Review by Booklist Review
In Schaffhausen's third Ellery Hathaway mystery (following No Mercy, 2019), Hathaway teams up again with FBI agent Reed Markham to solve a cold case. Previously in the series, Markham rescued Hathaway from a serial killer; since then, the duo has tiptoed around each other romantically, with Hathaway too psychologically damaged to do much more than yearn. The sparks continue here, but otherwise the novel takes a new approach, focusing more this time on Markham, who finds his rich-politician's-kid upbringing was built on a lie. The falsehood makes the murders the two tackle those of Markham's birth mother and of another young woman whose death was possibly related emotionally fraught, with the relationship and suspense combining to create a gripping (and sometimes steamy) read. A closing twist will shock readers, who will hold their breath for the next from Schaffhausen. This will also work as a stand-alone and can be given to those who enjoy Karin Slaughter's works.--Henrietta Verma Copyright 2019 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Schaffhausen's chilling third novel to feature Woodbury, Mass., cop Ellery Hathaway and FBI agent Reed Markham (after 2019's No Mercy) reveals that Reed was only a baby, and in the same room, when his Puerto Rican birth mother, Camilla Flores, was stabbed and beaten to death in Las Vegas, Nev., in 1975. The case was never solved, and a recent DNA test showed that Reed's adoptive father, now Virginia state senator Angus Markham, is actually his biological father. For Reed, this opens up the possibility that Angus may have killed Camilla, and he recruits Ellery, who's still suspended after a shooting, to help him dig into the cold case. Their investigation leads to a web of police corruption and a killer who may still be at large. Schaffhausen sensitively explores how Ellery's deeply traumatic past affects her growing attraction to Reed, and those hoping for progress in their tentative romance will be pleased. Tight plotting and a few genuinely shocking twists propel this emotionally charged thriller all the way to the explosive finale. Old and new readers alike will be enthralled. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Feb.)
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Review by Kirkus Book Review
Desperate to solve the years-old case of his slain mother, an FBI agent digs into Vegas dirt alongside a woman with whom he has a complex relationship.Mail-in DNA tests upend the world of Reed Markham, who's spent his whole life thinking he was adopted only to learn that his adoptive father, Angus, is also his biological father. A lesser man would just sit with the news, but Reed's an FBI agent with the will and the means to learn more, particularly about the murder of his birth mother, Camilla Flores. Cammie was a Puerto Rican immigrant working hard to make ends meet in 1970s Las Vegas when she was viciously attacked and stabbed to death as her 4-month-old baby slept in another room. Though her murder has never been solved, police wisdom seems to think that it was the work of a local drug dealer Cammie was prepared to testify against. But Reed's investigative know-how tells him the crime was more personal, and now that he knows the truth about Angus, Reed needs to learn whether his father was involved in Cammie's death. Ably assisting Reed is Ellery Hathaway, the one person (unlike his ex-wife, Sarit) who won't judge his quest. Reed and Ellery's complicated relationship began when she was a child and he was the agent who rescued her from the clutches of a serial killer. Now that she's become a cop, Ellery's shared with Reed trauma histories, investigative skills, and poor boundaries as they've solved several cases on and off the books, even as their relationship has veered toward romancethough their history makes this turn something Schaffhausen (No Mercy, 2019, etc.) can't quite pull off. Now that he's in Vegas to learn the truth about his mother, Reed also wants to figure out what he and Ellery have together.By-the-book plotting gives this novel less flair than earlier series entries, though a final twist wraps things up neatly. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.