Last Seen Alive

Joanna Schaffhausen. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-24967-8
For two decades, many people have viewed Ellery Hathaway only as the sole survivor of serial murderer/kidnapper Francis Coben, as revealed in Schaffhausen’s excellent fifth installment of this superior series (after 2021’s Every Waking Hour). Ellery’s rescue at age 14 by FBI agent Reed Markham has affected all aspects of her life, from home security measures to her career as a Boston police detective. To try to free herself from her past, she recently ended her relationship with Reed that began the year before. Now, Coben, responsible for the mutilation deaths of at least 17 young women, has a deal—he’ll confess where he buried eight other women if Ellery visits him in prison. Ellery agrees, but the meeting has some surprising consequences. The author highlights Ellery’s emotional state and the grief of the families desperate to know what happened to their loved ones as the suspenseful plot builds to a stunning finale. The chilling Coben, who shows that pure evil can lurk behind a handsome face, makes a memorable villain. Readers will be eager to see what happens next. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/14/2021
Release date: 01/25/2022
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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