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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

No Way Back

Detective Rebecca Ellis #5

ISBN: 9781837563999

Publisher: Inkubator Books

Publication Date: 06/09/2024

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

Detective Rebecca Ellis is hunting another killer. This time it’s personal.

When a body is found on the rocky shores of the Penobscot River, Detective Rebecca Ellis is called to the scene, and is devastated to discover the lifeless corpse of her half-brother, Carter.

Determined to get justice for her family, Ellis begins a relentless hunt for the killer.

As the case unfolds, she is shocked to find that Carter was connected to a dangerous drug cartel that has infiltrated their city.

With the help of her partner Detective Euan McCallister and DEA Agent Sean Kroll, Ellis navigates a treacherous path through the criminal underworld. From rehab facilities to high-security prisons, she follows every lead with single-minded focus.

As she gets closer to the truth, Ellis realizes she’s up against powerful forces who will do whatever it takes to keep their secrets hidden, including killing her and members of her team.

Can Ellis and her partners survive long enough to find justice for her fallen brother?

No Way Back - the fifth book in the thrilling series featuring Detective Rebecca Ellis.

My Review

Robin Mahle (favorite author) returns with her popular Detective Rebecca Ellis (favorite cop procedural) following Leave No Trace #4, The Dead Lake #3, A Frozen Grave #2, and No Safe Place #1, with NO WAY BACK #5 — Ellis' most personal and emotional case yet when her half brother is found dead and caught up in a twisted evil criminal drug cartel corruption in this riveting crime thriller.

"A stunner! NO WAY BACK is a smartly written, emotionally powerful, twisty page-turner. Fans of the Detective Rebecca Ellis series and tenacious female investigators will be well satisfied!"


Catching up with previous books, Detective Rebecca Ellis of the Bangor PD has dealt with her brother Carter's drug problems over the years, and she has been overly protective of her father, Hank, a retired cop in poor health.


When a dead body is found by the Penobscot River, Ellis is shocked to see it is her half-brother, Carter. He was supposed to be in rehab, but there was no evidence of an overdose. Was he murdered? What was Carter involved in?

Her dad would be devastated at his only son's death. No matter how often Carter screwed up or whatever behavior he engaged in, Hank managed to overlook it all. Yes, he was an addict, but he was confined to a rehab facility, so why was he floating in the river here?


Determined to get justice for her family, Ellis (Becca) begins a relentless hunt for the killer with the help of Detective Euan McCallister and her team. Nothing is as it appears as the case unravels. There was a letter, and Carter was involved in a dangerous drug cartel that had infiltrated the city. Was her brother murdered?

But what if someone from the inside of the DEA is part of the corruption? There is danger lurking around every corner. From the prisons to the halfway houses and in between, Detective Ellis will stop at nothing to get justice for her brother. The only thing that mattered was keeping her dad safe after he had been put in the crosshairs.


Another ongoing thread we pick up from the previous book is the incident during the time as a West Point Cadet with Detective Connor Bevins. Connor's best friend Lance had died, and Connor was in the car. However, it appears it was a coverup, and Connor's dad, Jack Bevins, may have been involved.

Detective Rebecca Ellis is involved in both cases as well as her ongoing complex personal/professional relationship with Detective Euan McCallister. They are all in danger while taking care of her dad as he also becomes involved in helping find justice for his son and what happened to him.

Now grieving over the loss of her brother and the importance of finding herself and becoming a better detective with some difficult decisions to make.

My thoughts...

Emotional, gripping, riveting, intense! As always, Robin Mahle dazzles with her skills in creating complex, well-written crime thrillers, balancing both personal and professional. I adore this author's writing and am a massive fan of the series.

Mahle continues to put her best characters together, which keeps you coming back for more. In NO WAY BACK #5, Ellis does a lot of soul-searching while grieving for her brother, her personal and professional life, and changes in the department. This is Ellis' most personal and emotional case yet.

Another edgy thriller from one of my favorite authors. I do hope this is not the last in the series and hope we see more from Detective Rebecca Ellis. I love her relationship with her dad, Hank, and always enjoy catching up with the fun cast of characters. Will she and Detective Euan McCallister be able to keep their relationship professional? What will happen to Connor? We have seen a lot of growth in this character since the beginning of the series.

This series is too good to end! I have enjoyed all five books in the series. Each is unique and can be read as a standalone; however, I highly recommend reading them all in order.


NO WAY BACK and the Detective Rebecca Ellis series is for fans of Lisa Gardner's Detective DD Warren series, Christina McDonald's Detective Jess Lambert series, and Willow Rose's Detective Billie Ann Wilde series. Highly recommend all of them.

Thanks to Inkubator Books, the author, and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy for an honest review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: June 9, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars

Detective Rebecca Ellis Series


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.

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