Coming Jan. 2021
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley for an honest review. Thanks, NetGalley!
I’m new to the Ellery Hathaway series. This is the fourth book. Firstly, why didn’t ya’ll tell me?! Where has this series been all my life? I’m in love with a good female lead in a mystery/thriller series and Ellery is my new go-to character.
It’s hard to describe when you’ve found a writer that just gets it. We can talk about the character’s believability and interesting plot points, but for me Schaffhausen has accomplished more than that. It’s just smart writing. The dialogue is crisp and not over-written. Sometimes writers try too hard to make their characters’ voices distinct and end up reaching a point in dialogue and then hurdle past that point to some place far, far away. It’s like losing control of your character instead of allowing him/her to speak through the writing. Schaffhausen remains in control.
Ellery presents as intelligent and self-aware. She doesn’t bend too far in a particular direction. She’s not the broken victim or the tough, emotionless woman who has been “through it” either. She has doubts and puts up a good front. She has trouble with relationships. She takes things too far sometimes. She can be vulnerable and strong.
In this particular book, we follow Ellery and her FBI boyfriend, Reed as they try to find a missing twelve year-old girl. It’s a parent’s biggest fear. One moment your child is with you, the next, you’re wondering if your child is even alive. Schaffhausen takes us through the possibilities, not letting us rest on one too long before introducing a new twist, while testing Ellery’s ability to stay focused as the memories of her own kidnapping and torture are triggered by this case.
A stand-out take-away for me was the clash of Ellery’s past with her present job. She is still hounded by media; movies are still being made about her kidnapping and she has to find a way to do her job without letting her kidnapper’s infamy and her own need for privacy color her decisions. A survivor’s life can never be the same and I found that to be a unique perspective for a detective.
I’m excited to read the earlier books in this series and whatever is next for Ellery Hathaway!