Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby

Beyond Halloween

With The Immortals J.T. Ellison takes her detective on a thrill ride into the world of teenage witchcraft

“They were four—the points of a compass, the corners of the earth. North, South, East and West. The elements of their worship: Earth, Air, Fire and Water. … They were four—the corners, the watchers. North, South, East, West. Two boys, two girls. Balance.”

When eight high school students are found dead on Halloween, bloody pentagrams carved on their chests, Nashville homicide lieutenant Taylor Jackson has to tackle the case and all its satanic overtones. Newly reinstated after a false accusation, Jackson has to prove herself again to the department and her team, at the same time quelling the panic roiling among the well-heeled residents whose children are being killed and mutilated. And she has to handle this daunting case without her mentor, Pete Fitzgerald, who is missing, or her fiancé, John Baldwin, an FBI agent who has been called back to Quantico, Virginia, to face a disciplinary hearing concerning an old case, and an old lover. This investigation exposes a secret that could complicate Baldwin’s relationship with Jackson.

Through the clubs of Lower Broad, the corridors of Hillsboro High School, into the affluent homes of Green Hills, Jackson and her team pursue the killers, unraveling a tangle of clues—drugs laced with cyanide, pagan symbolism, the inner secrets of Goth society—that lead inexorably to a mysterious and deeply troubled teenager who calls himself Raven. With the help of a white witch, Ariadne, Jackson and her team methodically break the teenage code of silence, track Raven, peel his coven away from him, and discover yet more murders. As the police and the white witch close in, Raven, now a powerful and twisted warlock, becomes ever more desperate and violent.

J.T. Ellison is a former White House staffer who turned to crime writing when she moved to Nashville. Haunting the Metro Nashville Police Department, taking night rides to murder scenes, and finding blood on her sleeves when she returned home, Ellison soon began writing police procedurals, beginning with All the Pretty Girls (in 2007) and continuing through 14, Judas Kiss, and The Cold Room. The Immortals is a can’t-put-down, lock-the-doors-and- windows, read-until-two-in-the morning-thrill ride, not deep but swift, turbulent, and troubling.

J.T. Ellison will discuss The Immortals at Sherlock’s Books in Nashville on November 6 at 7 p.m.

To read an interview with Ellison, click