So Close the Hand of Death (Taylor Jackson Series #6)

So Close the Hand of Death (Taylor Jackson Series #6)

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Overview

It’s a hideous echo of a violent past. 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 homages – 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 beside herself and ready to snap.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501294129
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Series: Taylor Jackson Series , #6
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

J.T. Ellison is the bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Taylor Jackson series, including All The Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss and The Cold Room. She is the bi-monthly Friday columnist at the Anthony Award nominated blog Murderati, and was named "Best Mystery/Thriller Writer of 2008" by the Nashville Scene.

Read an Excerpt

Boston, Massachusetts 8:12 p.m.

To: troy14@ncr.tr.com

From: bostonboy@ncr.bb.com

Subject: Boston

Dear Troy, All is well.

BB

Quiet, except for the pounding of his heart.

She was home now, the week of late nights at the office finally over. He'd been starting to wonder if she'd ever make it back and was amused at the relief he felt when he saw her trundling down the street, her heavy wool coat dragging her steps. He had been more concerned than he expected, considering the stakes. This was just a game for him, after all. A lovely game.

She'd walked right past the truck without giving him a second glance. A few feet more and she was at her building. The wrought-iron kissing gate was broken, listing slightly, ajar. She pushed it open with her left hand and plodded up the steps. He watched with his head bent, eyes slid to the side as she unlocked the door and slipped inside. She never turned her head, never thought for a moment that she wasn't safe. Her millionth mistake this week.

He'd give it just one more minute, let her get upstairs. He busied himself with the package, the hard, plastic electronic-signature tablet, the straps on the box, all the while counting.

One Mississippi. Two Mississippi.

Once he hit sixty, he followed her path to the door. He pushed his finger into the white button, heard the shrill bell ringing. A woman's voice, tinny and thin, said, "Yes?"

"Delivery for June Earhart."

She buzzed him in without saying anything else. The door unlocked with a snap and he pulled it wide, allowing enough room for the handcart to fit in, adjusting his cap lower on his head. He didn't want his face to be seen. There were cameras in the foyer, he knew from earlier reconnaissance.

He thought about his target. He loved the way June looked. Brown hair, brown eyes, five foot six, somewhat lumpy, but that was just because she enjoyed her food and didn't exercise. Not lazy, never lazy. Just… padded.

He'd watched her take lunch all this week: Monday was McDonald's, Tuesday Subway, Wednesday a couple of iced crullers and a sugary juice smoothie from Dunkin' Donuts. Thursday she'd stayed in, but this afternoon she'd gone for a grinder, thick with salami and ham and cheese, with a side of potato chips. He wondered if she would smell like onions or if she'd been considerate enough to chew some gum, or suck on a Tic-Tac. He'd wager the latter; June was a self-conscious woman.

Granted, she'd walked from her office to each of these places, but she'd passed the pita joint and the all-natural juice-and-salad bar on the way. She chose the fattening food, and he knew it was because she was afraid to be alone but needed a defense mechanism to justify her single status to herself. He knew she sat in her dingy apartment, night after night, reading fitness and yoga magazines, dreaming about what it would be like to have a hard, lithe body, knowing that if she did, if she put in the effort, then she would be irresistible. And irresistible meant the paralegal from the office next door would notice her.

But she was afraid, and so dreamed only, her traitorous actions affording her a little more time. He knew she planned to join a gym at the beginning of the new year—it had been scribbled in purple ink on a list of possible New Year's resolutions discarded in her kitchen trashcan. He bet she made that resolution every year. June was the type of woman who made New Year's resolutions in November and never, ever saw them through. A woman who dreamed. A woman who would buzz a total stranger into her building because she never expected to be a victim.

His kind of woman.

The handcart made the trip awkward, bumping, bumping, bumping along the risers as he climbed. It would have helped if June hadn't ordered wine—he could have carried a normal box up the stairs. But this fit the image he had of a delivery man. Safe and unassuming, too busy with his work to be a threat.

