Homicide detective Taylor Jackson thinks she's seen it all in Nashville—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.
Later, he creatively disposes of the body by reenacting scenes from famous paintings. Strangely, similar macabre works are being displayed 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 The Conductor's art collection.
Has the killer gone international? Or are there dueling artists, competing to create the ultimate masterpiece?
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Gavin Adler jumped when a small chime sounded on his computer. He looked at the clock in surprise; it was already 6:00 p.m. During the winter months, darkness descended and reminded him to close up shop, but the daylight savings time change necessitated an alarm clock to let him know when it was time to leave. Otherwise, he'd get lost in his computer and never find his way home.
He rose from his chair, stretched, turned off the computer and reached for his messenger bag. What a day. What a long and glorious day.
He took his garbage with him; his lunch leavings. There was no reason to have leftover banana peels in his trash can overnight. He shut off the lights, locked the door, dropped the plastic Publix bag into the Dumpster, and began the two-block walk to his parking spot. His white Prius was one of the few cars left in the lot.
Gavin listened to his iPod on the way out of downtown. Traffic was testy, as always, so he waited patiently, crawling through West End, then took the exit for I-40 and headed, slowly, toward Memphis. The congestion cleared right past White Bridge, and he sailed the rest of the way.
The drive took twenty-two minutes, he clocked it. Not too bad.
He left the highway at McCrory Lane and went to his gym. The YMCA lot was full, as always. He checked in, changed clothes in the locker room, ran for forty-five minutes, worked on the elliptical for twenty, did one hundred inverted crunches and shadow boxed for ten minutes. Then he toweled himself off. He retrieved the messenger bag, left his sneakers in the locker, slipped his feet back into the fluorescent orange rubber Crocs he'd been wearing all day. He left his gym clothes on—they would go straight into the wash.
He went across the street to Publix, bought a single chicken cordon bleu and a package of instant mashed potatoes, a tube of hearty buttermilk biscuits, fresh bananas and cat food. He took his groceries, went to his car, and drove away into the night. He hadn't seen a soul. His mind was engaged with what waited for him at home.
Dark. Lonely. Empty.
Gavin pulled into the rambler-style house at 8:30 p.m. His cat, a Burmese gray named Art, met him at the door, loudly protesting his empty bowl. He spooned wet food into the cat's dish as a special treat before he did anything else. No reason for Art to be miserable. The cat ate with his tail high in the air, purring and growling softly.
He hit play on his stereo, and the strains of Dvorák spilled through his living room. He stood for a moment, letting the music wash over him, his right arm moving in concert with the bass. The music filled him, made him complete, and whole. Art came and stood beside him, winding his tail around Gavin's leg. He smiled at the interruption, bent and scratched the cat behind the ears. Art arched his back in pleasure.
Evening's ritual complete, Gavin turned on the oven, sprinkled olive oil in a glass dish and put the chicken in to bake. It would take forty-five minutes to cook.
He showered, checked his work e-mail on his iPhone, then ate. He took his time; the chicken was especially good this evening. He sipped an icy Corona Light with a lime stuck in the neck.
He washed up. 10:00 p.m. now. He gave himself permission. He'd been a very good boy.
The padlock on the door to the basement was shiny with promise and lubricant. He inserted the key, twisting his wrist to keep it from jangling. He took the lock with him, holding it gingerly so he didn't get oil on his clothes. Oil was nearly impossible to get out. He made sure Art wasn't around; he didn't like the cat to get into the basement. He saw him sitting on the kitchen table, looking mournfully at the empty spot where Gavin's plate had rested.
Inside the door, the stairs led to blackness. He flipped a switch and light flooded the stairwell. He slipped the end of the lock in the inside latch, then clicked it home. No sense taking chances.
She was asleep. He was quiet, so he wouldn't wake her. He just wanted to look, anyway.
The Plexiglas cage was the shape of a coffin with a long clear divider down the length—creating two perfectly sized compartments—with small drainage holes in the bottom and air holes along the top. It stood on a reinforced platform he had built himself. The concrete floor had a drain; all he needed to do was sluice water across the opening and presto, clean. He ran the water for a few minutes, clearing out the debris, then looked back to his love.
Her lips were cracking, the hair shedding. She'd been without food and water for a week now, and she was spending more and more time asleep. Her lethargy was anticipated. He looked forward to the moment when her agonies were at an end. He had no real desire to torture her. He just needed her heart to stop. Then, he could have her.
