Book #39 was The Cold Room, the fourth book in J.T. Ellison’s Taylor Jackson series. The back of the book reads:
He can truly love her only once her heart stops.
Homicide detective Taylor Jackson thinks she’s seen it all in Nashville—from the Southern Strangler to the Snow White Killer. But she’s never seen anything as perverse as The Conductor. Once his victim is captured, he contains her in a glass coffin, slowly starving her to death. Only then does he give in to his attraction.
When he’s finished, he creatively disposes of the body by reenacting scenes from famous paintings. And similar macabre works are being found in Europe. Taylor teams up with her fiancé, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, and New Scotland Yard detective James "Memphis" Highsmythe, a haunted man who has eyes only for Taylor, to put an end to this horror.
Has the killer gone international with his craft? Or are there two "artists," competing to create the ultimate masterpiece?
This was a mostly solid mystery. Ellison gives us an unusual crime, committed by an unusual criminal in an unusual way. And, I’m always excited to read a police procedural that isn’t set in New York or southern California. But there were a few pieces that bothered me.
One was Memphis. I didn’t quite get his obsession with Taylor, and would have liked a bit more a clue. Also, I didn’t think the reason he was sent to the U.S. was very good — he spent more time tagging along with Taylor and Baldwin than worrying about his own case. I suspect we’ll be seeing much more of him in the next book. The other piece that didn’t make a lot of sense to me was the tiny subplot with Taylor’s new boss. It ended up being worthless filler, as he appears at the beginning, disappears by the end, and doesn’t have any sort of significant affect on the novel’s events.
I found the book a bit dense, and realized way too late that I should have started this series from the beginning. There were too many references to past events without sufficient information to back them up for me to recommend this to anyone who hasn’t already read the first three books in the series. But, the story did keep me reading, and I would be interested in starting the series from the beginning to see what else Ellison has to offer.
This book was a review copy.
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Page count: 416 (’11 total: 10,329) | Approximate word count: 104,000 (’11 total: 3,812,850)
2010: Beneath a Blood Red Moon (Shannon Drake)
2009: The Lost Hours (Karen White)
2008: Envy (Kathryn Harrison)
2007: Wish You Well (David Baldacci)
2006: The Lost German Slave Girl (John Bailey)
2005: On the Street Where You Live (Mary Higgins Clark)