Field of Graves (A Taylor Jackson Novel) by J.T. Ellison
Rating: Very Good
Description: All of Nashville is on edge with a serial killer on the loose. A madman is trying to create his own end-of-days apocalypse and the cops trying to catch him are almost as damaged as the killer. Field of Graves reveals the origins of some of J.T. Ellison's most famous creations: the haunted Lieutenant Taylor Jackson; her blunt, exceptional best friend, medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens; and troubled FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. Together, they race the clock and their own demons to find the killer before he claims yet another victim. This dark, thrilling and utterly compelling novel will have readers on the edge of their seats, and Ellison's fans will be delighted with the revelations about their favorite characters. (From Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I've been wanting to try this author since I first came across her not too long ago and I thought a prequel would be a good place to start.
My Impression: I feel a bit cheated. How did it take me so long to read Ellison's books? I feel like the book fairy should have shown up at my doorstep with one of her books shoved it into my hands and told me to read it years ago.
But now that I've finally found her I definitely plan to keep reading! The characters in this are wonderfully flawed. What both Taylor and Baldwin have gone through is horrible and you can easily see why they have the scars that they do have. However, they're both brilliant at their jobs and while Baldwin may need a bit of a shove to get back to it Taylor is focused to the point of ignoring what's going on in her head without getting too angsty about it. I really enjoyed seeing the way the unit worked together each person having their own role and their own strengths. I also really liked that there are times when her coworkers are concerned about Taylor and while they use endearments they don't belittle her or try and push her aside.
The mystery itself had me holding my breath at times. There is nothing cozy about this book but at the same time I didn't feel like it was overly graphic. While there is a lot of violence the descriptions are more clinical than gore-y and while we do see through the killer's eyes from time to time I didn't feel like it got to twisted emotionally though the case is seriously twisted on its own.
On a personal level I really enjoyed the local aspect. I live about 90 miles away from Nashville and have spent quite a bit of time there so I recognized many of the landmarks that were mentioned which always adds an extra amount of enjoyment to a book. But at the same time this made it a little more personal and a little more unsettling for me. The victims were the ages of my daughters and I live in the hometown of one of the victims and even know a few kids that went to Vandy. This was definitely one of those books that I needed to read a chapter of something a bit happier before I closed my eyes for the night!
I had no problem jumping into the series with this book. I expect that this being a prequel made that a bit easier but I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case with all the books as Ellison's writing was so vivid I instantly connected to the characters. This book had me staying up too late and double checking the locks and I enjoyed every minute of it! I can't wait to read more!
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! I really just want to buy all her books and go find a corner to sit in with them.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Yes! If you like mysteries with a little grit read this book!