He licked his lips and felt embarrassed by his erection.
He breathed in the scent of her, reveling in the musky sweetness of her dying flesh, then went to the desk in the corner of the basement. No spiders and dust and basement rot for Gavin. The place was clean. Pristine.
The computer, a Mac Air he'd indulged in as a late Christmas present to himself, sprang to life. A few taps of the keyboard, the wireless system engaged and he was online. Before he had a chance to scroll through his bookmarks, his iChat chimed. The user's screen name was IlMorte69. He and Gavin were very good friends. Gavin responded, his own screen name, hot4cold, popping up in red ten-point Arial.
My dollhouse is nearly complete, Hot. Howz urs?
Hey, Morte. Mine's on its last legs as well. I'm here checking. Your trip go well?
My friend, I can't tell you. Such a wonderful time. But it's good to be home.
One. Luscious. Easy pickings. Like taking a rat from a cellar.
Gavin cringed. Sometimes Morte got to be a little much. But what could you do? It was hard for Gavin to talk to people, the online world was his oyster, his outlet. He had other friends who weren't quite as crude as Morte.
Speaking of which…he glanced at the listing of contacts and saw Necro90 was online as well. He sent him a quick hello, then went back to his chat with Morte.
When do you think you'll be ready?
Morte came back almost immediately.
Within two days. Did you do it like we discussed? You were more careful with the disposal than with the snatch, weren't you?
Gavin bristled a tiny bit, then relaxed. Morte was right to chide him. After all, he had made a mistake. He'd quickly learned that following Morte's every instruction was important. Very, very important.
Yes. It was perfect. I'll send you a photo.
He uploaded the shots, breath quickening in remembrance. So beautiful. Within moments, Morte responded.
My God. That is perfect. Lovely. You've become quite an artist.
Gavin blushed. Receiving compliments gracefully wasn't one of his strongest attributes. He glanced over his shoulder, knew he needed to wrap this up.
Morte, I've gotta run. Long day today.
I'll bet. You be good. Don't forget, two days and counting. I'll expect pictures!
A picture flooded his screen—Morte had sent him a gift. Gavin studied the photo; his ears burned. Oh, Morte was amazingly good with a camera. So much better than he was.
Morte's doll had no animation, no movement. Her eyes were shut. Gavin turned his chair around so he could stare at his own dollhouse, his own doll, lying in the darkness. Alone. He'd need to find her another friend soon. If only Morte's girl was a sister. He didn't have a taste for white meat.
Another chime—this time it was Necro responding. He asked how Gavin was doing, if there'd been any news in the community. Gavin replied with a negative—he'd heard nothing. Of course, his ear wasn't to the floor like Morte—Morte was the architect of their online world. Gavin had found his friends deep in a sleepy sex message board, and was so thrilled to have them. They made his life bearable.
He chatted for a few minutes with Necro, read a rambling account of a perfect specimen Necro had sighted on some white-sand Caribbean beach, then logged out. He stared at the photo he'd downloaded from Morte. He was overwhelmingly turned on, and no longer able to contain himself. With a last glance at his doll, he went up the stairs, unlocked the door, locked the basement behind him and returned to his life. It was time for another shower, then bed. He had a very busy day ahead of him. A very busy few days. The plan was in motion.
He was proud of himself. He only checked the doll's breathing three times during the night.
Taylor Jackson was happy to spy an empty parking spot halfway up Thirty-second Avenue. Luck was on her side tonight. Parking in Nashville was extremely hit-or-miss, especially in West End. The valet smiled hopefully as she turned in front of Tin Angel, but she couldn't leave a state vehicle with a kid who didn't look old enough to have a driver's license, not without getting into all kinds of trouble. She drove past him, paralleled smoothly and walked the slight hill back down to the restaurant's entrance. She was looking forward to the evening, a girls' night with her best friend Sam and colleague Paula Simari. No homicides. No crime scenes. Just a low-key meal, some wine, some chicken schnitzel. A night off.
She was early, her friends hadn't arrived yet. She followed the hostess to a table for four right by the bricked fireplace. The logs were stacked tightly and burning slow, putting out a pleasant low, smoky heat. Even though the weather was warming, it was still nippy in the early mornings and late evenings.
