Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Review: No Mercy by Joanna Schaffhausen

Title: No Mercy
Author: Joanna Schaffhausen
Series: Ellery Hathaway, #2
Published: January 2019, Minotaur Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 320 pages
Source: Netgalley

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.

My thoughts: I am so glad I found this series! Late last year, I took advantage of Netgalley offering the first two books of this series as "Read Now" options in anticipation of book 3, All The Best Lies, coming out in February. I had heard a lot of good things about these books and am so glad I grabbed them. I really enjoyed book 1, The Vanishing Season, and this second book is just as good!

While each book does stand alone and contains a case that is self-contained to one book, I would strongly suggest reading the series in order for the character development and backstory. You will understand and appreciate the main characters, Ellery and Reed, so much better if you do so, in my opinion. 

I loved that this book continues with the mismatched pair of Ellery and Reed working together. Ellery is on leave from her job due to what happened at the end of the prior book, but that doesn't stop her from getting involved in helping those who need her help. But with no police resources at her disposal due to her leave, her only option is to call Reed, who comes running at her call.

I love the dynamics between Ellery and Reed and I love that there is always the question of exactly what their relationship is between them hanging over them. Are they just professional acquaintances or is it the rescuer/survivor thing or is there something more going on? I think this is something that will be explored as the series continues, but one that I hope isn't drawn out for too long. 

This was a fast-paced book with plenty of twists and turns that kept me engaged throughout. I was as equally invested in the mystery as I was in the character development and I am so excited for the next book, which I will be reading very soon! This is definitely a series I am thoroughly enjoying and hope continues for quite some time.

Books in this series: 
  1. The Vanishing Season
  2. No Mercy
  3. All the Best Lies - due out February 2020



  1. Sounds like a really thrilling read. I'll definitely be checking out the series!

  2. I like the sound of this series, thanks for sharing your thoughts


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