As a medical examiner, Samantha Owens knows her job is to make a certain sense of death with crisp methodology and precision instruments. 

But the day the Tennessee floods took her husband and children, the light vanished from Sam's life. She has been pulled into a suffocating grief no amount of workaholic ardor can penetrate—until she receives a peculiar call from Washington, D.C.

On the other end of the line is an old boyfriend's mother, asking Sam to do a second autopsy on her son. Eddie Donovan is officially the victim of a vicious carjacking, but under Sam's sharp eye the forensics tell a darker story. The ex-Ranger was murdered, though not for his car.

Forced to confront the burning memories and feelings about yet another loved one killed brutally, Sam loses herself in the mystery contained within Donovan's old notes. It leads her to the untouchable Xander, a soldier off-grid since his return from Afghanistan, and then to a series of brutal crimes stretching from that harsh mountainous war zone to this nation's capital. The tale told between the lines makes it clear that nobody's hands are clean, and that making sense of murder sometimes means putting yourself in the crosshairs of death.


  • Romantic Times Reviewer's Choice Award Nominee—Best Suspense/Thriller

  • May 2012 Indie Next Pick

  • Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week (April 16, 2012)

  • Romantic Times Top Pick!

Audio Extras

Audiobook Sample


Foreign Editions

More Information

  • Publisher: MIRA books

  • Original release date: April 24, 2012

  • Formats: Print, eBook, audiobook

  • Audiobook narrator: Joyce Bean


"Thriller Award–winner Ellison (Where All the Dead Lie) introduces Dr. Samantha Owens, Tennessee’s head medical examiner, in this scintillating first in a new forensic series . . . The suspenseful plot takes many a twist and turn before reaching its startling conclusion."
– Publisher's Weekly

"Ellison's latest focuses on medical examiner Samantha Owens, and readers will quickly realize they don't miss Taylor Jackson at all. A gut-wrenching tale that rings with emotional resonance and heart amidst the thrills, A DEEPER DARKNESS ranks as Ellison's best book yet. Her amazing streak of great thrillers continues." 
– Romantic Times Top Pick!

"While the newest bead in Ellison’s string of superlative works, it’s her most ambitious—and clearly best—book to date. Ellison once again demonstrates a wide range of expert knowledge of forensics and, in this case, insider knowledge of the governmental environs of Washington, D.C. . . . If A DEEPER DARKNESS is the launch point for a second series, Ellison should have no problem attracting readers to both."  
– Bookreporter

"Tightly plotted and often surprising, this story drew me in and wouldn't let go. A gem!”              
– Keri Rojas, Cornerstone Cottage Kids, Hampton, May Indie Next Pick

"Shocking suspense, compelling characters and fascinating forensic details. When it comes to fast-paced thrillers, J.T. Ellison always has her game on."
– Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of CATCH ME

"A DEEPER DARKNESS has everything I love in a thriller: stunning twists and shocks, fascinating forensics, and heroines I deeply cared about. JT Ellison is one of the best writers in the game."
– Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of THE SILENT GIRL

"A DEEPER DARKNESS is not only a compelling thriller but a multilayered meditation on grief and loss. Dr. Samantha Owens is a forensic investigator with heart and soul and this is the start of a most promising new series for rising star JT Ellison."
– Jeff Abbott, New York Times bestselling Author of ADRENALINE

"Intense and riveting, A DEEPER DARKNESS is JT Ellison at her finest. Dr. Samantha Owens is one of the most memorable and engaging characters in thriller fiction today. I want more Sam! JT Ellison is a master storyteller, and ultimately A DEEPER DARKNESS is an extraordinary story of life and hope. Superb!"
– Carla Neggers, New York Times bestselling author of Saint's Gate

"A Deeper Darkness hits all the right notes: terrific characters, great setting, fast pace and fascinating storyline. Dark and compelling, rich with authentic detail, I couldn’t put it down. Look out Kay Scarpetta, there’s a new medical examiner on the block."
– Erica Spindler, New York Times bestselling author of WATCH ME DIE

"A Deeper Darkness is everything a great thriller should be: clever, complex, and captivating. J.T. Ellison’s gripping new series is a winner!"
– Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of SILENCED