She ordered a bottle of Coppola Merlot, accepted a menu, then lost herself in thought. The envelope she'd addressed before she left for dinner was burning a hole in her pocket. She took it out and stared at the lettering, wishing she didn't recognize the handwriting. Wishing she didn't have to address letters to federal penitentiaries, even if they were the chinos and golf-shirt variety.
Winthrop Jackson, IV
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 1000
MORGANTOWN, WV 26507
The edges of the envelope were getting frayed. She needed to decide if she was going to mail this letter or not.
She traced the outline of the address, her mind still screaming against the reality. Her father, in prison. And she'd been the one who put him there. Glancing to make sure no one was looking, she slid the single handwritten page from its nest.
I am sorry. I know you understand I was just doing my job. I had no choice. I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to contact me. I find our relationship impossible to handle, and I want to get on with my life. Mom is still in Europe, but she has her cell phone. She can send you the money you need.
For what it's worth, I do forgive you. I know you couldn't help yourself. You never have.
"Whatcha reading? You look upset."
Taylor started. Sam took the seat across from her, dropped her Birkin bag on the floor under the table and stretched her fingers, the joints popping slightly. She grimaced.
"Holding a scalpel all day does that to you. What's that?"
Taylor shook the page lightly. "A letter to Win."
"Really? I thought you'd sworn off dear old dad. Did you order some wine?"
"I did. It should be here any minute. Where's Paula?"
"She got called to a case. Sends her apologies. She'll catch us next week. It's just us chickens tonight."
Sam settled back into the chair, the firelight glinted red off her dark hair. Taylor still wasn't used to the blunt-cut bangs that swooped across Sam's forehead. She'd cropped her tresses into a sophisticated bob, what she called her mom do. Taylor thought she looked less like a mom and more like Betty Page with that cut, but who was she to comment?
"What are you staring at?"
"Sorry. The hair. It's so different. Takes me a minute."
"You have no idea how easy it is. Though I do miss long hair. Simon does too."
"I thought about cutting mine. When I mentioned it, Baldwin had a fit."
The wine arrived and they placed their orders. They clinked their glasses together, and Sam said, "Up to it, down to it."
Taylor laughed. They'd started that toast in eighth grade. Up to it, down to it, damn the man who can't do it…. The rest of the toast was a crude allusion to their future lovers' skill, though they had no idea what it meant at the time. In high school Taylor had embarrassed herself at one of her parents' many dinner parties by leading a toast with it. When the men roared and the women blushed, her mother, Kitty, had taken her aside and explained why that wasn't an appropriate thing for a young lady of breeding to say. She wouldn't tell her why, though, and Taylor and Sam puzzled over it for days. Now, as a woman, she understood, and always laughed at the memory of her disgrace.
She thought of Win then, and sobered.
"I'm trying to shut Win down, Sam. He keeps mailing, keeps calling. I don't want anything to do with him. He's poison, and I need to get him out of my life. What if Baldwin and I have children one day? Can you imagine ole jailbird gramps telling stories at Christmas dinner? He'll either corrupt them or embarrass them."
"You're thinking of having kids?"
"Focus, woman. We're talking about my dad."
"You'd make a great mother."
Taylor stared hard at her best friend. "Why do you say that?"
"Please. You're totally the nurturing type. You just don't know it yet. You'll be like a bear with its cub, or a tiger. Nothing, and no one, will harm a hair on your kid's head. Trust me, you'll take to it like a seal to water. When might this magnificent event take place, anyway?"
"You mean my immaculate conception?"
Sam laughed. "Baldwin's still in Quantico, I take it."
"Yes. He gets back tonight. That's why I wanted to meet downtown. I'm going to head to the airport from dinner."
"You miss him when he's gone, don't you?" Sam smiled at her, a grin of understanding. Taylor had never needed a man to feel complete, but when she'd gotten involved with John Baldwin, she suddenly felt every moment without him keenly.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of the best series I've read in a while of the police procedural genre! Taylor Jackson is having a hard time adjusting to her recent demotion back to detective and the break up of her homicide detective crew. She has a new boss and a new partner and now a new serial killer to contend with. Taylor hasn't seen anything like this killer before - killing in Italy, the UK and now in Nashville. Not only does this killer change locations, but he has been changing his MO; highly unusual for a serial killer. With the help of her FBI boyfriend and a detective inspector on loan from the New Scotland Yard, Taylor is racing to find this killer before he strikes again. As she and the team are closing in, someone from her past resurfaces to let her know that he is coming for her.
