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The Immortals (Taylor Jackson)

1 rating: 3.0
A book by J.T. Ellison

It is Samhain—the Blood Harvest. Nonbelievers call it Hallowe'en. The night when eight Nashville teenagers are found dead, with occult symbols carved into their naked bodies. It's a ritual the killers believe was blessed by Death himself.When children … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: J.T. Ellison
Publisher: Mira
1 review about The Immortals (Taylor Jackson)

Athena of the South Goes Goddess

  • Oct 16, 2010
Not being familiar with the Nashville-based Taylor Jackson crime series, I was happily unprepared for author J.T. Ellison's ability to generate a taut storyline based on a profuse and detailed amount of research. Admirably, she crafts an enjoyable contemporary police procedural replete with interesting psychological portrayals and an aptly seasonal tricky Wiccan treat that is sure to intrigue and compel her audience to try previous offerings featuring this law enforcer.

As with other such novels of this genre, a grit factor definitely pervades "the Immortals," the fifth in a series (All The Pretty Girls (Taylor Jackson), 14, The Cold Room (Taylor Jackson Novels), Judas Kiss) commemorating the efforts of Taylor Jackson as she picks up the thread of her life after being reinstated as homicide lieutenant for the city of Nashville after a particularly nasty investigation involving a grizzly serial killer. Bringing such social misfits to justice as she negotiates the even more treacherous inroads of the human heart is Jackson's specialty--something she accomplishes with an innate ability and an equally cool head. Aided and abetted by Ellison's thorough style and flair for putting cryptic facts together,"The Immortals" delivers a web of intrigue worthy of the likes of more seasoned literary detectives and their creators such as Michael Dibdin (the Aurelio Zen series - The Aurelio Zen Omnibus: "Ratking", "Vendetta", "Cabal"), Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch - The Harry Bosch Novels: The Black Echo, The Black Ice, The Concrete Blonde), and Donna Leon (Guido Brunetti - Death at La Fenice: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery).

The title references a group of out-of-control kids dabbling in the darker side of the Old Religion; Ellison provides a freaky insight to the mindset and practical magic of a full spectrum of ghoulish teen subsets: Goths, Psychic Vampires, Sanguine Vampires and Stregherian practitioners. By alternating the point of view focus in each chapter, she offers the diverse perspectives of her savvy police team, the adversarial contingency, and both helpful and perplexed onlookers in a format that moves the plot along quickly without sacrificing intensity. Perhaps her addition of a flashback story detailing Baldwin's (Taylor's fiancé) reflective ordeal before he faces the disciplinary board at Quantico doesn't quite meld well with the arcane goings-on in Nashville, breaking the action in an intrusive way that wasn't exactly to my liking. However, as this was my first Ellison novel, I wasn't that familiar with the leading characters and found the Baldwin background information an encumbrance rather than a revelation.

Likewise, the climatic bit of knowledge regarding the actual perpetrators could be figured out beforehand, but this discernment does not detract overall from the impact of a good crime story told in a firm straightforward voice.

Good witch, Ariadne, deserves a reprise in future Jackson cases. Her blend of knowing wisdom, daring resourcefulness and intimate insight into Taylor's persona makes for the ultimate eventual silent friend/guardian angel/police collaborator.

Bottom line? "The Immortals" by J.T. Ellison provides a perfect getaway crime experience for lovers of the genre. Readers who enjoy a good story with tight plotlines will revel in the wise Athena-like Taylor--a whole-hearted woman who can't do anything halfway, get caught up in the unraveling of the criminal's mindset and wonder at the possible personal outcomes available to recurring characters who develop at a seemingly natural pace when compared to the whirlwind events taking center stage. As a novel, "The Immortals" can standalone but this reviewer thinks it would best be read in sequence to fully enjoy the characters' emotional place within the labyrinth of their literary experiences. Recommended.
Diana Faillace Von Behren

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