Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review of So Close the Hand of Death by J T Ellison

So Close the Hand of Death

J T Ellison


408 pages

So Close the Hand of Death is the 6th in the Taylor Jackson series.

Taylor Jackson get’s word from her fiancĂ© John Baldwin that her fellow team member and father figure Fitz has been found, alive as she’s spiriting her way to him there is a macabre crime spree going on all across the country and Taylor fears that The Pretender is back, that diabolical serial killer that mimics the heinous crimes of other past serial killers and was the student of The Snow White Killer (14-2008), he’s been haunting her ever since he got away and it looks like his ghost may just have materialized. Taylor is now very afraid for all the people around her that she cherishes will be in the line of fire for this madman and she has to find a way to not only keep her loved ones safe but to find a way to permanently stop The Pretender. Taylor of course is helped by the one man who is her true soul mate and he’s vowed to keep her safe at all costs, but there are still secrets he hasn’t shared with Taylor and he’s about to learn the cost of not coming clean.

Ms. Ellison is a terrifyingly cleaver author to keep her stable of characters interesting by giving them the utmost in villains to find and eliminate. This plot is straight out of the dictionary of Hardboiled Crime Fiction with a diabolical evil doer who is Oscar worthy. It’s an over the top crime with an over the top villain but that’s what brings her fans back time after time. I also love the not quite cliffhanger but that hint of what’s to come that brings me back novel after novel. If you’re a fan then you’re used to that no-nonsense in your face cop speak that Ms. Ellison uses and for her series and her characters it’s very effective. Her characters rarely change so we get a chance to really get to know what makes them tick as well as keeping an eye on what they’re up to now. Her heroine Taylor Jackson is a straight shooting good cop, not necessarily by the book, but always in the name of justice and what I really like about her is how she evolves with each subsequent novel as she learns how to be not only a better cop but a better friend/lover/person, sometimes in spite of herself. Her other main characters from the cops to her friends to her significant other all take supporting role awards and I love the interaction between the characters. Her romance between John and Taylor is ongoing although not always smoothly and it’s that certain angst that keeps her fans wondering what exactly is on the horizon for this couple.

So all in all what it boils down to is this amazing talent that Ms. Ellison has in spinning a tale that keeps her fans glued to the pages and buying the next one in the series long before the published date. She has a unique style that’s all her own but her plots remind me of Lisa Gardner’s. One thing’s for sure she can definitely bat in the majors because this is another home run.
Well done Ms. Ellison you make it hard for me to patiently wait for the next installment in Taylor’s life.

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