Due to restructuring of the Nashville Metro Police Department, homicide detective Taylor Jackson's been demoted from her prior position of lieutenant. If that isn't bad enough, she's being pursued by a serial killer called the Pretender. Now another serial killer's in Nashville, one who abducts young black women, starves them to death and, after performing necrophilia, poses them per scenes from famous paintings. It isn't long before Jackson's fiancé, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, connects Jackson's serial killer to one he's been investigating in Europe named the Conductor. Jackson and Baldwin team up with Scotland Yard detective James "Memphis" Highsmythe, and the chase is on as the three try to determine if they're dealing with only one killer or perhaps two. As the investigation proceeds, Jackson's trying not to be distracted by the chemistry between her and Highsmythe, which is unexpected and confusing, and her superior's strange actions, which are hampering her efforts to investigate her case. This fourth installment of the Taylor Jackson series is as suspenseful and intriguing as the first. This psychological thriller is gritty and realistic and filled with intense action. The chemistry between Jackson and Highsmythe, although not expected, is nicely delivered. Jackson's a great character, a woman who's tough mentally and physically but a real softy on the inside. The colorful backdrop of Nashville is a bonus to readers, as is Ellison's intelligent writing.
I have read all of ellison's books. They are always a true fantastic read. The Cold Room was no exception. It sarted out with a ang and just kept ongoing. A real page turner.
The Conductor is a sick human being. That is a huge statement coming from me. I often watch gory and truly horrifying films (both paranormal and twisted demented minds of a serial killer) my cousin-in-law and I, would watch three consecutive films every other saturday and would have a lengthy discussion of what happened to the characters, the camera angles and the acting, etc. With that I rarely get the urge to buy a book a read them up. But when The Cold Room was offered to me, the blurb intrigued me to no end so I grabbed the opportunity. So the premise is - the Conductor kidnaps his victim, place them in a clear coffin like glass box, starves them to death, strangles them then performs the disgusting and truly perverse way of Necrophilia and of course it does not end there after the "process" he then calls the poor kidnapped / dead victims as his doll / masterpiece by reenacting famous artworks, disposing them that way. Pay very attention on the first chapter of this book, it hold a great clue about the Conductor himself. The love drama between Jackson, her FBI profiler boyfriend, Dr. Baldwin and Scottland Yard's Highsmythe neutralizes the horrors of the crime written in this book. I didn't realize that this is book 4 of Taylor Jackson series, I did not get lost nor had that fleeting urge that I should have read the other books first and that works for me. I like Taylor and will be reading her previous adventures. If you are looking for a great suspense-thriller-and murder mystery book, this one is for you
I, like several other reviewers, had never read J.T. Ellison until I snagged a copy of The Cold Room in the early reviewers club. She is now the newest addition to my favorite authors, and I have already ordered her earlier books.Taylor Jackson is a Nashville homicide detective investigating a series of homicides in which the victims appear to have died of starvation and are left in posed positions based on various artworks. The killer, a sadonecrophiliac, has constructed a double sided plexiglass coffin where he keeps his "dolls" after kidnapping them and watches them slowly starve. Her fiance, John Baldwin, head of a profiling unit of the FBI, just happens to have a similar series of deaths in Italy. When the same type murders show up in England, James "Memphis" Highsmythe from the New Scotland Yard becomes involved in the investigation and also becomes obsessed with Taylor who resembles his deceased wife. That part of the book got a bit old. The investigation leads them across Tennessee and Italy to an interesting conclusion. The book was well written. There were some points where background from previous novels would have been helpful but not enough to diminish the strength of this one. Generally I feel books have a tendency to move a little slowly. I felt at times that this one moved a bit too fast. For anyone interested in crime and psychological thrillers, I would highly recommend this book.
This is the 4th book is Ellison's Taylor Jackson series. Jackson and her fiance, FBI profiler John Baldwin, hunt down a serial killer who is terrorizing multiple countries. The plot is creepy and twisted, though not overly graphic. Ellison's writing flows easily. The story moves at a good pace and kept me engaged throughout. Each character has a unique personality and they suck me right into their world. While this book is part of a series, a reader should have no problem picking up this book and reading it as a stand alone.
