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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

No Safe Place

Series: A Detective Rebecca Ellis Thriller #1


Publisher: Inkubator Books

Publication Date: 01/15/2023

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…

Detective Rebecca Ellis has some big shoes to fill. Her father was the legendary detective, Hank Ellis, now retired from the Bangor Police Department. Emerging from his shadow hasn’t been easy.

So when she’s assigned to work with new hire, Detective Euan McCallister, Ellis is determined to keep their investigation right on track.

The explosive fire in a church parking lot looks straightforward at first. Claire Allen, a volunteer at the church, burned to death in her car. But then Ellis discovers the seatbelt had been rigged, trapping Claire in the inferno. This was no accident. It was murder.

Why was Claire at the church that night? Who would want her dead? In the race to find the truth, Ellis unearths a horrifying secret that takes the investigation into very dangerous territory.

Soon, Ellis will learn that in the search for this particular killer, there is no safe place.

No Safe Place – the first in the thrilling series featuring Detective Rebecca Ellis.

My Review

NO SAFE PLACE is the first in Robin Mahle's riveting new cop procedural/crime thriller featuring Detective Rebecca Ellis. BLOWN AWAY! Top-notch. Reminiscent of Lisa Gardner's Detective DD Warren.

I loved this book —the author's writing, and this new series, Detective Rebecca Harris and her partner! Who doesn't love thrillers revolving around corrupt and evil churches? They often hold the worst criminals disguised as saintly members with hidden dark secrets.

Sharply written, tension-filled with twists readers are unlikely to see coming, and a detective that is tough as nails! A fabulous new series and I cannot wait for the next one.

The book opens with Claire, who has just discovered something and unfortunately does not make it out of the Grace Community Church church parking lot before she is murdered. Her car was tampered with, and she is trapped inside a burning car fire.

Set in Maine, during the winter and snow, Bangor Police Detective Rebecca Ellis and her partner Detective Euan McCallister are assigned to the case.

Rebecca (age 34), is divorced and has been with the Bangor PD for over a decade. Her father, Retired Detective Hank Ellis, was a great detective, and she has big shoes to fill. He has been retired from the force for five years. She would always be known as Hank's daughter.

The investigation gets very complex. The car was tampered with and someone murdered Claire. But whom?

The first suspect is always the husband. Scott Allen, a banker, has an alibi, but there is still some suspicion. He also was having an affair with someone in the church.

The other prime suspects are Jeff Harwick, the young pastor, and Pastor Zeke (Ezekiel) Townsend, the lead pastor.

They soon interview many people connected to the couple at the church, including their best friends, Ethan and Maxine Rehnquist, with a young daughter, Vanessa.

With much pressure to close the case, they must put together the missing pieces of the puzzle. From embezzlement, corruption, murder, and fraud, to child pornography. They have lots of suspicions but they need proof to tie together this murder and get a conviction.

The tension is high and soon, someone else is murdered. This is bigger than they thought. How far does this reach?

Someone is following Rebecca, and the closer she and her partner get to the truth, the more danger they are in.

Vanessa, the little girl, knows something. If they can get her to talk. What is actually going on inside this evil church?

EXPLOSIVE! A multi-layered and complex investigation. With fast-paced, non-stop action, Ellis is tenacious and will stop at nothing to bring justice and bring down the bad guys (even if she has to break a few rules). I loved Rebecca and Euan together and hope to see more of him.

Rebecca is flawed and relatable, with a tragic past starting when she was twelve.

Her life has not been easy. Her mom and dad separated when she was young and her mom married an abusive man. She wound up shooting/killing her stepdad at age 12 while trying to protect her mom. Unfortunately, she was unable to save her mom.

Her dad remarried (wife now deceased) and had another child, Carter (age 23), her half-brother, which is always in trouble and a drug addict. He is an ongoing source of her problems between her and her dad.

Her partner Detective Euan McCallister comes from Boston and he also has some mysterious secrets from his past and things he is dealing with regarding a past murder. The two make for a great duo and Detective Ellis does not take crap from anyone! Love her.

Immersive, propulsive, utterly chilling, yet, profoundly moving. From well-developed characters, and vivid settings/descriptions, fans of kick-ass female investigators will be well-satisfied. This author's writing is highly impressive. For fans of Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter. (two of my favorites).

NO SAFE PLACE brilliantly explores how evil is passed down from generation to generation and the true nature of humanity. It's a gripping mystery and psychological suspense thriller that will keep you up late at night, haunted by the events within its pages. I read in two sittings.

I have just discovered a new favorite author. Robin Mahle has just been added to my list, and looking forward to reading her backlist and new upcoming books.

NO SAFE PLACE is prime for the small or big screen!

I purchased the e-book and the hardcover. Hope this comes in audiobook format later. I cannot wait for the next in the series!

If you enjoy corrupt churches and priests, check out Aime Austin's legal crime thriller, (Nicole Long Series) Outcry Witness and upcoming Without Consent (Mar 8, 2023).

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟STARS

Pub Date: Jan 15, 2023

About the Author

Robin Mahle has published over 30 novels in the mystery/thriller genre. She also writes historical fiction as Christine Chase. Her fast-paced style of storytelling combined with tense action and thrilling twists bring her readers back for more. Robin lives in Coastal Virginia with her husband and two children.

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