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  • Read it All Night

    Newly minted probationary Boston PD detective Ellery Hathaway must face old and new fears in Every Waking Hour. Her least/most fearful experience is when Reed Markham fetches lunch for her and Tula, Reed daughter, leaving Ellery in charge of a small child and her pink glitter purse. Leash not included. While enjoying the beautiful day on the Boston Common, a panicked nanny crosses Ellery and Reed’s path. Her charge, twelve year old Chloe Lockhart went to a food truck and has disappeared. Both Ellery and Reed know not to take this disappearance lightly. As a fourteen year old, Ellery was kidnapped by a serial killer, tortured and kept in a small fetid closet until FBI Special Agent Reed Markham followed a hunch and rescued her. Years later Ellery and Reed are in a developing relationship. Not so easy for a woman who needs her physical and psychological space more than anything. Chloe hails from a wealthy family well versed in tragedy. This has so warped her parents' outlook that Chloe sees herself as a prisoner of her parent’s fears. Runaway, or kidnapped, those are the two main reasons a young woman can disappear. Chicago PD and the FBI considered Ellery a runaway, wasting a full day before realizing she was most likely victim 17 of the serial killer they were hunting. Ellery is determined not to let this happen to Chloe. Luckily, Ellery is a like a missile, she locks on target and doesn’t allow chaff to get in her way. Reed offers his expertise as an FBI profiler to the Boston PD. Tula is all in on this vacation change. Ellery hears the clock ticking for herself and Chloe. In the meantime, Ellery is both distracted and helped when her small loft apartment is turned into the clown car of apartments. A woman who could barely let Reed through the door is suddenly invaded by unexpected guests, including one angry ex-wife. Sarit, Reed’s ex-wife is a piece of work. She gained a husband, baby, and shared a million dollars from the book they wrote together on the back of Ellery’s unimaginable ordeal and rescue. Yet Sarit judges and blocks Ellery at almost every turn. My new “love to hate” Ellery Hathaway is a strong character, not always easy to like. Ellery is a survivor who has barely recovered, yet is fighting so hard to make a true life for herself; little girl’s pink glitter purses and plastic ponies included. Ever since Reed rescued her, Ellery has fought to reclaim herself and be the woman she was meant to be. This is a police procedural, but it is also a study in survival; and the book excels on both levels. Reed is not the typical hero, he saved Ellery once, but Reed is starting to realize opening the nailed closet door where Ellery lay very close to death is as far as he can take her. Reed also realizes he needs to a take a good look at his own life. Ahh I just realized I inadvertently included a prime example of Schaffhausen genius with words. I just mentioned a nailed closet. Other readers I mention this series to, from husband, to friends to fellow reviewers, always, always mention the nailed closet. Powerful unforgettable imagery. The story is tight, a necessity because the first rule of investigations: everyone has secrets and everyone lies. Ellery and Reed have to wade through them as the hours pass. Every Waking Hour may be tight, but it is also beautifully written with rare insight into not just evil, but the human heart. This limited series is about Ellery and Reed’s investigations. Each book is very different from the previous. They are not the same old same old; Schaffhausen manages to keep all of the stories fresh and worthy of your reading time, but with enough back story to catch you up. As for Every Waking Hour ending in a cliff hangar, not really. Since the fifth book is likely the end of the series, any reader knows there is one last reckoning." Thank you to NetGalley for sending me an ARC. The opinions are all my own.

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  • Intricate, sinister, and twisty!

    In this fourth instalment in the Ellery Hathaway series, Every Waking Hour, Detective Hathaway and Agent Markham find themselves inadvertently working together once again when a child goes missing, a kidnapper seems to have a targeted agenda, and the family has way too many skeletons hiding in their closet. The writing is sharp and sophisticated. The characterization is spot on with all the usual gang back, including the scarred and stubborn Ellery Hathaway, whose greatest struggles involve her own emotional demons and her apprehension at the growing intimacy between herself and Markham. And the plot, including all the subplots, intertwine and unravel quickly into a gripping tale of life, loss, family, friendship, deception, manipulation, jealousy, violence, and murder. Overall, Every Waking Hour is another addictive, propulsive, thrilling addition to one of my favourite series with its flawed characters, great pace, and consistent sense of urgency that I can never get enough of.

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