Last Seen Alive – A Pick A Good Book Review

Pick A Good Book: "After reading Last Seen Alive, I would guess that the entire series is well written." Read The Full Review On The Mystery Review Crew.


  • Last Seen Alive by Joanna Schaffhausen
  • Genre:  Mystery / Police Procedural
  • Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher:  Minotaur Books
  • Release Date: January 25, 2022


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.



Originally Posted on Pick A Good Book. Reposted with Permission.

After reading Last Seen Alive, I would guess that the entire series is well written. So with that in mind, I’d definitely recommend starting with the first book, Gone for Good: A Novel.

But if you’re not looking to start a series, I enjoyed and followed this story without having read any of the previous books. Though in the back of my mind I kept thinking I had read an earlier one. Maybe this book explained the previous happenings so well that I just thought I had read an earlier book in the series, which says a lot about the author’s good writing. And maybe way too much about me!

This book didn’t have to work hard to gain my interest. Ellery Hathaway was 14 when she was held and tortured by a serial killer. But since her escape, she has done her best to put that behind her and move on, until now that is. And now the killer, who has been in prison for 17 years, is making some new demands. Demands that involve Ellery.

The suspense in this story increased at a good pace. I felt involved and interested in both the serial killer aspect and the romantic relationship between the protagonists. Both of which were handled beautifully.

Last Seen Alive felt original and the characters believable. The story didn’t drag anywhere or feel heavy with backstory and details. 


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rating: 5 out of 5.

I LOVED it. The characters were memorable and had distinct voices. The plot held my attention, and the pacing was good

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, if this sounds like a good series, I would start with the first book so that the story and characters will be even more meaningful.

If you like variation from the normal serial killer book, I highly recommend this. It’s the perfect blend of story, characters, and romance.

My thanks to #NetGalley and #Minotaur for the ability to read and post my thoughts regarding this book.


Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, skills she developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked as a scientific editor in the field of drug development. Prior to that, she was an editorial producer for ABC News, writing for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America, and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband, daughter, and an obstreperous basset hound.


Check out more Book Reviews Here

Share your love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *