Monday, December 10, 2007

Pg. 69: J.T. Ellison's "All the Pretty Girls"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: J.T. Ellison's All the Pretty Girls.

About the book, from the publisher:
When a local girl falls prey to a sadistic serial killer, Nashville Homicide Lieutenant Taylor Jackson and her lover, FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin, find themselves in a joint investigation pursuing a vicious murderer. The Southern Strangler is slaughtering his way through the Southeast, leaving a gruesome memento at each crime scene — the prior victim's severed hand.

Ambitious TV reporter Whitney Connolly is certain the Southern Strangler is her ticket out of Nashville; she's got a scoop that could break the case. She has no idea how close to this story she really is — or what it will cost her.As the killer spirals out of control, everyone involved must face a horrible truth — the purest evil is born of private lies.
Among the praise for All the Pretty Girls:
"With this debut thriller, Ellison puts her mentoring by Lee Child to good use. Ellison does a nice job of laying the groundwork and creating suspense. Equally well done are the refreshingly realistic procedural details."
--Library Journal

"Ellison does a skillful job of capturing the city and its flavors, while taking the police procedural out of its usual New York/Los Angeles/Chicago big-city milieu and placing it in a mid-sized, vibrant Southern city. She's populated her novel with believable players, on both sides of the law."

"Ellison’s debut novel is relentlessly paced and intricately plotted – and it features a villain who will have readers looking over the shoulders, even in the daylight." (4 Stars)
--Romantic Times

"Ellison paints a disturbing picture of a deranged serial killer, and the atmosphere of the book is taut, tense and suspenseful. The author's other forte is characterization ... TV reporter Whitney Connolly leaps off the page, as does her twin sister, Belle Meade socialite Quinn Buckley. Even the murdered girls are quite vivid in the short time the reader has with them. Realistic descriptions of Nashville landmarks ... add to the pleasure of reading this book. For the erudite, poetry snippets offer clues from the savage killer. The best part of All the Pretty Girls, though, is it's breathless pace."
--The Tennessean

"Although Nashville is the site where all the action occurs in J.T. Ellison's strong mystery novel ... the style, tone, careful thematic development and character interaction share many things with works set in other cities. [All the Pretty Girls] has the attention to detail, unexpected twists and puzzles that are vital to topflight crime fiction."
--Nashville City Paper

"A terrific lead character, terrific suspense, terrific twists ... a completely convincing debut."
--Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of Bad Luck and Trouble

"A taut, striking debut. Mystery fiction has a new name to watch."
--John Connolly, New York Times bestselling author of The Unquiet and The Book of Lost Things

"J.T. Ellison's debut novel rocks. Darkly compelling and thoroughly chilling, with rich characterization and a well-layered plot, All the Pretty Girls is everything a great crime thriller should be."
--Allison Brennan, New York Times bestselling author of See No Evil

"An impressive debut that is rich not just in suspense but in the details. Fast-paced and creepily believable, Ellison's novel proves that there is still room in the genre for new authors and new cops. There's no novice showing in All the Pretty Girls. It's all gritty, grisly and a great read."
--M.J. Rose, international bestselling author of The Venus Fix

"ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS is a spellbinding suspense novel and Tennessee has a new dark poet. JT Ellison's fast-paced, clever plotting yields a page-turner par excellence. A turbo-charged thrill ride of a debut."
--Julia Spencer-Fleming, Edgar finalist and author of All Mortal Flesh
Read an excerpt from All the Pretty Girls and learn more about the author and her writing at J.T. Ellison's website and MySpace page.

Ellison is Murderati's Friday columnist, a short story writer, and a novelist.

The Page 69 Test: All the Pretty Girls.

--Marshal Zeringue