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ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS
by J. T. Ellison
Mira, November 2007
416 pages
$6.99
ISBN: 0778324435


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

I should say at the outset that JT Ellison has been a reviewer on RTE in the past. And while we always glow with pride when our chicks fly the nest and go off and write novels, they know that it won't stop us calling it how we see it when it comes to reviewing their books!

ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS begins in Nashville in the height of summer where you can virtually smell the rotting bodies. A serial killer is on the loose and leaves a gruesome memento at each scene the previous victim's severed hand.

The book is slow to get going, and I was afraid it would be standard serial killer fare. But when Lieutenant Taylor Jackson's story intersects with that of ambitious young journalist Whitney Connolly, it really takes off.

The winner for me was the character of Taylor. She's tough and confident, but endearingly human. If this is to become a series, I'd like to see Ellison explore some of the hints she dropped about Taylor's wealthy upbringing.

Ellison handles convincingly Taylor's private life her burgeoning relationship with FBI profiler John Baldwin and her working environment. And boy, what a novelty to find a load of cops who actually get on with each other! Fitz, Lincoln and Marcus could do with some more inking in, but they're promising characters who I hope will be developed further in later outings.

Once you're past the slightly disjointed first 50 or so pages, ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS is an absolute page-turner as Ellison juggles the serial killer enquiry alongside the search for a rapist which threatens to come too close to home.

Ellison plays pretty fair with clues along the way, and injects a couple of twists in the tense and scary tail just when you think you know what happened. ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS is an accomplished debut starring two main characters I'd be more than happy to see again.

Reviewed by Sharon Wheeler, October 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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