Review: All the Best Lies by Joanna Schaffhausen


Release date: February 11, 2020

Publisher: Minotaur

Genre: Mystery/Thriller


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. 


This is the third book in a series and while I read the first one, I somehow missed the second one?! Who knows, but this read fine without reading book two anyway. This is a thriller blended with a classic police procedural, still very fast paced and exciting as you follow Reed and Ellery as he decides to look at a cold case from the 70’s. When he was just a baby someone murdered his mom while he was in his crib and he’s haunted by the fact that his mothers killers was never caught. Such a great premise, I love when a character has a deep personal connection to a case.

As much as this felt like a thriller it’s definitely heavily focused on the characters and their dynamics, especially their relationship with each other. Both Reed and Ellery are complex and have tangled pasts and I liked their chemistry and complicated relationship. The only thing I found to be lacking was the mystery itself, I figured it out on my own and it could best be described as a lighter mystery for me. Overall a mostly enjoyable read for me and one that I would recommend to anyone who isn’t as burnt out on thrillers as I am.

Overall rating: 3/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s