He was at the door of June's second-story walk-up now. He straightened his cap, arranged the handcart in front of him, the heavy wooden box tied tightly to the metal. He felt in his pocket—yes, everything was there. He arranged his features into something close to a smile and knocked.

June opened the door, still a little out of breath from her climb up the stairs. She'd taken off the heavy coat but her scarf was still wound around her neck in a breathtaking knot. Face-to-face with her, he didn't realize that he'd frozen until she said, "Kind of late for a delivery, isn't it?"

Moving his lips even wider over his teeth, he said, "Yes, ma'am. Apologies, ma'am. Got behind today."

"I never thought the damn stuff would get here. Put it over there," June said, pointing to an uncluttered alcove just before the kitchen. The same alcove he'd been in last night, watching June watch television. She'd never known he was there, and he'd slipped out after she fell asleep.

He wrestled the handcart into the foyer and made for the alcove, reached into his pocket and depressed the call button on his disposable phone. June's phone began to ring. He saw a brief flicker of debate in her eyes, then she shrugged and let the door close behind him as she started toward the living room to attend to the call. The moment her back was turned, he attacked. He whipped her scarf up into her mouth so she couldn't scream, then picked her up and moved toward the bedroom. Might as well be comfortable about it.

She was struggling, so he clouted her over the ear, just enough to daze her. That did the trick. June's eyes got woozy and the panic in them dulled. He stripped her down and tossed her on the bed, but took care in removing his own clothing piece by piece, folding the brown pants with the seams in, the shirt with sleeves together, then in half. He'd need to reclothe the driver, he didn't want anything getting on the uniform. June was groggy but cognizant, and when he rolled on the condom and took her, she tried to scream and get away. But he was much bigger, much stronger, and she had no chance. All her wriggling made it go quicker than he'd prefer, but at the end, he wrapped the trailing ends of the scarf around her throat and pulled them tight…and felt another kind of release flow through his veins.

When her eyes bugged out he pulled the scarf tighter still, watching critically as her skin turned a mottled red, and the whites of her eyes began to fill with blood. After three long, excruciating, joyful minutes, she went completely limp beneath him.

He cleaned up quickly, the truck was sure to be noticed soon. When everything was in place, he unwound the scarf from her neck and tied it in a jaunty bow. He kissed June on the forehead, briefly felt sorry that she'd never make it to the gym, dressed carefully then left the apartment, locking the push button lock behind him. He was surprised at how quietly the door closed, a silent witness to the death of its owner and the stranger going gently into that good night.

The night air was brisk. Snow was coming. He turned up his collar and pushed the handcart in front of him to the delivery truck. He'd been lucky: the original driver was his size, and his uniform fit perfectly. He clambered into the truck, drove around the corner to a quiet, deserted cul-de-sac. He stripped, replaced the brown uniform with his own street clothes, struggled a bit getting the dead limbs of the driver back into the arm and leg holes, but finally had things in their proper places. He patted the empty-eyed driver on the head. Collateral damage, but necessary.

He looked out the window on either side. The street was empty, the lights off in the two houses that flanked him. He was confident he hadn't been seen. He slid out the side of the truck and started to whistle, a tune he'd long forgotten. Strangers in thenight…exchanging glances…

One down. Many, many more to go.

New York, New York 10:12 p.m.

To: troy14@ncr.tr.com

From: 44cal@ncr.ss.com

Subject: New York

Dear Troy,

Hey man. I'm on schedule.

44

The bag was rustling, damn it. He knew keeping the gun in the bag wasn't a good idea. Every step he took, all he could hear was the crackle, crackle, crackle against his leg. How was he supposed to sneak up on anyone like this? And he couldn't take the gun out and carry it properly—this was New York, after all. A cop on every corner, a chicken in every pot. Tourists every few steps, wide-eyed and camera happy.

The directions had been explicit, though. The paper bag was required.

The dog made me do it. The dog, the dog, the dog.

There. He was back in character.

