Taylor Jackson is more than a police officer. But being not only an officer but a leader has become more to her than she realizes. Taylor faces her inner demons while recuperating from a recent gunshot wound in Where All the Dead Lie by J. T. Ellison.
Taylor is almost completely recuperated from her physical trauma, but emotionally she is still wounded. She experiences guilt and shame that she wasn’t there in time to save her friend from the torture that resulted in her miscarriage. She bears guilt that she couldn’t foresee that the last madman she hunted, The Pretender, would dare go after her friends and coworkers. Taylor is also feeling quite a bit of anger and jealousy after finding out that her fiancé, John Baldwin, fathered a child with one of his former coworkers. Admittedly the child was put up for adoption and John was never notified of the pregnancy or birth, but Taylor resents the mere idea that he slept with that woman. Now when she is at her most vulnerable, she is unable to even voice her anger, shame or sorry. Is it just post-traumatic stress disorder that has taken her voice away or is it much more?
In an effort to deal with her swirling emotions, Taylor knows she must get away for a while. Enter James “Memphis” Highsmythe with an offer for Taylor to visit his ancestral home in Scotland. He assures her that he will not be in residence and that she can continue her recent therapy with a family friend’s wife. Taylor knows that Memphis has a “thing” for her and their flirtation has been benign up til now, but will it continue to be benign given her current emotions? Taylor goes off with, more or less, John’s blessings, to Scotland to rest and fully recuperate. But has she gone from the frying pan into the fire? While she deals with her inner demons, she fears that she is losing touch with reality. Can Taylor handle the demons of her past while fighting the demons in her present? Are these present demons a figment of her imagination or is she once again in danger?
Ms. Ellison has presented a somewhat softer and definitely more fragile and introspective Taylor Jackson in Where All the Dead Lie. I felt true sympathy for all that she is going through but has difficulty giving voice to as she heals. Taylor relies more on John because of her injuries while she also tries to push him away. She knows that she loves him, but she has that twinge of jealousy over his previous “relationship.” She is also conflicted over her emotional attachment to Memphis. The conflicts in this story are at the forefront of each relationship Taylor must reflect upon and deal with: her friendship with Sam, her romance with John, and her friendship/flirtation with Memphis. I’m glad to report that the kick-butt, take charge Taylor emerges at the end. She has suffered unimaginable horrors, physically and emotionally, and emerged a stronger person. Ms. Ellison provides a series that gets better with each installment, and Where All the Dead Lie is no exception. This is a great fast-paced suspense read.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”