Thursday, May 6, 2010

a review of "The Cold Room" [32]

The Cold Room- A Taylor Jackson Novel by J.T.Ellison
(Mira Books, ISBN 978-0-7783-2714-1

They call him The Conductor. The name may sound classy, but there is nothing classy about the serial killer stalking Nashville, kidnapping and killing young women. He locks them in a glass box in his basement, starves them to death and to say this...has his way with them. Yes, after he kills them. Necrosadism is the official term for it.
Then, just to tie it up all neatly, he stages the body to recreate a work of art and leaves music playing in the background. Which is where he gets the name The Conductor.

Taylor Jackson is still reeling from her demotion and the shakeup that has taken place in the Nashville Police Department, a storyline you will need to go back and read about in the previous book in this series. But is weird as things are at work, and they are weird, the job is the job and she and her fiance FBI profiler, Dr. John Baldwin, are hot on the trail of the killer. In fact, Baldwin is stuck by many similarities between these murders and a serial killer he has been assisting the Italian and English police pursue. Which explains why the copper from the New Scotland Yard drops in to lend a hand. Is it a copy cat, has he moved to the US...or is something even odder going on?

Sadly, I did not like this book as much as I hoped.
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.  

I received this book from Library Thing Early Reviewers.
My ER drought of over a year and a half is over! 


  1. I didn't realize this book was part of a series. I like to read series in order whenever possible, so I'll do that if I ever get the chance.

  2. Congrats on the end of your drought ... too bad it wasn't a better book.

    I really don't like knowing all the facts upfront ... I need a little mystery.

  3. It always seems to work that way - you need to read them in order. I think I will go get the first book and see if it interests me enough to read them all. Thanks for the review!

  4. The creepy sadistic thrillers don't really interest me. Thanks for reading it so I don't have to. I prefer mysteries, where you really have to use your brain to figure it out... where they don't tell you everything. Stuff without gore. Well-written, and not too much (or any) smoldering looks. Any suggestions? Do you have an official list on your blog you can point me to? (I've already found that your suggestions are great, so I trust you.)

  5. I will admit, I am a fan of the creepy sadistic thrillers...which is a whole other

    And yes, I might consider going back and reading the first. she is a good writer, and they are good characters..I always like a strong female cop/detective. And then I just noticed that according to LT, I actually own the first book...somewhere here...

  6. I like series, I like strong female characters, I like creepy. But somehow I'm not convinced on this one. Sounds like something I might read and forget a week later.

  7. Like WackyMummy, I'm not much of a fan of sadistic storylines but I look forward to any mystery suggestions you have!


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