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All The Pretty Girls (Taylor Jackson #1)

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  4,113 ratings  ·  324 reviews
Some secrets should stay buried.

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
Paperback, 416 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by Mira (first published January 1st 2007)
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Apr 28, 2015 Carmen rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
I am the wrong audience for this book.

It's not that Ellison can't craft a good story. She can. However, that story involves a lot of rape and murder, which is not something I find enjoyable to read about. In the course of this book, 9 females are murdered, about 20 are raped - including two 12-year-old twin girls and a 7-year-old girl.

It's not that I feel Ellison is writing rape porn. She writes rape in the correct way - offscreen. And she doesn't go into details. I don't feel like she is glori
Like a songwriter who writes his chorus before he discovers his verse, I rarely ever start a mystery/thriller series at the beginning. ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS is no exception to this rule; however, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed J.T. Ellison's debut novel. Sure, it’s easy to make the argument that this book was a bit formulaic at times, but unless you write literary fiction, what book isn’t? With only 20 plots (or 3 or 7 or 36, depending on whom you ask) to work with, it’s not like authors h ...more
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
at the start of the book i found the characters to be lacking something.... not sure what but it made them boring to read about, but towards the end i started warming up to a couple of them.

this story was told from a mixture of POVs an a 3rd person narrator at times which made it pretty intense and gave the book decent depth and we got a little looksie into all the characters mind - which i thought was pretty cool.

the gore was decent, it didnt go over-board with it which i highly appreciate but
Jim Thomsen
It feels like I've read this same book about fifty times before. Police procedural? Check. Romance between cop and broodingly handsome FBI agent? Check. Escalating serial killer targeting attractive young women? Check. Mysterious tragedy in main character's past? Check. Above elements rendered in droningly unoriginal fashion? Check.

J.T. Ellison's debut is competent, well-crafted by genre standards ... and utterly colorless. The writer's voice is flat, wholly without affect, and actually becomes

This was the strangest book I have read in a while. I am not usually picky when it comes to police procedurals (whether the author gets them right or not) but there were a couple of glaring ones that just about made me want to quit the book. One was when Taylor was discussing with fellow officers about the best approach to telling the media about Whitney's death. Now what pissed me off was that there was no way this would EVER happen before NOK was notified.

This was the most gla
After reading other reviews, i feel like i read a completely different book. The stereotypical characters just killed me from the very beginning; same as The Closer, James Patterson, etc. Blond cop, FBI boyfriend, BFFs w/ medical examiner, blah blah blah. I figured out the serial killer at the same time as the reporter. And was there an editor? I found myself rewriting some parts as i read them and inserting my own, more appropriate, vocab words in several places. I have never done that before. ...more
Darcia Helle
This is J.T. Ellison's first novel, though you'd never know it. Ellison writes likes she's got a string of bestsellers behind her.

I found the characters interesting and believable, with little human quirks that brought them to life. The plot kept me guessing and turning pages. While this was a story about tracking a serial killer, there was not the usual blood and gore that tends to come with this genre. There was also not a lot of cursing. Ellison holds the reader's attention with character dev
c2007. Thrillers are not normally my genre of choice - but it was **personally** recommended to me by GR so I obediently checked it out. Oh, so bland, unoriginal and I am not even sure if it was a thriller. I am getting very tired of uber attractive (but self deprecating), haunted, long blonde haired heroines. And another cop falling in love with FBI colleague - does this ever happen or is it like the old Mills and Boon chestnut of doctors and nurses? The comment on the front cover is a quote by ...more
Michael Sherer
It's not hard to see why J.T. Ellison is such a popular writer. Solid prose, action that propels the story from one page to the next, a strong, empathetic and likable heroine, all salted with just the right touch of romance make ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS another terrific entry in the Taylor Jackson thriller series.

Here Jackson is drawn into a serial murder case from a number of different directions. Taylor went to school with the TV news reporter who's in contact with the killer and the reporter's tw
Loved this book. Loved Taylor...the main character...loved the southern setting...loved the creepy serial killer plot in this first book.

It is different from other mysteries...sort of refreshing in a serial killer with tons of subplots kind of way...lots of surprises...lots and lots of mystery.

