Leave No Trace
Series: Rebecca Ellis #4
By: Robin Mahle
Publisher: Inkubator Books
My Rating: 5 Stars +
Night after night, a dark figure moves through the quiet suburban streets of Bangor, Maine, entering homes, and watching the residents sleep. When some in the community are left with elusive signs of an intruder’s presence, news spreads quickly through this peaceful community.
Calls pour into the Bangor police station and Detective Rebecca Ellis grows concerned. No one has seen this intruder, and nothing has been stolen, but when a beloved family pet is found dead, a pattern of escalation becomes apparent.
Then Ellis’s worst fears are realized when she's called out to a murder. It seems the intruder has graduated from stalking to killing. Desperate to prevent another murder, Ellis finds herself caught in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with a relentless enemy.
Can she catch the killer before another innocent victim dies? Or will she, herself, fall prey to the silent prowler who leaves no trace?
Leave No Trace, the fourth book in the thrilling series featuring Detective Rebecca Ellis.
Detective Rebecca Ellis Series
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About the Author
Robin Mahle has published more than 30 crime fiction novels, many, of which, topped the Amazon charts in the US, Canada, and the UK. (33 total) Also a screenwriter, she has adapted some of her works into teleplays, which have gone on to place in film festivals nationwide.
From detectives to federal agents, and from killers to corruption, her page-turning tales grab hold and refuse to let go. Throw in tense action and thrilling twists, and it becomes clear why her readers come back for more.
Her most recent series, the Detective Rebecca Ellis thrillers, are published by Inkubator Books.
Robin lives in Coastal Virginia with her husband and two children.
Visit Robin at www.robinmahle.com
Be sure to subscribe to her newsletter to keep up on all the latest releases, sales, and giveaways. Go to robinmahle.com and sign up today!
Connect with Robin:
ROBIN MAHLE'S SERIES:
Exceptional Authors. Standout Books. Elevator Talk.
INTRIGUING QUESTIONS. INQUIRING READERS WANT TO KNOW.
Behind the Book & The Author
With Bestselling Author
Welcome to the second November #AuthorElevatorSeries —where we go behind the book and the author. Today, we are honored and thrilled to have Robin Mahle, bestselling author —(a favorite), with us for the first time with her riveting Detective Rebecca Ellis crime thriller series, #4 LEAVE NO TRACE. While this can be read as a standalone, you will want to read them all.
Behind The Book
Q. Give us your best ELEVATOR PITCH for LEAVE NO TRACE.
ROBIN: When a relentless intruder graduates from stalking to murdering innocent people, Detective Rebecca Ellis must put her own life on the line to bring him to justice.
Q. DETECTIVE REBECCA ELLIS: Share with us a little about your main protagonist (for those who have not read the series) and any inspiration for the creation of this fascinating character.
ROBIN: Rebecca Ellis grew up with her father, Ret. Det. Hank Ellis, after her mother died when she was twelve. So, she grew up essentially in the same police station where she now works. Ellis pushes the envelope to get to the truth. Her only goal is to bring justice for the victims. She is her father’s daughter and sometimes struggles to come out from under his legendary shadow.
My inspiration for Ellis comes from the women around me. My mother, sister, friends. They broke through barriers, pushed through hardships, and yet always remained loving and loyal. I think this describes Ellis to a T.
Q. RESEARCH: Any fascinating research for the novel, or anything you learned along the way?
ROBIN: I love researching all things crime/police procedures. Technology is constantly changing and for the betterment of law enforcement. So I am always fascinated by police and forensic work. It has required a good deal of research to stay on top of the latest techniques, which I thoroughly enjoy.
Q. SERIES: The million-dollar question: Will there be more books in the Detective Rebecca Ellis crime thriller series? Please, fingers crossed—these characters are too good to end.
ROBIN: As a matter of fact, I have just begun book 5 in the series with an eye on more to come. So long as Rebecca Ellis continues to grow and finds her work challenging, I’ll keep writing more about her.
Q. NOVELS: Robin, you have written more than 30 published books in the mystery/thriller genre, and you also write historical fiction as Christine Chase. Highly Impressive!! (33 Total). You have written the following series:
More than one question here:
Q. Do you prefer writing series or standalone?
ROBIN: I don’t think I have a preference. It depends on the story.
Q. How do you decide when to end a series?
ROBIN: Good question. I suppose once I think the character has grown as much as she can, I’ll end it.
Q. Do you have a favorite series?
ROBIN: I don’t. I love each of them in their own way.
Q. Will you be writing more historical fiction, or are you set on crime thrillers, cop procedurals, thriller, mystery, and suspense genres?
ROBIN: I’d love to write more historical fiction. It’s so much fun and incredibly fascinating, so when I get the time, yes, I will. But along with that, I’ll continue with my crime thrillers.
