Monday, May 22, 2023

Review: The Wolves Come at Night + Exclusive Author Interview with JT Ellison

Today I'm reviewing The Wolves Come at Night by JT Ellison #9 in and a long awaited reawakening of her Taylor Jackson series. Plus JT shares some whys and wherefores and some exclusive novel information in our exclusive interview. The novel releases tomorrow May 23rd!!

ISBN-13: 978-1948967532
Publisher: Two Tales Press
Release Date: 05-24-2023
Length: 384pp
Source: Author for review
Buy It: Amazon/ B&N/ IndieBound



A detective on the brink.
An assassin out for revenge.
A desperate mother racing against the clock.

While the high-profile murder of a young country singer turns Nashville inside out, danger lurks in the woods beyond the city's border. There was a witness to the terrible crime, a college student who stumbled onto the scene. When the girl goes missing, the police don't know if she's run for cover or been taken...or if something more sinister is happening.

The truth will shatter Taylor's career and bring her face to face with a deadly assassin who wants nothing more than to finish what they started.

Taylor Jackson is back. And you've never seen her quite like this.

"Powered by unexpected twists, intriguing characters, a high-stakes plot, and the ultimate enemies-to-friends story, THE WOLVES COME AT NIGHT is a true thrill ride. I loved it."
-Jayne Ann Krentz, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

My Review:

The Wolves Come at Night
Taylor Jackson #9
JT Ellison

The Wolves Come at Night is a globetrotting, twisty turny thriller that’s fast paced from beginning to end, illuminating the masterful storytelling of JT Ellison and makes the years melt away as she once again brings Taylor Jackson back to life for rabid fans like me. Taylor has always been a steadfast by-the-book cop character, but this new incarnation of Taylor includes shades of grey giving her an edgier feel. JT also has a stable of fantastic costars including Taylor’s FBI fiancé, her murder team and others both good and evil and one or two that will fall in both the good and evil category, plus a cameo from Taylor’s BFF Sam Owens (who stars in her own series). The investigation is filled with intrigue, danger and death leading Taylor from Nashville to several beautiful European sites leaving bodies strewn in her wake and leaving readers with more questions than answers until JT lets us in on that all-important ah-ha moment. The novel is removed enough from the previous Taylor Jackson novels to stand on its own but those who want the whole picture will want to start from the beginning.  Readers who love the chilling novels of Hank Phillipi Ryan, Lisa Gardner or Megan Golden or this fantastic author will find this novel impossible to put down and wondering if Taylor will be back again.

Taylor Jackson should be happy, she’s survived yet again a brush with death at the hands of a madman, is madly in love with her handsome FBI profiler and has just been promoted to Captain in the Metro Nashville police department. She’s also at the end of her rope, about to pull her hair out of her head dealing with all the politics, paperwork and conflicts with her new boss that come with this new jig that she didn’t ask for, when she’s saved in the nick of time being called to assist her old team with the investigation of the murder of an up-and-coming female country star. Finally, something she can sink her teeth into.  It seems two Vanderbilt University students stumbled upon a murder in progress while on an app scavenger hunt and reported it to the police but then the case takes on a strange turn when one of the co-eds goes missing leaving the murder team scratching their heads and Taylor butting heads yet again with her boss. What Taylor doesn’t know is that there is something very sinister at work here and will put her face to face with an enemy from her past.


 An Exclusive Chat with J.T.

JT, hi! Welcome back to the blog.
Thrilled to be here, Debbie!

I absolutely loved your latest novel The Wolves Come at Night, where you bring back one of your most beloved characters, Taylor Jackson. Tell my readers a bit about it, please.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Wolves continues Taylor's story, pitting her against the case of a lifetime—the murder/suicide of a country singer by her boyfriend that quickly blows up into a massive international conspiracy. It was so much fun to get back to the Nashville PD and do it after the societal changes that have rocked policing in the past several years. Plus, Taylor has been promoted and is off the streets. This is not her path, and she knows it, which creates a delicious tension. Add in a visit from an assassin she went head-to-head with a year earlier, and it is explosive and dynamic from start to finish.  

It’s been 8 years since the original release of the last Taylor Jackson novel although the re-release was in 2021. Has she always been living inside your head or did rereleasing the novels have something to do with her reincarnation now?
I have been so anxious to get back to Taylor’s story—but I needed the right story to tell. Obviously, the readers have been waiting impatiently (BLESS YOU ALL!) but I couldn’t just toss off a book, especially the way I left things in Where All the Dead Lie. The chapter had been well-closed on purpose, as I knew my publisher wasn’t interested in continuing the series. But I was, and I had to wait until it all gelled in my head, and I was in a position to share the story with the world. What I did know from the jump was that I wanted to bring Angelie Delacroix back into the picture. Angelie is the assassin Taylor goes up against in the novella Whiteout, which acts as a prequel to this book. She and Taylor are fire and gasoline, totally combustible Janus twins. They were a blast to write before, and I knew their story wasn’t nearly finished. I was right.

