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Jonathan Nasaw Books In Order

Publication Order of James Whistler Books

The World on Blood (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shadows (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of E. L. Pender Books

The Girls He Adored (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fear Itself (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Twenty-Seven Bones (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
When She Was Bad (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boys from Santa Cruz (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

West of the Moon (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shakedown Street (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jonathan Nasaw is an American author that writes psychological thrillers. Best known for the E.L. Pender series, Nasaw’s novels typically feature brutal but intelligent killers that are being hunted by determined detectives who are not afraid to break the rules to bring them to justice.

Jonathan has been commended for his unique concepts and skillful writing style. The author is the younger brother of David Nasaw. David is also a renowned author, though his interests lie in nonfiction and tend to lean towards social and cultural history whilst Jonathan’s own interests are rooted in fiction.

Jonathan is a pretty private author. While he does interact with readers whenever the opportunity arises, he prefers to keep the intimate details of his past and present to himself.

Those readers that have interacted with him know that he is a pretty simple individual with simple interests who loves music and poker, appreciates acts of kindness and hates dead things.

+The Girl He Adored
E.L. Pender is a Special Agent with the FBI. And the disheveled fellow is pretty good at his job. However, the last ten years have assaulted Pender with nothing but failure. He has had his eye on a series of disappearances scattered all over the country.

The victims are always women and their disappearances seem random. But Pender isn’t convinced. The fact that all the women in question have strawberry blonde hair tells him that they are somehow connected.

He also knows that the last time they were seen, a mysterious man was with them. Pender wasn’t sure he would ever put the pieces together to find the criminal responsible.

But then a routine traffic stop devolved into a horrific scene of violence that brought the remains of a blond victim to light. Now Pender believes that the killer in question—an individual with multiple personalities—is the man he’s been hunting for the last decade. And the fact the local police have him in custody suggests that Pender’s ten-year crusade might finally be at an end.

Things take an abrupt turn when the killer escapes the custody of the local police before Pender can connect him to the disappearances. If that wasn’t bad enough, the disturbed man takes Irene Cogan with him, a psychiatrist the court had sent to evaluate him.

When Irene finds herself at a secluded house in Oregon, she knows that her only way out is to sift through her captor’s numerous personalities, some of whom are female, until she gets to Max, the killer of the lot and a personality that has succeeded in dominated all the rest.

It will take some work for Irene to extricate herself from the situation. From what she can tell, Max is in search of salvation and he seems to believe that Irene is his only hope.

If Irene can just play along with his sexually perverted games, she just might succeed in stripping away his layers until she locates the true personality behind the scenes, the only one that could possibly overcome Max and save her life.

The Girls He Adored is the first novel in the E.L. Pender series. In the novel, Jonathan Nasaw introduces a killer with multiple personalities to readers, a villain that can be both innocent and unassuming, and explosively violent.

Pender initially takes center-stage. He is a poorly dressed FBI agent that most consider unfit for his job and who has begun approaching retirement. Things get worse for him when his relationship with his boss, a man that sticks strictly to the letter of the law, goes down the toilet.

But Pender refuses to let his professional challenges stand in the way of his vendetta against a killer he has hunted for years. He proceeds to go at it on his own. Things eventually shift to the perspective of Irene, the shrink that Max the killer kidnapped.

She has to make sense of Max’s many personalities before one of them kills her. This book is pretty brutal. The author delves into the sexual sadism of his killer to an extent that will leave some readers squirming. However, Jonathan Nasaw also makes an effort to explore the killer’s childhood, providing the sort of insight that could make some audiences pity him.

+Fear Itself
E.L. Pender is finally done. His last day with the FBI has finally come and he is ready to celebrate the event and move on. But Dorie Bell has other plans for Pender. Dorie was part of the group that attended an event investigating Persons with Specific Phobia Disorder.

Dorie notices that a number of the delegates that attended the conference have died. Dorie is particularly curious about the manner in which so many of them died. One example is Carl Plander.

Carl was afraid of heights. So the idea that he jumped off the 12th Floor of a building makes no sense to her. Then there’s Mara Agajanian who could not have slashed her own wrists, not with the intense fear of blood that plagued her.

Dorie believes that a killer is hunting people with crippling phobias like her. She wants Pender to look into the matter. If Dorie is right, then someone is out to scare people to death.

Fear Itself is the second novel in the E.L Pender series. The book features a killer who uses other people’s fears to kill them. The police are initially quick to classify the deaths in question as suicides.

But then someone traces all the victims back to a conference. Pender comes onboard to investigate. He is joined in his hunt by a criminal specialist by the names of Linda Abruzzi.

Pender is on his way out of the FBI and he would rather steer clear of any demented murderers. But the case draws him in, and so does Linda, whose own phobia becomes an impediment to their efforts to catch the killer.

This book has been criticized for its disjointed pacing. While the first half of the story proceeds very rapidly, the second half pulls back and slows down, eliminating some of the tension even as it takes some rather predictable turns.

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