A light snow began to fall. He knew it was dusting his body, his head, but he couldn't feel it, he'd pulled a black watch cap over his bald scalp. He got too cold otherwise. He crossed Houston and jogged into Washington Square Park, skipping around a puddle. Crackle, crackle, crackle. Maybe if he put his hand in his pocket he could shush the noise, but no, he'd look furtive and strange walking with his hand deep in his cargo pants. He remembered the instructions. Don't draw attention to yourself. Walk tall, shoulders back, meet the eyes of those you pass. No one remembers the ones who look at you. They only remember the ones who look away.

The dog made me do it.

He spied his quarry. Two men leaning close in to one another, one blond, one dark, oblivious on the green park bench. He felt his heart soar. Everything was going according to plan. Unbeknownst to their wives, who thought their respective spouses were at the gym—or a card game, or a movie, a late dinner, a meeting run long, terrible traffic—the men came to this bench every night. They sat and talked and dreamed together. Sometimes, if they were feeling terribly risky, a finger would softly stroke a palm, or a bit of pressure would be felt against a thigh. And on the glorious nights—the ones they both looked forward to the most—after a decent interval of time, they'd slink, one after the other, to a small, dingy apartment they borrowed for their occasional physical assignations, make hurried love, then disappear back to their lives. No one could know. No one did know.

Except one. And now two.

The dog made me do it.

He walked right up to them, the fornicators. The wretched, abnormal bastards. He stopped three feet away, reached in his pocket and pulled out an American Spirit. He lit it, took a long, hard drag and blew a plume of smoke out of his nose. He knew he looked like a dragon, did it again for his own amusement.

They hadn't looked up. They were completely wrapped up in their conversation. He felt a moment of disgust—men weren't supposed to feel like that about one another, it wasn't right—but their distraction was good. He was just another guy on the street, taking a smoke break. He finished the cigarette, savoring the deep, husky burn in his lungs, then tossed the butt away into the bushes.

He glanced over his shoulder. Washington Square was strangely deserted. It must be the cold, or providence. The angel sitting on his shoulder squeaked. He ignored him, like he'd been ignoring him for the past six weeks. He was bored, and ready. Ready to have some fun.

The men leaned closer together.

He sniffed once, like he was deciding what to do, then whipped the gun out of his pants pocket. The suppressor coughed and blood burst from the wounds. Two shots, each to the head. They never knew what hit them. He crumpled the letter and tossed it at them, then fled. The sinners slumped together, gray sweats and red brains commingling on the hard cold bench, little spatters of blood dropping into the dusting of snow beneath them. He heard the drip as he left.

The dog made me do it.

He was a block away when his angel told him he wasn't crackling anymore. Son of a bitch. He searched his pockets and found nothing but the gun, his cigarettes and the lighter. The bag had come out with the gun and dropped to the ground, he'd been too caught up in the furious noises the angel was making to notice. Shit. He wasn't supposed to leave anything behind except the note. Shit, shit.

He snapped right out of character, panic invading his bloodstream.

The angel talked to him. Breathe. That's good, man. Breathe. Keep walking. It's just a brown paper bag, not like anyone can identify where it came from. He made a mental note to throw the receipt for the package of lunch bags away as soon as he got home, just in case. He didn't want to leave anything behind that might implicate him. Orders were orders, after all.

The angel was on a roll now. Fucking dog. Who blames a dog? Some crazy ass motherfucker, that's who. Dog made me do it, my ass.

He wasn't a very good angel.

Behind him, sirens started. He felt the panic start in the pit of his stomach, gone watery at the noise. He needed to go. He needed to run. He started to break away, but the angel yelled in his ear.

Walk, homey. Walk away.

He stopped, and took a deep breath. Remembered the look of surprise on their faces. Turned to look at a bar window as the flashing lights cruised past, feigning interest. Just another guy on his way home, thinking about stopping in for one more drink. Smiled into his beard.

All in all, it had been a good night.

San Francisco, California 11:00 p.m.

