Wednesday, January 29, 2020

All the Best Lies

All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen
St. Martin's Publishing Group: 2/11/20
eBook review copy; 336 pages
ISBN-13: 9781250297389
Ellery Hathaway #3 

All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen is a highly recommended mystery/procedural. FBI agent Reed Markham and his friend and suspended cop Ellery Hathaway take on a very personal forty year old cold case in this third book in the Ellery Hathaway series.

Reed Markham's birth mother, Camilla Flores, was stabbed and beaten to death in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1975, while her baby, Reed, was in the apartment. Her case was never solved. Reed was adopted by Virginia state senator Angus Markham. So when his sisters ask him to take a mail-in DNA test, just to see if he has some distant biological connection to them, he was hesitant, but did it. Instead of a distant link, Reed learns that adoptive father is actually his biological father. Reed wants to look into his mother's death because now he suspects that his father may be involved.

Reed enlists Ellery Hathaway to help him with the investigation. Ellery has her own reasons to want to leave town, not the least of which is that she is currently on suspension from the police force. Reed and Ellery have a complex relationship, but they work well together as an investigative team. They are also tentatively moving toward a closer personal relationship.

While this third book in the series can be read as a stand-alone novel, a more complete picture of the relationship between Reed and Ellery will result in reading them in order. They are both complex, flawed characters and have both chemistry with each other as well as a complicated relationship. I have read The Vanishing Season, book one, but not the second, No Mercy. I sort of wish I had read the second book before diving into this one, but Schaffhausen does do a very good job explaining their past while keeping the current investigation/mystery moving along.

The writing is excellent and the plot moves along quickly as does the character development. As the two dig deep into the past and try to find out what really happened, it becomes clear that not everyone is telling the truth and there are hidden motives. The clues are followed and Reed and Ellery work well together questioning people and following clues in this intriguing procedural/mystery. Be prepared for several surprises as the investigation unfolds and an ending which ties everything together.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Macmillan Publishing.

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