Frightful Friday: So Close the Hand of Death by J.T. Ellison

April 15, 2011 Crime Fiction, Frightful Friday, Mira Books, Mystery/Suspense, Review, Thriller 1

Frightful Friday is a weekly meme in which I feature a particularly scary or chilling book that I’ve read that week. Feel free to grab the button & join in! Be sure to include a link to your post in the Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post!

This week’s book is So Close the Hand of Death by J.T. Ellison:

In Ellison’s sixth book in the Taylor Jackson series, Taylor is left with no time to recover from the horrible Snow White case before she is forced to hunt down The Pretender, Snow White’s “apprentice.”  The Pretender has created his own army of sadistic killers, ordering each to commit crime all over the country, mimicking the killings of serial killers like the Boston Strangler, The Son of Sam, & The Zodiak.

Taylor’s ready for revenge: The Pretender abducted her father figure & horribly tortured & disfigured his body.  He’s seeking out those she loves in an attempt to weaken her. It’s evident that she is in the killer’s scope now & she’s willing to risk whatever it takes to not only bring him to justice, but rid him of his life.

As indicated above, SO CLOSE THE HAND OF DEATH is the sixth book in a series (previous books: All the Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss, The Cold Room, The Immortals) and while I don’t recommend it, this could serve as a stand-alone.  The reader continues to learn a great deal about the main character, Taylor Jackson, and her relationship with her FBI boyfriend, Baldwin.  However, since I started with the first book in the series, I enjoyed seeing the progression & growth in Taylor’s character.  She’s one tough chick!  I enjoy seeing a strong character like this in thriller novels, a genre that, until recently, was riddled with male main characters.

Additionally, I really appreciated learning about the killer’s childhood, his motives for his behavior.  I studied psychology & criminal justice in college; this was one of the many topics that fascinated me.

The momentum & hatred between The Pretender and Taylor has been building up over the past few books and I felt this relationship came to an intense conclusion.  It was a given Taylor was the only one who could really bring down The Pretender and, based on how he had tormented her so, it was only right that she be the one to determine his fate.

A second smaller storyline was Taylor & Baldwin’s relationship.  Both are extremely strong-willed & minded individuals, therefore often causing strain in the relationship.  When Taylor learns of a secret Baldwin has been keeping from her, the anger she experiences affects her judgment out on the field, putting her life in danger.  I’m anxious to see where this relationship leads!

Bottom line: if you are looking for a new thriller series, this is one you can’t afford to pass up!  Highly recommended.

Don’t forget to link up your frightful posts below!

One Response to “Frightful Friday: So Close the Hand of Death by J.T. Ellison”

  1. Kay

    I definitely don’t “need” a new thriller series (when do we series readers ever lack for books?), but I’ve been meaning to read this one for a while. I’m pretty sure I have the first one on my Kindle. Just must remind myself to read it. This one sounds good. Thanks for sharing!