To: troy14@ncr.tr.com

From: crypto@ncr.zk.com

Subject: San Francisco

Dear Troy,

It's going well. Will be in touch if anything goes wrong.

ZK

His palms were sweating.

He fought the urge to vomit, swallowed hard against the rising gorge. The gloves felt tight, itchy, claustrophobic. Defying orders, he whisked them off. Cool air made his damp skin prickle. There. Better. He tucked the gloves into the back pocket of his black jeans. His grip on the gun became surer, stronger. The metal was slick, hot in his hand. He'd imagined this moment for years. Now he had a chance, a real chance, to fulfill his fantasies and make some money at the same time. Save himself from the day-to-day grind he was living. The hateful job that laid him off. The hateful house the bank was taking. The hateful car he could barely make payments on. He was homeless, broke and hungry to try his hand at murder. The money would be a nice bonus. This opportunity had come at the perfect time.

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So Close the Hand of Death (Taylor Jackson Series #6) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 81 reviews.
L_Gondelman More than 1 year ago
The Boston Strangler, the Zodiac Killer, and the Son of Sam are all back. OK, well maybe not technically, but someone is out there killing in the same gruesome fashion as these notorious serial killers. With the murders happening across the nation it soon becomes apparent that they can-not possibly be the work of one killer, that there is a greater evil out there. An evil all to familiar to Taylor Jackson. The Pretender has returned. With this book taking place immediately after The Immortals ends, there is not one second for Taylor to stop and catch her breath, to deal with her emotions after having shot and killed a young man, or to process what happened to Fitz and figure out what is going on with Baldwin that he isn't talking about. But she needs to push all of that aside and once and for all take The Pretender down. She is over knowing that he's out there, waiting for her. She is sick with the thoughts that until The Pretender is caught, everyone she loves will be at his mercy, and there is nothing she can do about it. Will she be able to let others help her? Or will she find herself seeking her own kind of justice? Can she do what needs to be done? Can she protect the ones that mean the most to her against the one person that hates her the most? And when the ultimate betrayal comes who will be left standing to deal with the repercussions? So Close the Hand of Death is the sixth book in the Taylor Jackson series. The book can definitely be read as a stand-alone, but to get a deeper understanding of Taylor, her G-man fiance Baldwin, her medical examiner BFF Sam, and the rest of her team, you should read them in order (All the Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss, The Cold Room, The Immortals). I'm keeping this review, as vague as possible to avoid any spoilers. If you pay close attention, virtually everything that happens in this story is a clue about what has happened in the terrifying past, and what's going on in the intense present and what will happen in the explosive near future. There is no doubt J.T. Ellison is a master at her craft. Just when you think her last book is her best yet, you read the next one. And you realize just how wrong you were. So Close the Hand of Death is an edge-of-your-seat, white-knuckled, can't-turn-the-pages-fast-enough thriller - that will have you clutching the book as you turn pages almost faster than you can read them in - a desperate desire to find out what comes next.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Taylor Jackson get's word from her fiancé 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 other serial killers and was the student of The Snow White Killer, 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book even if you have no history with the series!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Across the United States copy cat serial killers of dead or jailed psychopaths surface. Law enforcement is stretched way too thin as the homicidal frenzy is from sea to shining sea. The media adds to the taut situation demanding underpaid and understaffed cops do their jobs. Nashville police homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson knows who the mentor of these crazed killers is. The Pretender has returned with a horde of trained deadly predators imitating the worst murderers of society. She also knows his personal target is her as she has been for quite a while (see The Cold Room, for instance). The apprentice killers are just background noise to isolate her from support and to break her mentally with what happens to those who remain close to her. The Pretender is coming for the woman he cherishes and loathes for cherishing her. So Close the Hand of death is an exciting Taylor Jackson police procedural (see All The Pretty Girls) that grips the audience with suspense as fans anticipate the Pretender coming close enough to Jackson to either kiss or kill her. Fast-paved and tense from the onset, fans of the series will appreciate the latest case though wonder whether Jackson is a modern day Typhoid Mary as anyone who befriends her throughout the six books is in jeopardy from a serial killer. Harriet Klausner