I really enjoyed this one. I am a mystery/psychological thriller lover and this book did not disappoint. It was fast-paced and action-packed all the way through with a love triangle and a creepy twist at the end. I have not read anything by this author before and was pleased to discover that this is book #3 in a series (so now I have to go buy the other 3). LOL If you are like me and love a book with a story you can just roll with, get engrossed, and be entertained then this is a book for you to check out.
Homicide detective Taylor Jackson has seen her share of disturbing murders during her career in Nashville. She's met her match with the latest serial killer, The Conductor. He captures young women, places them in a glass coffin and watches as they slowly starve to death. After they die, he assaults them and disposes them in a manner that recreates scenes from famous paintings.She mentions these crimes to her fiance, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, and finds it is reminicent of a slew of murders taking place in Europe. Has the killer come across the pond to wreak havoc on the States, or are there two killers at large? Jackson and Baldwin join forces with New Scotland Yard detective James "Memphis" Highsmythe and attempt to put an end to these killings.Once again, Ellison doesn't fail to impress me. If you want a thriller full of action and twists and turns, this is the author for you. Taylor Jackson is a character that one can't help to like, and the side story of her romance with Baldwin really adds to the storyline. Jackson is a smart, no nonsense kind of cop and I think that's a great attribute to see in crime fiction.Technically, this is the fourth book in the Taylor Jackson series, but it could definitely serve as a stand-alone. Ellison relays a great deal of back story to the reader. I would still highly recommend you read the entire series, though (All the Pretty Girls, 14, Judas Kiss). To make it easier for you, the author has made a free ebook of ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS available on her Web site. So run, not walk, to your local book store and pick up a copy of one of Ellison's books. I guarantee you won't regret it!
Story of a serial killer with a twist. The main characters are Detective Taylor Jackson and FBI profiler John Baldwin who soon discover that seperate murder cases they are working on may be linked as there are several similar elements in each case that cannot be attributed to coincidence. A very good thought provoking story that is part of a series and will make the reader want more. A better than average detective story, very enjoyable!
This book creeped me out and gave me chills as I was reading it. In a good way. It creeped me out because I can not imagine what the girls went through to be locked in a glass box and starved to death and then having the killer do horrible things to their bodies after they were dead. It gave me chills to think of this and knowing that someone out there is sick enough to actually do something like this. This is my first novel my Ellison and also my first novel featuring detective Taylor Jackson. I will be reading more of Ellison's books and going back to read the other Jackson books that have been written. And even though I didn't start from the beginning the book still made perfect sense to me. I am guessing the way Ellison wrote the books you don't need to read them in order to get what is going on. I just loved the character of Taylor Jackson. She has a fiance named John Baldwin but the book takes a turn when Memphis starts helping the case out and he isn't so shy about letting Taylor know that he likes her. Even though Taylor is taken. The creepy part is that Memphis sees someone he loved in Taylor and he is stopping at nothing to let her know he is interested. So this part of the story really made a twist and gave the story a little romance. If you like horror, and being creeped out then this is the book for you! Amazing read!
Do not miss this author! I snagged this through early reviewers with no preconceived ideas and having read none of the earlier books. This book had all the components of a great psychological thriller - great characters (with incredibly sick villians), a great story, and a writing style that makes you feel in the moment. I am definitely going to go back and read the earlier books in the series. A few additional comments - 1) It took a few chapters to get caught up to the characters since it is the 4th book in the series - either read them in order or give it time because everything you need is provided. 2) Beware the topic dealt with is quite disturbing and not for the faint of heart. 3) The story is quite well researched which adds an interesting dimension (you will have to read the book to know what I am talking about.).
Sadly, I did not like this book as much as many reviewers. First, I do like a bit of suspense in my 'mysteries', something almost totally lacking from this book. No, this is a thriller more than any sort of mystery. We know the killer, his name, his job, how he kills, why he kills...all in the first few pages. Granted, the murders are a bit more complicated than it appears at first, but the twist is hardly a huge surprise.Second, there are a bit too many smoldering looks going around for my taste. Not to mention that one of the sources of said smoldering looks, the handsome New Scotland Yard detective James "Memphis" Highsmythe, is actually quite creepy. If that was the intent, the author was successful, but if we are to consider him as an actual romantic possibility for our heroine, it was totally unbelievable.If you have a great interest in police procedurals, you may love this book, since that is really the emphasis of the story. And some of the characters are quite interesting. If you have read the previous three books in the series, which I have not, no doubt you will be more vested in them than I was. This is a book in a series that really cries out to be read in order. There are a number of references to incidents in past books that the reader will really not understand, not to mention the whole Pretender thread, which we can not appreciate not having read the first three books.A well written book, based on a good idea, with some good characters, but one whose approach to a very creepy and fascinating crime did not really live up to my hopes.
