No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen
Published by Minotaur Books on January 15, 2019 (expected)
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: ebook, 320
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Police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI profiler Reed Markham take on two difficult new cases in this stunning follow-up to The Vanishing Season.
No Mercy is award-winning author Joanna Schaffhausen’s heart-pounding second novel.
Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”
For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.
Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.
Last year I read Joanna Schaffhausen’s debut novel, The Vanishing Season, and found myself very impressed. So I was excited when I found out No Mercy was her second book and sequel to the first.
I am happy to say there was no sophomore slump here; this lived up to all of my expectations. From the very first page, No Mercy had my complete attention. The author’s writing style flows so readily and is easy to read. With a great plot and perfect pacing, this story never faltered, keeping me engrossed all the way to the end. And what an ending it was! Where the first book ended with a possible opening for a future book, this one left no question that there will be more to come.
What I love most about this series, though, is the characters. Both of the main characters, Ellery and Reed, are complex with interesting backstories and evolve realistically with each book. And I have to mention Ellery’s dog again – Speed Bump is an adorable basset hound who adds the perfect touch of fun and lightness to the dark themes that are explored.
Fans of crime mysteries and thrillers should definitely check this series out. Although each book has its own standalone mystery, these are best read in order to understand the characters more fully. And I can’t wait to see where they go next!
*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.