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
When I read Ellison's first book in the Taylor Jackson series - All The Pretty Girls - I was immediately hooked. I loved Ellison's writing, as well as the characters she'd created. This is #6 in the series and, while I still love Ellison's writing, I'm not as enthralled with the direction the series has taken. Detective Taylor Jackson is constantly being persecuted, singled out by serial killers, chased, and otherwise endangered in a personal way. Her friends suffer for the mere fact of being close to her. For me, the storyline of Taylor's over-the-top endangerment has become so routine that it has ho-hum bordering on unbelievable feel. This would be a difficult book to read as a stand-alone. Ellison carries threads of each book through to the next. Killers come back for revenge and past cases haunt her. I'd suggest starting with the first book, so that you have a good feel of all that is going on. ** I received this ebook from Harlequin as an early review copy, through netGalley. **
bookluverxoxo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It was a good book, but too much going on for me.
joemmama on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Pretender, a serial killer is back, and this time he has help. Across the country murders are being carried out by persons unknown.Taylor Jackson, Nashville homicide detective, is being taunted by the message "Let's Play". Her friends and family are in danger, so she wants to work alone.A blogger is seeing the overview, as she writes her true crime blog. Colleen is the widow of a fallen police officer, working with police departments all over the country. As Taylor is in the midst of a horror in North Carolina, Colleen starts putting the pattern together.As things from bad to worse, Taylor is racing against the clock to catch her killer/killers. Taylor decides to hunt the Pretender down and kill him. She finds herself in a very dark place. Her FBI lover, John Baldwin has been suspended, and he struggles to protect her.The Pretender targets Taylors friends, and with so many deaths to be solved, will they find the killer/killers?This was such a good story, I got all of the series from my library, so I could catch up and jump into the dark world she inhabits. The stories are dark, and very well written, leaving this reader on the edge of her seat, rushing to the end, but wanting more!I received this book from Planned Television Arts for review. Thank you!
JosephLYoung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An amazing story that chronicles the four year struggle between a Nashville Amazon police lieutenant and a psycho serial killer who targeted her and her close friends and family for an imagined slight when she laughed at him when he asked her to dinner after she pulled him over following a police shooting on the Freeway. Police Lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her fiance Dr. John Baldwin, an FBI Psychiatrist, worked together to try and stop this serial killer. This twisting story follows the multiple deaths from coast to coast as a recruited set of killers executed contributors to a Crime Blog that was unraveling the psycho's identity. The recruits were working for a promised cash prize and an opportunity to watch the psycho finish his anticipated principle victim, Lt. Jackson. The recruited killers mimicked famous historical killers, i.e. Boston Strangler, Zodiac Killer and the New York Killer of Homosexuals. A trail of death led from each city of origin towards Nashville, the designated location for the final confrontation. The details of the hunting and killings and the reactions of the individual killers to the finality of the killings and the implied threats at all levels to the associates, friends and family of detective Taylor keep this story an anxious page turner. I loved the rich characters (both good and bad) enjoyed their development and now I am looking forward to additional stories from this author hopefully involving this character set. Grab yourself a copy if for no other reason than the rush of adrenaline.
dsdmd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love J.T. Ellison books. This is no exception. The Pretender, who is a serial killer, has been a major thorn in Taylor Jackson's side for four years, taunting her and always one step ahead of her. Now it has come to the showdown as he sends her a message after kidnapping Fitz, her surrogate father figure,--"Let's Play." One thing I like about Ellison books is that when you're less than half way through the book you think it's coming to a conclusion and then another twist pops up. The suspense continues to the very end. If you enjoy psychological thrillers, I would highly recommend, not only this book, but any of J.T Ellison's novels. I'm anxiously awaiting her next one.