Taylor is the strong savvy detective who can handle almost anything. She is recovering from an almost deadly attack...although this seemed to have happened in another book but I think that All The Pretty G
With a high body count, gory details and some added intrigue, this debut novel has a quite accomplished feel to it. It is a fast-paced and exciting thriller, and one that has a distinctly “series” feel to it. In fact, it almost seems like a mid-series novel with the way that Ellison so effortlessly incorporates many of the characters’ thorough backstories into the story. These glimmers into an exciting past make the present all the more engaging.

And though the main plotline is rather predictable
Barbara ★
I really enjoyed the hunt for the Southern Strangler. He put lietenant Taylor Jackson and FBI agent John Baldwin through their paces. Once the FBI took over, Taylor was left behind to work other cases. Her work on the serial rapist case was great. I enjoyed the hands-on take down by Taylor. You go girl! The romance between Taylor and Baldwin was as sweet as it could possibly be given they are two hard-boiled cops.

This is supposed to be the first novel in the Taylor Jackson series, but there were
I heard the J.T was a great author so I gave her a shot. I thought the beginning of the story was slow and it did not hold my interest very well and it took me a long time to get through it. By the middle of the book, I was interested, the pieces of the puzzle made sense and the flow of the book was finally going. I was really worried about the pace of this book since it was supposed to be a thriller and I was not yet “thrilled” in the least until about the middle of the book. I realize the auth ...more
It is always difficult to not compare one writer to another when you read the first novel of a new(to you) author. My first impressions of this author were a bit rocky. Her dialogue seemed stiff and she spent way too much time digging into her thesaurus for big words when every day words would have been just fine with me. As the story developed and J.T. Ellison calmed down and stopped trying too hard to be the next great thriller writer,her characters improved and so did her story. I may have gu ...more
If you love thrillers, you'll enjoy this one. Keep your lights on and lock your doors. Taylor Jackson is the lieutenant for the Metro Police in Nashville, when a serial killer strikes in her jurisdiction, leaving dead bodies and missing hands in other states. And then snatches someone else. But that's not all who he's leaving behind with him. John Baldwin is Taylor's lover and works for the FBI on the Southern Strangler, while Taylor also works on the Rainman case, a serial rapist who rapes wome ...more
I would have given the book 4 1/2 stars if I could have. I found this book randomly and ended up really liking it. I'm not usually a mystery book reader but I'm now hooked on the series. I'm about to start book 2. I like that the author was able to write a female officer without making her overly angry or like she had something to prove to everyone because she was a woman. They didn't feel the need to butch her up or even make a big deal about her being a woman at all. Not always the case when t ...more
This was a very good start to a series.

First novels seem to fall into two categories--they're either outrageously bad, full of rookie mistakes, or surprisingly good, well-written, well-conceived, well- executed tales that create favorable attention for their authors. Books that fall into the first category are extremely tough reads, books that you keep hoping will get better but never do. Books that fall into the second category are distinct pleasures to read, if only because you feel so good fo
I thought this book was just OK. It took more than half of it to become interesting enough to really want to continue with it, but at the same time that point was where it became totally predictable and I saw the end coming. There was only one thing I didn't guess right away but I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone else to read. It took me over 2 weeks to get through it and for a short paperback, that is a lot of time.
T.M. Carper
A really good thriller with characters you care about and plenty of twists. Even though it's a fairly thick book, I couldn't put it down once I started.

An excellent debut. J. T. Ellison is a thriller writer to watch!

There's a lot boiling under the surface and the multiple POV makes it a very suspense read that keeps your heart racing until the end.
I have started All the Pretty Girls several times and was unable to finish. It was not due to the book, but it seems that I ended up getting so busy that I did not have time to read. I am so glad I finished this book. I love the main characters, Taylor and Baldwin. Great introduction to the series. Looking forward to reading more.
Okay, in the end, I did really enjoy this book. Because I kept picking it up, reading a short bit and then waiting awhile before picking it up again, I just couldn't get into it, but when I was able to stay with it for longer periods of time, I found it to be a very good thriller. Definitely kept me guessing until the end.
Sheila Beaumont
I loved this exciting, nearly unputdownable mystery, which is both a police procedural and a serial-killer thriller. Plenty of suspense, interesting characters, and one twist after another. I did guess whodunit pretty early on, but that didn't lessen my enjoyment at all. A real pleasure to read!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I just finished this book a few minutes ago, and all I can say right now is WOW!! Will post a review in the next couple of days!
Spoilers ahead.

