 in seconds.

Dr. Samantha Owens is working to set up her classroom for her new job as head of the Georgetown University Medical School’s Forensic Pathology Department in Washington, D.C.. She is extremely happy about her new career and has no regrets about giving up a life in law enforcement.

While she’s going about her work, looking forward to the new path her life is taking, she receives an extremely odd letter. The letter is from a co
Linda Strong
Sep 11, 2014 Linda Strong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is 3rd in a series featuring Dr. Samantha Owens, a forensic medical examiner. Sam is a woman who has lost her husband and twin babies in a flood and is now trying to re- start her life. She's moved from Nashville to Washington DC. She is now teaching instead of doing. Her new love is Xander, former Special Ops, who also has some issues to overcome. Her best friend is Darren "Fletch" Fletcher, a homicide cop who would like more than friendship, but it is not to be.

A letter is delivered to Sa
Sep 05, 2014 Debbie rated it it was amazing

Dr. Samantha Owens has traded her Medical Examiner’s office for one at Georgetown University. This monumental career change along with her new love Alexander (Xander) Whitfield is helping with her healing. But just days before her new job as Professor Owens begins her old life pays her a strange visit in the form of a cryptic letter asking her to solve the sender’s murder. She’s definitely interested especially when his “murder” is a case closed suicide, and hooked when something fishy’s discove
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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and pens the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI" with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Cohost of the Emmy Award-winning literary televis ...more
More about J.T. Ellison...

Other Books in the Series

Dr. Samantha Owens (4 books)
  • A Deeper Darkness (Dr. Samantha Owens, #1)
  • Edge of Black (Dr. Samantha Owens, #2)
  • What Lies Behind (Dr. Samantha Owens, #4)

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