EDGE OF BLACK is a thriller with a political edge and some
reminiscent of David Baldacci blended Patricia Cornwell. A
of gas is released into a Washington subway and medical
lecturer Samantha Owens finds her students in need of
emergency help. The hospital is under severe pressure and
this pathology doctor offers assistance. HAZMAT, the
hazardous materials team, are working on what appears to be
an act of terrorism.
A Congressman dies of the substance and Samantha is asked
to be an independent outsider. The man was involved in
votes about the military budget, but he also had disturbing
sexual proclivities. Samantha's boyfriend Xander is ex-Army
and reckons the culprit was a home-grown survivalist. He
goes into the wilds to meet a bunch of these people who
appear to exist on deer. Meanwhile Samantha concentrates
on finding the nature of the toxin.
EDGE OF BLACK uses jargon such as "the site's gone black"
and "they've gone grey" to place it firmly in the modern
era, with reference to the hackers Anonymous. At the same
time one of the investigators feels that at forty-two,
hardly old, he is out of his time.
Anyone who enjoys political thrillers involving Homeland
Security and major manhunts will get a kick out of this
book; JT Ellison has thrown in enough strong characters to
bring the plot to life, though there is little misdirection
and we are shown no sympathy towards the deceased
Congressman, a husband and parent. At the same time
Ellison avoids the clichés of the Oval Office and lobbying
for arms manufacturers. By making the major character a
female she encourages female readers to sample what could
otherwise be a masculine story. Some strong language and
reported sexual violence makes this firmly an adult book
but EDGE OF BLACK is smoothly readable and gives us a look
at what would happen in a disaster zone.
The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides 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.