Thursday, May 19, 2011

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

Book Summary
Across America, murders are being committed with all the twisted hallmarks of the Boston Strangler, the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam. The media frenzy explodes and Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson knows instantly that The Pretender is back...and he's got helpers.
As The Pretender's disciples perpetrate their sick tributes – stretching police and FBI dangerously thin – Taylor tries desperately to prepare for their inevitable showdown. And she must do it alone. To be close to her is to be in mortal danger, and she won't risk losing anyone she loves. But the isolation, the self-doubt and the rising body count are taking their toll: she's tripwire-tense and ready to snap.

The brilliant psychopath who both adores and despises her is drawing close. Close enough to touch...

My Review - 4 1/2 Great to the last Drop
I read my first J.T. Ellison book in February, the beginning of this series, All The Pretty Girls, and wasn't impressed but because I said it was my favourite genre and that I love kick ass detectives a virtual assistant asked me to review her newest.  I wasn't going to give this author another chance but I am glad I did.
J.T. Ellison definitely enjoys having lots going on with her thrillers.  In So Close the Hand of Death she brings back 3 past serial killers wrapped up in one as The Pretender, he recruited a team of pshyco's to help him create his game.  The authors words "He's a chameleon.  He adapts, copies, mimics, then disappears."   The best part is he sent a message to Detective Taylor to say 'Let's Play'.  All the characters were great, my favourite was the Crime Blogger, intelligent, motivated and her full story the way it tied in, wowsa.  She was more up to date then the news journalist and her followers knew what was going on.
There are murders going on everywhere, different states and all are connected, the detective teams are trying to figure it all out.   Working against the clock but never getting to anyone in time, only being able to review evidence and come up with possible ideas to catch The Pretender.  Who will win the game, The Pretender, Taylor or no one.
I still could do without the romance piece but there is a great mystery to Taylor and Baldwin relationship in this one that keeps you waiting for the blowout.
Something I love about serial killer books is when the author gives us history, why the person becomes a serial killer, what the childhood was like, family etc, this was brilliant.
I definitely recommend this one, it can be read as a stand alone, even though I really enjoyed it still didn't make me say I have to go back and continue the series.  From what I have went back to read fans think this is her best to date.
This one is also available on NetGalley.


  1. I don't think I've read a bad review of Ellison's work. I enjoy a good thriller, so I need to look for the series.

  2. Glad that he redeemed himself. He's an author I need to try.

  3. Glad this one works for you! Have you read any Jeffery Deaver (e.g. The Bone Collector?)

  4. Thanks for the review. Sounds like a must read.


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