WHAT LIES BEHIND by J.T. Ellison Reviewed

What Lies Behind
J. T. Ellison
Mira Pub
May 26th, 2015

WHAT LIES BEHIND by J. T. Ellison is a realistic, frightening novel about bio-terrorism. Because the plot takes place in one harrowing day the action never seems to stop. It can be seen as a warning for a terrorist threat that seems to have fallen under the radar.

The main character, Dr. Samantha (Sam) Owens, is no longer a medical examiner and is now teaching and working with the FBI. Samantha is awakened by a police investigation in her Georgetown neighborhood. Her friend, homicide detective Darren (Fletch) Fletcher, asks her to look over the evidence and help solve the murder/suicide case. Instead, she discovers hidden toxic substances, which turns the case upside down. As they try to figure out what is happening Fletch and Sam are summoned to the State Department. In typical Washington DC fashion, they find themselves up against red tape, smoke and mirrors, and a one-sided discussion. Sam and Fletch must navigate between the different agencies to thwart the terrorists and find the killers.

The other story line involves Sam’s fiancée, former Army Ranger, Xander Whitefield, who recently started a personal protection company. He and his partner are protecting a British industrialist from an assassination attempt. Ellison skillfully merges this story line with the bio-terrorism plot to make for a riveting and suspenseful novel.

A small sub-plot presented in the middle of the book has Sam investigating a series of unsolved murders that have spanned twenty years. Bringing this in during the intense main plot presented some distraction. However, at the end of the story line she does a good job of foreshadowing with this plot line the next Sam book.

All the characters are very well developed, especially the newly created Robin Souleyret. She is reminiscent of a female Mitch Rapp, the famous Vince Flynn CIA operative. While investigating her sister’s murder and the connection to bio-terrorism, she must decide what moral lines to cross. Having to overcome a severe head injury from an IED she sets out to prove she is capable of making the correct decisions.

WHAT LIES BEHIND has an explosive story line that is all too realistic. The plot is a compelling mystery with a lot of action and terror.


Elise Cooper