caitemaire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For fans of police procedurals and those who enjoy a 'nice' serial killer thriller, Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson is back for the sixth book in the series... and this time just one serial killer is not enough!On the same night, in several places across the country, gruesome murders take place, each seemingly committed in the 'style' of a famous serial killer. The Son of Sam, the Zodiac killer, the Boston Strangler appear to be back...but behind them all, it soon become apparent to Jackson, is one evil mastermind, The Pretender, protege of the Snow White killer. The Snow White killer, who we met in 14, may have been defeated by Jackson, but that was certainly not the end of the story. No, once again, even as the bodies fall and the chase is on across the nation, stretching police resources to the point of breaking, it seems that the killer's real motive is very personal and that Jackson, and all those closest to her, are the ultimate targets. Yes, The Pretender, psychopath extraordinaire, is back, Taylor is his target, and this time he has a lot of helpers.Taylor is not alone in the battle either, because back once again are all the great characters from the previous books in the series. We have her now fiance, FBI profiler John Baldwin, who is dealing with several problems of his own, both professional and personal, her father figure Sergeant Pete Fitzgerald, and her best friend and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Loughley. But those closest to her are in terrible danger and even as she hunts down the Pretender, she must distance those closest to her, both to protect them and to keep her secret. Because Taylor has a plan, a plan for the Pretender that she can not share with anyone.Ellison is a great writer and this is a real page turner, from the shocking opening pages, through some great, surprising twists and turns, to, as always in Ellison's books, a great conclusion. Both Jackson and Baldwin are flawed yet with deep resources of strength, as befits all great thriller characters, and The Pretender is as creepy and evil as all 'good' serial killers should be, with a last minute twist that took me by total surprise.I will admit that I am not always a fan of thrillers where the central characters, especially if it a detective or police officer, is the target of the killer. I think it is usually a weakness if the story becomes too personal, that a bit of distance is best. And I must say, when we discover what is behind the Pretender's hatred of Taylor in this book, I was a bit let down. But that being said, Ellison pulls it off in this book, once again.Now, can this be read as a stand-alone book? Perhaps, since Ellison does attempt, pretty successfully, to explain the relevant backstory. But quite honestly, I think many readers would be rather confused and certainly for maximum enjoyment, it would be best to go back and read the previous book. Yes, I know...another series...how can a reader ever catch up?But you better hurry, because the next Taylor Jackson book, Where All The Dead Lie, this time set in Scotland, will be released October 1.
DBower on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I too love J.T. Ellison books. Furthermore, I rank Taylor Jackson, John Baldwin, and the Pretender among my favorite characters. If you like police detective novels with really creepy, disturbing characters you will love the Taylor Jackson series by J.T. Ellison. My only suggestion is to start with one of the earlier books in the series - if you start with this book, while I believe you will enjoy it, you won't get the full excitement of the story. As always, I look forward to the next book to find out where the ride will take us next.
jynxpierce on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the other books in this series and this book did not disappoint! I love the plot and the charectors. Thrills and chills!
bookbeat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Taylor Jackson just can¿t seem to catch a break. She has just come off a violent, emotionally disturbing investigation, when she and her team are plunged back into an equally horrifying set of murders. The Pretender is back and this time he won¿t quit until he has destroyed Taylor and all she holds dear. Longtime readers will have the answers to some of their questions, but many more will arise. J. T. Ellison does a magnificent job of luring the reader in and leaving them gasping ¿ making it even harder to wait for the next Taylor Jackson book.
runner56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this a very average thriller plodding and predictable with an ending that was expected and somehwhat disappointing. The style of J T Ellison is not unsimilar to James Patterson and the plot in some ways reminded me of Kiss the girls but without the teeth and edge of the seat excitement that Patterson instills in his readers. I was tempted to award only one star but I feel that might have been somewhat unfair as the book was an easy read and not an unpleasant experience.
dhaupt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
So Close the Hand of Death is the 6th in the Taylor Jackson series.Taylor Jackson get¿s word from her fiancé 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 other serial killers and was the student of The Snow White Killer, 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.
tjshoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have been a huge fan of J. T. Ellison since I received a copy of The Cold Room through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. I introduced her to members of my book club through All the Pretty Girls. So Close the Hand of Death is a nail biting, chilling suspenseful thriller. Taylor Jackson is a driven homicide detective made human by her compassion for the dead or injured especially those dead or injured because of association with her. So Close the Hand of Death managed to answer some of the questions readers have had, but left others unanswered. Fans are now left with heightened anticipation for the next Taylor Jackson novel. If you love reading about serial killers and being scared to death, this is the book for you.
rhonda1111 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I can tell thier were other books in the series before this but I did not feel lost at all.Taylor is homacide LT. in Nashville. Dr. Baldwin works with FbI profiling they are engaged. A serail killer called Pretender is focused on Taylor and wants to play with her. Pretender has helpers he is training they are killing in LA, Boston, NY following different killers mo. He has made all these big plans to draw taylor into. the start of the book he has kidnapped her sargent and took his eyeball out and killed his fiance to get her to go to North Carolina. Their are so many victims and strings its hard to focus she has to be overwhelmed and her fiance is hiding things from her. This books has lots of twists and turns before its all wrapped up. It was hard to put the book down last night and first thing i did this morning was get it out again. I will definately look for her other books. I want to get to know the characters better and see how they worked together in past books and hope for more of them if the future. I was given the book by Library thing in exchange of honest review
booksgaloreca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love this series by J.T Ellison. I think I have read most (maybe all) of them and they all keep me engrossed and not able to get anything done until I am finished. LOL Can't wait for the next one.
AndreaSCH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found the story entertaining - a serial killer sets up a game challenge for other killers to produce exact copies of famous serial killers' murders, in a kind of race across the country - , but the police's involvement and solution were a bit predictable, and the main characters (the cops) way too simple for my taste.Only after finishing did I find out that this is part of a series - I had no problem reading this without having read the previous books, though I now realize that there were quite a few references to earlier developments.
NKSCF on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first exposure to J.T. Ellison's works, and I was pleasantly surprised. The main plot with the recreation of certain serial killings across America was inspired, and it kept me thinking throughout the story. I highly enjoyed the interactions between the main characters, as well.Comes highly recommended from me.
MmeRose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book somewhat predictable and frustrating. Although Ellison puts together a good story, none of the plot points was new: internet bloggers targeted, serial killers recruited through the internet to aid a "master" serial killer, copycat killers... more would become spoilers.I have read all of Ellison's books, but am iffy about getting the next.
she_climber on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my second JT Ellison book so I haven't been following this series thoughout and I find it be a big hinderance. I felt very lost for the first half of the book with so many references to previous happenings that it took awhile for me to have enough information to really get into the book - that said once I did I really enjoyed it. It was very fast paced and well written (with the exception of the lacking backstory), the characters are enjoyable (and probably more so if I'd read more than just one of the previous five books). I would like to go back and read the others, but of course with so many books, so little time. I'm not sure when this will be. I don't know that I'll read anymore in this series without first going back to the begining.
Darcia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I read Ellison's first book in the Taylor Jackson series - All The Pretty Girls - I was immediately hooked. I loved Ellison's writing, as well as the characters she'd created. This is #6 in the series and, while I still love Ellison's writing, I'm not as enthralled with the direction the series has taken. Detective Taylor Jackson is constantly being persecuted, singled out by serial killers, chased, and otherwise endangered in a personal way. Her friends suffer for the mere fact of being close to her. For me, the storyline of Taylor's over-the-top endangerment has become so routine that it has ho-hum bordering on unbelievable feel. This would be a difficult book to read as a stand-alone. Ellison carries threads of each book through to the next. Killers come back for revenge and past cases haunt her. I'd suggest starting with the first book, so that you have a good feel of all that is going on. ** I received this ebook from Harlequin as an early review copy, through netGalley.com. **
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