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

Across America, murders are being committed with all the twisted hallmarks of the Boston Strangler, the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam. The medial 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 trip-wire tense and ready to snap.
The brilliant psychopath who both adores and despises her is drawing close. Close enough to touch...
So Close the Hand of Death is the 6th in the Taylor Jackson series by J.T. Ellison. I don't normally like reading books in a series unless I have started from the beginning but I don't think it caused too many problems this time.
Taylor Jackson is our protagonist, she is extremely feisty but she knows that she and those she holds dear are under threat. The Pretender is the threat, he has just tortured Taylor's colleague and father-figure Fitz and made it very clear that he is coming for Taylor next.
The Pretender is just that, he is a copy-cat killer, mimicking violent murderers from the past. He moves around the country, changing victims and modes of killing, making him near impossible to catch. In So Close the Hand of Death he has recruited three apprentices who kill on his instruction, he is merely the puppet master, holding all the strings.
As Taylor draws closer she understands that she has to catch him alone, if she involves anyone then she knows for sure that their lives will be in danger. The thing is, Taylor hasn't decided what she will do to The Pretender once she has him, does her deserve to live after the devastation he has caused?
So Close the Hand of Death is a gripping read. There is a lot going on in terms of different events and characters but I was very impressed with the way that J.T. Ellison brought it all together at the end. I think it is a clever book as the characters are extremely well developed, the author gives snippets here and there so we get a clear picture of the characters and the motives for their behavior.
J.T. Ellison builds the suspense from the very beginning and I was not disappointed by the last chapters. I would recommend So Close the Hand of Death , it is a series that I will be investigating further.

Many thanks to Mira for sending me a copy of this book to review.


Nadia said...

I know what you mean. I don't normally read these types of books either, but I found this one to be a rather gripping read. I'm glad that it didn't require me to have read the novels prior to this one in order to keep pace with the story. Definitely an interesting read- definitely shook up my usual reading habit a bit :)

Dot said...

Nadia- I have read a lot of crime/thrillers this month and have really enjoyed the change.

Jules said...

I've never heard of this series, but I quite fancy having a closer look at them some time.

Nikki-ann said...

I haven't heard of this book or the series, but it certainly sounds like my kind of book! :)

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