There is a lot going on in the novel, a lot of twists and turns, and a lot you put Taylor through.
How do you keep everything straight, do you have a physical board, keep it all in your head, or something else?
I use a program called Scrivener, so I can easily keep track of what’s happening with each character by using colored labels. I’m pretty visual, so I can see if it’s been too long since I’ve switched POV, whether we’re in past or present, all of that. But a lot of the story does live in my head, especially the bones. I am not an outliner; I am a gardener. I like to put a lot of seeds down and see what comes up that day. It’s not until I’m at the end that I outline. Backward, but it works.

I know it’s been a while, but Taylor seems a little less black and white/by the book than I remember her to be. Am I right and if so, what changed?
You’re totally right and thank you for pointing this out. Taylor used to be a very cut and dried character. She knew herself incredibly well, and only saw good versus evil. But over the course of the series, she’s been put into a number of situations that are in that murky gray ethical area (the area where Angelie Delacroix operates regularly, by the way). Having to make decisions that aren’t always square with her conscience has changed her. And coming up against some seriously vicious criminals, two of which have almost killed her, and one who hurt almost everyone around her in very physical and emotional ways, pushed her over the edge. She knows her limitations now. She’s older, less prone to care what people think. In Wolves, we see her struggle against what she feels is a reactive police force, while her experiences have shown that being more proactive could save lives. The bureaucracy is getting to her, her job title is ticking her off, and she just wants to solve cases by whatever means necessary instead of jumping through the proverbial hoops her boss keeps passing down. Frustration can make a person do some pretty wild things.

Taylor is a tall blonde, just like someone else I know. And I always wondered if maybe she’s your alter ego?
Taylor Jackson is my hero complex embodied. She runs into danger, she never flinches from a fight, she will do what’s right no matter what. She is everything I admire about an ethical human being and about our law enforcement heroes—the ones who do it right, who are a credit to their forces. I’ve always wanted to show that there are really great cops out there, and I did a lot of first-hand research to make sure I got it right. That said, she and I share many biographical details simply because that made it a lot easier for me to make her come to life. I remember early on, a reviewer was so annoyed that she was tall and blond. Then they met me and went “Oh. You’re so tall!” Yes, oh. It’s a challenge for me to see the world as a five-foot-six brunette, you know? The viewpoint is totally different. That’s why Sam is smaller and darker than Taylor, so I could be challenged to see the world intimately from a different perspective.  

The Taylor Jackson series has always been one of my favorite crime drama series and it was nice reconnecting with Taylor, her team and her fiancé Baldwin. Can you tell me if Taylor will be coming back, or will you have to kill me?
Thank you so much, and I certainly hope so! I’m not done with her story though I foresee a pretty big change in how it’s told. (wink wink.)

I learned from looking at your website that you’re working on a new Sam Owens novel. Yay! I love Sam too. You’ve focused mainly on standalone novels lately, in fact your early May release It’s One Of Us got a boatload of amazing praise. Are you going to be doing both series and standalone work from now on?
I hope going forward I can dabble in a lot of stories because there are so many in my head fighting to get out. I’m writing another standalone now (and thank you for the kind words on It’s One of Us—that was probably the hardest book I’ve ever done, and it’s astounding to have that chapter of my life closed. I lived that book for a decade, first doing some rather heartbreaking first-person research, then conceptualizing it, writing it, editing it, and finally, releasing it for everyone to finally share with me. Having it out there, having our story told at last, has been truly remarkable. Wolves was such a great palate cleanser!) But yes, Sam needs to have her story resolved; we left the poor girl in a real lurch. And Sky Abbott is someone interesting to me, too. Wouldn’t it be fun to switch off – series to standalone to series? I would love that.

JT thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck with the new novel(s)
HERE’S the link to JT’s event page some in person and virtual
Thanks for having me!

About the author:
J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 25 novels, and the EMMY(R) award winning co-host of the literary TV show A WORD ON WORDS. She also writes urban fantasy under the pen name Joss Walker. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim and prestigious awards. Her titles have been optioned for television and published in twenty-eight countries. J.T. lives with her husband and twin kittens in Nashville, where she is hard at work on her next novel.


  1. This sounds like my kind of read. Debbie, thanks for sharing your review.

  2. Debbe, fantastic interview! You have me wanting to begin the series featuring Taylor Jackson. This genre is right in my wheelhouse.

  3. For all thriller lovers it sounds like a really good story. Or should I say rabid fans!