All The Pretty Girls is a good, though rather generic, serial killer crime story.
The main story is about the serial killer, a man who sleeps with women, throttles them, then cuts off their hands -- what a prince! I love that this deranged psycho has CONSENSUAL sex with all these women! No matter what town he goes to he can immediately find the young brunette with brown eyes and a rather specific medical background who will sleep with him. We find out that he's a REALLY handsome
This book introduces you to Taylor Jackson, a homicide detective in Nashville and her boyfriend, FBI profiler John Baldwin. The story opens in Nashville where a new serial killer is making his mark. The most disturbing pattern is the fact he removes the hands of his victims and leaves them with the next woman he kills. While Baldwin pursues the killer to various southern states Taylor remains in Nashville where she is put in charge of the investigation of a rape of a fellow officer by a serial r ...more
As a native Tennessean, I love finding books set in my home state and home city. I started with the author's book she co-wrote with Catherine Coulter because I love Coulter's books and thought any co-writer she had would be interesting. I'm more than impressed with J. T. Ellison. The book has good characters in supporting and major roles, tight writing and excellent pacing. The gore and violence that are listed are not overdone but almost clinical - and the details about the perpetrator's throwi ...more
2.5 stars

Good grief, this freaking book was all over the place. Normally, I can keep track of lots of things going on in a book, but this one went too far.

In this book:
1) A serial killer is murdering girls (at least 4 by the first 90 pages)
2) A serial rapist is on the loose (whole other case)
3) An up-and-coming drug dealer has hired someone to murder a witness? IDK, It wasn't fully explained.
4) There is some kind of backstory with the main character being assaulted but it never fully explains th
All the Pretty Girls by J. T. Ellison
Book #1 in Taylor Jackson
4 Stars

A serial killer dubbed The Southern Strangler is on a killing spree across the Southeast. At each new crime scene, he leaves a gruesome memento from his previous kill – the victim’s hand. Nashville homicide detective, Taylor Jackson, and FBI profiler, John Baldwin are hot on the heels of this sadistic killer while at the same time, Jackson is searching for a rapist who only attacks in the rain.

Very suspenseful w
Featured first at

Summary:All The Pretty Girls by JT Ellisonis the first in the Lt. Taylor Jackson series. When a brutal murder is committed in Nashville itbrings Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and her boyfriend, FBI profiler John Baldwin together to try and stop the brutal killer that's stalking the Southeast.

Review: I picked this book up in the local authors section of Barnes & Nobles a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was set in my hometow
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Goodreads Librari...: ISBN and Title mismatch 3 15 Aug 04, 2013 10:19AM  
Bookworm Bitches : October 2011: All The Pretty Girls 55 150 Apr 23, 2012 07:56AM  
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J.T. Ellison is the New York Times bestselling author of thirteen critically acclaimed novels, including WHAT LIES BEHIND, WHEN SHADOWS FALL and ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS, and is the co-author of the A Brit in the FBI series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. Her work has been published in more than twenty countries. Her novel THE COLD ROOM won the ITW Thriller Award for Best ...more
More about J.T. Ellison...

Other Books in the Series

Taylor Jackson (10 books)
  • 14 (Taylor Jackson, #2)
  • Judas Kiss (Taylor Jackson, #3)
  • The Cold Room (Taylor Jackson, #4)
  • The Immortals (Taylor Jackson, #5)
  • So Close the Hand of Death (Taylor Jackson, #6 )
  • Where All the Dead Lie (Taylor Jackson, #7)
  • Storm Season-One Storm, 3 Novellas
  • Crossed
  • Slices of Night
14 (Taylor Jackson, #2) The Cold Room (Taylor Jackson, #4) Judas Kiss (Taylor Jackson, #3) A Deeper Darkness (Dr. Samantha Owens #1) The Immortals (Taylor Jackson, #5)

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