Book Review – What Lies Behind by J.T. Ellison

This would be the second book in the “Samantha Owens” series I’ve read by Ellison, and….. well it’s pretty similar to the previous one. In short, it’s a readable thriller, but not exactly what I was expecting (read: psychological thriller).

I haven’t read many series, because I like to read a fresh story from a new perspective. Furthermore, this is the kind of story in series that are written in a way that the reader needn’t necessarily have read the previous book in order to understand the plot. Hence, if you have read the previous book you would be lambasted with an introduction to the main recurring characters you would have already learnt about in the previous book. A double edged sword argument here – the writer tries going in-between to please a majority audience.

Very very short spoiler-free executive summary: Medical examiner-turned lecturer Samantha Owens gets drawn into a national security situation. Many people killed. She, along with her ex-US Army Ranger boyfriend and friends from the FBI, etc work to uncover a multinational terrorist plot threatening to kill millions.

I feel that this book suffers from the same issues as the previous one in the series – fragmented plot and too many characters whose link to the main plot are not clearly mapped out. I got confused again as to how the roles of some of the characters, aside from the 3 main ones, are actually tied to the terrorism plot. However, after awhile (and might I add – just like the previous book), I realized you didn’t actually need to know in order for the story to advance. So I just soldiered on.

Story only gets really exciting at the very last bit. The huge part before was a mediocre read. Not bad, but like I said, mediocre. I guess this would probably be the last book I will read for this genre by same author. If there was another one with a more domestic setting, I might give it a go.

Rating: 3/5

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