The Cold Room was my first foray into J.T. Ellison as an author, and I must say, I was very pleasantly surprised. From the first few pages written from the point of the killer, straight through to the end, this is a solid, well-written book. The plot moves along at a good pace, the characters were well-written and I was given just enough of a glimpse into their back stories to want to get the prior novels that I haven't read yet. The only distracting parts involved the inspector from England and his attraction to Taylor (and her sort of confused attraction to him). The book could have done without that, but overall it was kept to a minimum.There's nothing new or particularly twisty in this novel, just a solid cop procedural drama that is well written and pulls you in from the start. I'll definitely be reading more J.T. Ellison and I look forward to the next book in the series.
I received this book as part of the Early Reviewer program. I had not read anything previously from Ellison, although this is the 4th book in her Taylor Jackson series. There were a number of times that I felt out-of-the-loop without the background of these previous novels, and I would highly recommend that anyone interested start at the beginning. That said I very much enjoyed this story. It grabs you immediately with the taboo subject of necrophilia and by the end I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I loved Detective Taylor Jackson as a smart,strong female character with the exception of the entire Memphis storyline. I didn't like his character, nor did I feel that it fit with Jackson (although again I didn't have the background of the previous three novels). I really enjoyed Jackson's new partner, McKenzie, and I will miss him if/when I go back an read the previous books in the series. Overall, a great story - I even wanted to go even further as the sorted out the evidence for trial the bulk of the case was decided. Hopefully in a future novel Ellison gives a heads up on how this one turned out ultimately.
Taylor Jackson and her boyfriend, FBI profiler, Dr. John Baldwin, find that they have a serial killer on their hands who likes to starve his victims, have sex with them, and then leave them posed like famous paintings. Reporters have learned that classical music has been left playing at several scenes and have dubbed the killer, "the Conductor." There are startling similarities between the "conductor's" M.O. and a killer in Italy called "il macellaio," (the butcher). Their DNA even seems a match. Has "il macellaio" immigrated to the United States? The plot is thickened by an English detective who has come from Scotland Yard to consult on the case. It seems his late wife resembled Taylor very much and he is smitten by her. A sequel seems a sure thing as "the pretender" is still stalking Jackson and leaves her a message to end the book. I know I will look forward to it.
A "chilling", murder mystery! Its one of those psychological thrillers that keeps you on your toes with a surprising ending. The author does a great job with the details and gives slight hints throughout but you don't really find out until near the end.Its a great weekend read!
Taylor Jackson's back with yet another thriller.. Young, Petite Black American Girls are disappearing in Nashville... Detective Taylor(after the demotion from Lt.) came to a horrific scene... victim starved to death, put into a glass coffin, then posed like Picasso's Painting 'Desmoiselles D'Avignon', with the art catalogue left at her side... "The conductor" has struck his first chord... or was this his first chord?With the help of her fiance FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit Agent John Baldwin, he noticed that the kills are similar to a cross-alatanic serial killer "Il Macellaio" :the butcher, who killed petite white girls in London and Florence in the past 3 years... are they connected? Why has the killer come to America?Book also introduce Detective Inspector James "Memphis" Highsmythe from London. Detective also hot on the trail of "Il Macellaio".. A thrilling read! I cannot put it down!¿
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.
