“FBI agent Reed Markham is haunted by one painful unsolved mystery: who murdered his mother? Camilla was brutally stabbed to death more than forty years ago while baby Reed lay in his crib mere steps away. The trail went so cold that the Las Vegas Police Department has given up hope of solving the case. But then a shattering family secret changes everything Reed knows about his origins, his murdered mother, and his powerful adoptive father, state senator Angus Markham. Now Reed has to wonder if his mother’s killer is uncomfortably close to home.
Unable to trust his family with the details of his personal investigation, Reed enlists his friend, suspended cop Ellery Hathaway, to join his quest in Vegas. Ellery has experience with both troubled families and diabolical murderers, having narrowly escaped from each of them. She’s eager to skip town, too, because her own father, who abandoned her years ago, is suddenly desperate to get back in contact. He also has a secret that could change her life forever, if Ellery will let him close enough to hear it.
Far from home and relying only on each other, Reed and Ellery discover young Camilla had snared the attention of dangerous men, any of whom might have wanted to shut her up for good. They start tracing his twisted family history, knowing the path leads back to a vicious killer—one who has been hiding in plain sight for forty years and isn’t about to give up now.” – Amazon
I read the first book in the Ellery Hathaway series, The Vanishing Season, and really enjoyed it. I wanted to make sure to continue the series, but somehow missed book two, No Mercy. That didn’t stop me from picking up book three in the series, All the Best Lies, and I found that I enjoyed it just as much as The Vanishing Season!
In the first two books, Ellery is more of the focus, where as in All the Best Lies, Reed gets a bit more attention. If you wanted to just read this book and skip the first two, you could because Joanna Schaffhausen gives you enough background information that you wouldn’t be confused. But if possible, you should start the series from the beginning so you don’t miss any of the smaller details that add so much more to the books.
Reed gets a huge surprise that rocks his belief in his parents and adds one more layer to this series. We are shown a part of the police system in the 70’s that was fueled by cops taking advantage of sex workers. And we also get other looks at corruption in the police department of yesteryear and today.
While Reed is looking into the 40 year old murder of his mother, Ellery sees similarities to another murder that happened a year before his mom’s, so she starts to follow those leads too, thinking they may be connected. Ellery gets enough information that we have a good idea of what happened, but that case isn’t completely finished in this book, leaving a bit of a cliffhanger. I know this may upset some readers, but I was fine with it, and look forward to how Schaffhausen deals with it in the next book.
There is also the relationship between Reed and Ellery. Reed was the detective who saved Ellery from a serial killer when she was a teenager. Ellery has a lot of issues because of the torture and rape that happened to her. But in All the Best Lies, they try to take their relationship to a more intimate level. Schaffhausen does a wonderful job writing about the problems that can happen in a situation like this.
I can’t wait to see what Schaffhausen comes up with in the next book in the Ellery Hathaway series! And if you enjoy this type of book you may want to check out the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain. It’s a series that I always recommend to people who like detectives chasing after serial killers, but this series has a twist.
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