Review: Last Seen Alive by Joanna Schaffhausen

Title: Last Seen Alive by Joanna Schaffhausen
Ellery Hathaway Series Book Five
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Last Seen Alive> is the fifth book in Joanna Schaffhausen’s heartpounding Ellery Hathaway mystery series.

Boston detective Ellery Hathaway met FBI agent Reed Markham when he pried open a serial killer’s closet to rescue her. Years on, their relationship remains defined by that moment and by Francis Coben’s horrific crimes. To free herself from Coben’s legacy, Ellery had to walk away from Reed, too. But Coben is not letting go so easily. He has an impossible proposition: Coben will finally give up the location of the remaining bodies, on one condition—Reed must bring him Ellery.

Now the families of the missing victims are crying out for justice that only Ellery can deliver. The media hungers for a sequel and Coben is their camera-ready star. He claims he is sorry and wants to make amends. But Ellery is the one living person who has seen the monster behind the mask and she doesn’t believe he can be redeemed. Not after everything he’s done. Not after what she’s been through. And certainly not after a fresh body turns up with Coben’s signature all over it.


Last Seen Alive by Joanna Schaffhausen is a thrilling mystery. Although this newest release is the fifth novel in the fantastic Ellery Hathaway series, it can be read as a standalone. However, I HIGHLY recommend the entire series.

FBI Agent Reed Markham has stayed away from Boston Detective Ellery Hathaway since she ended their relationship a few months earlier. But when serial killer Francis Coben says he will reveal the location of eight more victims, Reed has no choice to call her. Why? Because Coben is only willing to tell her where the bodies are located. Ellery is the sole survivor of his murderous rampage twenty years ago. She still has the physical and mental scars from her time with the deprave murderer. Despite her reluctance to face the man who tortured her, Ellery would like the victims’ families to know the fate of their loved ones. But will she regret agreeing to meet with him?

Ellery and Reed soon discover a Coben copycat is on the loose. They work with local police in hopes of finding out who the killer is and how this person is getting information from Coben. The convicted murderer has no contact with his fellow inmates and his mail is carefully checked over by prison officials. Ellery and Reed meticulously follow every piece of evidence that is unearthed but will they find the killer before another murder?

For the first time since leaving home, Ellery, with Reed at her side, returns to visit her mother. Their history is fraught and Ellery has resisted going back to the scene of her kidnapping. Will the trip help her put some demons to rest?

Last Seen Alive is a fast-paced mystery that is full of suspense. Ellery and Reed find it difficult to keep their relationship strictly professional. But they try not allow their personal life interfere with the investigation. Coben is pure evil and he derives great pleasure from other people’s suffering. With shocking twists and cunning turns, Joanna Schaffhausen brings this tense mystery to a highly satisfying conclusion. Old and new fans are sure to enjoy this latest addition to the Ellery Hathaway series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Ellery Hathaway Series, Joanna Schaffhausen, Last Seen Alive, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Suspense

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