Bookpage Review of 14

Who's the fairest killer of them all?


In 14, J. T. Ellison's nail-biting sequel to her debut novel, All the Pretty Girls, Nashville Police Lieutenant Taylor Jackson is once again trying to balance her personal and professional lives. She's planning a Christmastime wedding with her fiance, the FBI profiler-at-large John Baldwin, but it seems that a couple of killers, plus the biggest snowstorm Music City has seen in decades, are conspiring to keep that from happening.

Murder is the same all over, and for Nashville Homicide it's definitely deja vu, because a serial killer is on the loose and all indications point to the return of a maniac who terrorized the city two decades before. The Snow White Killer is back--or is he? The bodies are the same: young women, with long black hair, pale complexions and slashed throats. Still, there are enough differences between the past and present murders to make the case even more puzzling. If this isn't the Snow White Killer, how does he (or she) know so much about that killer's MO?

Working with Baldwin, Taylor must examine each gruesome clue in hopes of stopping the carnage before the killer strikes again. She's also coping with the recent loss at sea of her estranged father, whose disappearance will have surprising repercussions. At the same time, she's tracking a ruthless killer-for-hire in another case involving illegal immigrants, who doesn't seem to care who he murders in order to protect his secrets. Then there's something even deadlier: a beautiful FBI profiler with eyes on her husband-to-be. Though Taylor doesn't know it, all of these elements will come together in some unexpected ways.

All the Pretty Girls introduced us to Taylor, Baldwin and the cops of Music City; Ellison's second book fleshes out these characters and the city of Nashville even further. Be forewarned that murder isn't pretty, and Ellison doesn't pull any punches, but if you're a fan of the genre, you'll love 14.

James Neal Webb is a lifelong Nashville resident.