The Conductor is a sick human being. That is a huge statement coming from me. I often watch gory and truly horrifying films (both paranormal and twisted demented minds of a serial killer) my cousin-in-law and I, would watch three consecutive films every other saturday and would have a lengthy discussion of what happened to the characters, the camera angles and the acting, etc. With that I rarely get the urge to buy a book a read them up. But when The Cold Room was offered to me, the blurb intrigued me to no end so I grabbed the opportunity.So the premise is - the Conductor kidnaps his victim, place them in a clear coffin like glass box, starves them to death, strangles them then performs the disgusting and truly perverse way of Necrophilia and of course it does not end there after the "process" he then calls the poor kidnapped / dead victims as his doll / masterpiece by reenacting famous artworks, disposing them that way. Pay very attention on the first chapter of this book, it hold a great clue about the Conductor himself.The love drama between Jackson, her FBI profiler boyfriend, Dr. Baldwin and Scottland Yard's Highsmythe neutralizes the horrors of the crime written in this book. I didn't realize that this is book 4 of Taylor Jackson series, I did not get lost nor had that fleeting urge that I should have read the other books first and that works for me. I like Taylor and will be reading her previous adventures. If you are looking for a great suspense-thriller-and murder mystery book, this one is for you
Well written suspense filled thriller; numerous strong female characters; unexpected turn of events keep momentum fast. Clearly focused Detective Taylor Jackson smoothly juggles office politics, gruesome crime spree, scary stalker and love interest FBI profiler John Baldwin. This book is a winner!
This is the 4th book in the Taylor Jackson series. I received it as an Early Reviewer copy, but upon realizing it was a part of a series, I had to purchase and read the first three books first. Truthfully, it was not only a wise choice, but a most enjoyable one, too.The author has written an excellent police procedural with characters that grab your interest not only in their professional abilities but their personal lives as well.[The Cold Room] is a suspense filled thriller that covers multiple homicides and 2 continents, while bringing in police officers from New Scotland Yard, Italy, the FBI and our lead character, Taylor Jackson of Metro Nashville PD.These murders are unique and complex, involving, topics not common such as necrophilia. If mystery/suspense is you favorite genre, then this series is for you. It is well written and very interesting. I stayed through four books without a pause, turning pages and staying up till all hours. Well worth the time spent.
Another enjoyable Ellison book. I really like the protagonist. In this age where every book seems to have a "strong female lead", Ellison truly gives her protagonist a personality and makes her relatable.
One of the most chilling and disturbing crime stories I¿ve read, avid enthusiasts of this genre should greatly enjoy. JT Ellison has the skill of a seasoned writer while clearly defining her own style for a fresh take on the psychological thriller. Taylor Jackson is a believable main character, focused on her career as a Homicide Detective yet trying to balance it with a life outside of her work ¿ one that involves her FBI fiancé. And in addition to her current case, Taylor is being stalked by another serial killer known as ¿the Pretender¿.The Cold Room gripped me from the very first pages and held on tight until the end, setting things up well for a sequel. Starting out in Tennesee, the story takes you half way around the world to arrive at its conclusion.The suspect is set up from the get go to be just an average person with an average job and an average life. He¿s a normal looking fellow who goes to the gym after work and picks up food for his cat on the way home. But what lies beneath all outward images will give you the chills.
I am always excited when I find a new author and figure I hit the jackpot when that author has written a series. I recently hit the jackpot when I won The Cold Room on LibraryThing¿s Early Reviewer program. I did a little research on the author J. T. Ellison and found The Cold Room was the fourth book in a series featuring Taylor Jackson. If you like psychological thrillers with a strong, yet vulnerable protagonist, these books are for you.Jackson is a homicide detective in Nashville, Tennessee who has a history of turning up serial killers. That certainly leads to very interesting conversations with her fiancé, John Baldwin who is an FBI profiler. In The Cold Room, Taylor is on the search for a killer who slowly starves his victims to death as he watches. And this is only one of his perversions!Taylor and John find that the case each has been working on has now become one. Their journey takes them back to Italy (read the first 3 to see how Italy plays into their story ¿ you won¿t be sorry). The hunt is complicated by a brooding New Scotland Yard detective James ¿Memphis¿ Highsmythe who is ¿hot¿ after Taylor while they are all ¿hot¿ after the killer. If you have a bit of a ¿dark¿ side, as my reading group knows I do and have not yet read The Cold Room, you have just hit the jackpot! The Taylor Jackson series will give you a glimpse into the dark side witnessed by law enforcement officers worldwide. I, for one, can¿t wait until the next Taylor Jackson novel is available.
A chilling, well-written, and gripping story. J.T. Ellison takes the reader into the disturbing mind of a serial killed and does a masterful job of dealing with the psychological determinants of the killer's pathology. I enjoyed the character of the detective Taylor Jackson. She is a strong and courageous woman yet has the human flaws of a well-developed character. Although there is a series of Taylor Jackson stories, the Cold Room can be fully enjoyed without having read the previous stories (however, I fully intend to read the previous books in the series!)