Q. ADAPTATION: For fun, do you have any cast of stars in mind for any of your leading roles for a movie or TV series?
ROBIN: I’ve always thought Kate Reid should be played by Jennifer Lawrence, and Nick Scarborough played by Bradley Cooper, with Tom Hardy as Marshall Avery. Yeah, that would be awesome.
Q. GENRE: What continues to draw you to this genre?
ROBIN: I’m a puzzle-solver. I love creating clues and figuring out how they fit together. Or better yet, figuring out how to enable the reader to fit them together.
Q. UPCOMING: Can you share what you are currently working on or what is next in ten words or less (or more)?
ROBIN: I am working on my first psychological thriller standalone about a couple who own a restaurant, and the person out to destroy them.
Now, more 'up close and personal' from Robin, below!
Behind The Author
FAVORITE THING ABOUT WHERE YOU RESIDE?
Being near the beach
Baking / Decorating cakes
THE FIRST BOOK YOU REMEMBER READING THAT MADE YOU WANT TO BECOME AN AUTHOR—THE ONE, YOU CANNOT STOP THINKING OF.
I read Christine by Stephen King when I was 15. It was the first King book I’d ever read, thanks to my mother, a life-long reader. I have since read nearly all of his books. I have so many books that I still love, including every single Harry Potter book.
FAVORITE TV SERIES? (Or Movie/Video) binge-watch, series, etc.?
My favorite TV series has always been and will always be Friends.
MOST MEMORABLE PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED?
Pompeii was the most fascinating place I’ve ever been.
IF YOU WERE GRANTED 3 MONTHS OF UNINTERRUPTED WRITING TIME—WHERE WOULD IT BE?
1. A Busy Urban City
2. A Quiet Scenic Mountain Cabin surrounded by nature
3. A Coastal Seaside Cottage
4. An Exotic Tropical Island
5. A Countryside Farmhouse surrounded by animals and organic gardens.
6. A charming, quaint historic Bed and Breakfast Inn
7. A Scenic Hunting Lodge
8. A Nostalgic Lake House – This one, for sure.
9. A Writer's Retreat
WHEN YOU RECEIVE A SPARK OF INSPIRATION FOR A BOOK:
1. Do you immediately get out of bed or stop what you are doing and start typing? Totally immersed.
2. Make a few quick notes on a pad or device. – I prefer to jot down notes in my phone, and then come back to it when I have the time.
3. Save it for later when you are at your desk or office during your regular working hours.
YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO WRITE?
My home office, where I am surrounded by a collection of old books from Mark Twain to Ernest Hemingway to classic literature of all kinds.
A CHARACTER YOU HAVE WRITTEN THAT IS YOUR FAVORITE AND WHY?
I have written under the pen name Christine Chase, an historical fiction novel set in the California Gold Rush. Caroline Dougherty is the heroine. I love her for her tenacity in a time when women had very few options. She is strong, and fights for everything she’s ever had.
HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN?
I think I’m on number 33 now.
HOW MANY SERIES HAVE YOU WRITTEN?
I have five ongoing series.
WHAT WOULD YOUR DAUGHTER (OR SON) SAY ABOUT YOU BEING AN AUTHOR, IF ASKED?
I have one of each, and I think their answers would be similar. They would say that their mom loves creating stories and that sometimes, she knows too much about how to get away with murder.
ONE BIT OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE AN INSPIRING AUTHOR?
People often say to write what you know. I disagree. You should write what excites you, what challenges you, and what gives you a reason to wake up every day.
WHAT ARE EARLIER JOBS YOU HAD BEFORE BECOMING AN AUTHOR?
I spent twenty years in the construction industry. Yes, I wore a hard hat and boots.
LEADER OR FOLLOWER?
Neither. I always go my own way.
IF YOU COULD HAVE A TV SERIES OR MOVIE ADAPTED BASED ON ONE OF YOUR BOOKS, WHICH ONE WOULD IT BE?
My Kate Reid series.
THANK YOU, Robin, for spending time with us today!
ROBIN: Thank you so much! What fun it’s been talking with you!
Readers, be sure and pick up Robin's books everywhere books are sold. Available on Amazon's Kindle Unlimited.
"Gripping, psychological mystery dramas..." —D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review
"A fresh voice that is highly addictive..."
"Mysteries that will leave you gasping for breath..."
— Amazon Reviewer
Robin Mahle (favorite author) returns following THE DEAD LAKE #3, A FROZEN GRAVE #2, and NO SAFE PLACE #1 with her popular Detective Rebecca Ellis series, and latest LEAVE NO TRACE #4 (all five stars)— A riveting cat-and-mouse crime thriller of revenge and obsession, when a killer targets a specific neighbor outsmarting everyone, even the cops. How are these families connected?
RAZOR SHARP, with inventive twists... I love this series, and LEAVE NO TRACE may be my favorite yet!
