Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Book Review: So Close the Hand of Death

So Close the Hand of Death is the sixth book in J.T. Ellison’s Taylor Jackson thriller series. Taylor Jackson, a Nashville homicide lieutenant, has her hands full in this one. She’s dealing with multiple serial killers, all under the command of one man, known as The Pretender. Each of those killers takes on the persona of past mass murderers, the Boston Strangler, the Zodiac Killer and Son of Sam, recreating those horrific killings.

As more bodies turn up, Taylor is desperate to stop the killings, especially as she begins to realize that she is the one The Pretender is really after. The closer he gets to her, the more she pulls away from those she loves, in an effort to save them from becoming collateral damage.

So Close the Hand of Death is fast moving, action packed, and tense. J.T. Ellison has written a thriller where no character is safe. And, in The Pretender, she’s created a killer who manipulates others to do his bidding, while saving the prize kill, Taylor, for himself.

So Close the Hand of Death is the first in this series that I’ve read. It took a little while to understand the dynamics of Taylor Jackson. I consider this a good thing, since I’m not fond of series books that put a paragraph or two upfront to get new and past readers caught up. I like getting to know the protagonist through action. And in this one, Taylor hit the floor running.

The Pretender is a truly demonic guy, but we don’t really see him until near the end. By that time, we know him, though. We know him through his manipulations and minions.

So Close the Hand of Death
Barnes and Noble
Also available for eReaders

I give So Close the Hand of Death a rating of Hel-of-a-Story.
FTC Disclaimer: Magdalena Burnham of Planned TV Arts sent So Close the Hand of Death to me, but that did not influence my review. I do not know the author nor do I know any serial killers. Although I do know a serial golf player, but that’s another story -- a story which would not be nearly the page-turner J.T. Ellison’s book is. If you’re looking for a fast read with interesting characters and you don’t mind being scared, I recommend So Close the Hand of Death. I would not recommend you go play golf, leaving your wife alone at home on the one day in months that the sky is dark and thundering and raining in Texas. Oops, lights just blinked. Gotta go. What was that noise?


  1. The Pretender is a great name for the baddie. Very easy to remember. But I normally don't like the detective being the real target kind of story. A bit more detach is better.

    Chemical Fusion

  2. Thunder and lightning and flickering lights while reading a murder mystery ... That's enough to spook anyone!

  3. You like thrillers, don't you Helen? As always, I laughed during the disclaimer.

  4. Hi Helen .. your review certainly drew me in - and like you I don't like getting stuck in a series - something dynamic and interesting is great .. sounds a little scary to me! Cheers Hilary

  5. Scary might be a bit too much. I'd say "intense" would be the word for this book.

  6. Ooh, this one sounds too scary for me. But it sure sounds thrilling and well written. Still loving those disclaimers, Helen.

  7. Oh boy! Made a note of the info on this one for the daughter. She loves this sort of thing.
    Great disclaimer. Did you leave it out for a certain hubby/ ;o)

  8. Sounds like and interesting read, but, wow, that's harsh, Helen, to equate a serial golfer with a serial killer ... wait, you've just given me a story idea!

  9. I keep reading good things about this series. It sounds like one I'd enjoy.

  10. Sounds like the author did a good job of incorporating the series backstory...always a good thing! Thanks for the tip...I'll put it on my TBR list.

  11. That "certain" hubby has gone digital. I'm still in print, although coveting his iPad.

  12. Thanks for the review. I like these kind of villains. They hide in the shadows and manipulate others to do his dirty deeds,only to appear toward the end in a final showdown. Thanks for the review!

  13. I like minions!
    Serial golf player - that's good.

  14. Looks like a scary book.

    And the the disclaimer was very funny. Good to see that you don't have serial killers among your acquaintances >:D

    Cold As Heaven

  15. No serial killer among my friends and family. A cereal killer or two, though. I liked this book. It kept me reading.

  16. Oh, this one sounds good, Helen. I love a good thriller. I've not read this author and it sounds like I need to check it out.

    I love an author who can create a believable villain. The more we see of the villain's motivations and goal the more ominous he becomes. I think of Silence of the Lamb. What he could do was terrifying, but you kinda liked him too.

    Thanks for sharing a new author with me. :-)

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

  17. Sounds like it would make a good movie.

  18. ...regardless of the countless genre in published material to choose from, with a new one added every day, nothing beats a heart-stopping thriller. This one looks like a winner:)


  19. Such an awesome disclaimer, Helen!


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