Detective Rebecca Ellis, Criminal Investigation Division of the Bangor Police Department, Maine— returns, and this time, she and her team are tasked with tracking down an intruder. A shocking new case begins with stalking and intruding at night, a vicious murder, and gets darker from there.
The stalker breaks into people's homes in an upscale, idyllic neighborhood of Woodland Heights. He dresses in dark clothes with a hood. No one has been able to see his face. He is a large man and gets in and out with no traces left behind.
Nothing is more terrifying than someone violating your space and putting you and your family in danger, leaving you helpless. He does not care who is collateral damage if they get in his way.
Rebecca's partner, Euan McCallister, is still on leave (from the last book), and she needs him here to assist. It has been six weeks, and he is ready to return.
McCallister and Ellis are dating, and Rebecca is still trying to figure out a workable balance between work and personal. He is recovering from a bullet wound and waiting for the press to die down regarding an event from his Boston days.
Gabby, Pelletier, Fletcher, Abbott, Serrano, Connor Bevins, and the rest of the gang are back to assist, and McCallister will be allowed back before the investigation is over to help.
~What they know about the perpetrator:
At first, he watches families sleep.
Then starts moving things around or taking things.
Next, a family pet is killed.
He escalates from stalking to MURDER.
He leaves clues.
Tech-savvy and intelligent.
A large man, wearing dark clothes and a hood.
Knows the neighborhood well.
Leaves NO TRACE.
There is an urgency to solve this case before he strikes again.
He knows electronics, technology, and security and is familiar with the neighborhood. He is on a mission. One of revenge. He must not get caught until he fulfills his goal. He is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to accomplish his goal. These people are oblivious, thoughtless, and selfish; he thinks as we get into his thoughts.
Ellis has a feeling these families are connected in some way, and she must figure out how. She is interviewing families and neighbors, and the HOA is upset, and no one feels safe. However, the killer may have revenge on his mind. What other predator may be hiding in plain sight in this idyllic neighborhood? What are their dark secrets?
Ellis decides to go undercover, and McCallister joins in. She does not need a protector, but little does she know what lies ahead. She plants herself in the house with the residents away to try and catch him. He does not show. She does not want people taking over her case or telling her what to do. However, the team has no clue what they are dealing with.
There is no need to lock the doors or turn on the lights. This perp controls it all. No one is safe and will not see death coming until it has them cornered, helpless, and alone. Why is he focused on this neighborhood?
When other families meet a similar fate, Detective Rebecca Ellis and the team must race against the clock to unearth dark family secrets and identify a twisted killer and predator before there's no one left. He will not stop until he gets to each family, leaving his clues behind.
We catch up with all the familiar characters from past books, like Hank, Rebecca's dad, whom she drops by to visit with food and to bounce ideas about her cases since he is now retired.
Will Rebecca figure out the connection and motive of the killer? The clues start coming together once they think they have it figured out and see the guy's home. Will he be one step ahead of them? Is there another killer? Can Rebecca put the pieces of the puzzle together before she is caught in the crossfire or strikes again?
Wow! It's a fantastic addition to the series. The perp is creepy, all his hits are planned and thought out, and the motive is mind-blowing! How far will you go for revenge?
LEAVE NO TRACE is another complex and brilliantly written crime thriller with clever plot twists, action, suspense, and heart-pounding moments as things get complicated. I enjoy this series, am fully invested in the characters, and anxiously await the next.
Mahle is a talented writer, and I am wondering if she was previously a detective, FBI, or on the police force. If not, she does her research! If you love Lisa Gardner, Lisa Unger, or Michael Connelly's books (as much as I do), this series is for you. Mahle's compelling narrative keeps you guessing to the end and then teases you with a cliffhanger, leaving you salivating for #5!
Let's talk about these CLIFFHANGERS (s). Yes, plural, TWO! From the last book, we learned of Connor Bevins's past when he confessed to McCallister. Now, the past has caught up, and Rebecca is blindsided. What will happen to Connor?
Also, in this installment, Andrew, Rebecca's ex, shows up unannounced, and he is supposedly getting married to another woman, and Andrew needs her help with a criminal manner against the two of them. Is he being set up, and will she agree to help? How will this affect things with McCallister? (please do not let them break up).
I hope we will see many more books in this series because there is much more to come!!! I will anxiously be awaiting the next in the series!
I have recently discovered this multi-talented author, and one of my favorites. I am trying to go back and read her other Kate Reid series and backlist between all the new ARCS and upcoming books I have on my schedule.
Highly entertaining! If you enjoy a blend of intelligent cop procedural, psychological suspense, crime thrillers, and a strong female detective, I highly recommend the author and this series! For fans of Mary Burton and Lisa Gardner's DD Warren series.
@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks
Pub Date: Oct 29, 2023
NOV Featured Author Q&A Interview