St. Martin's Press | January 2019 | 304 pgs
Source: Library 

Fourteen years ago, Ellery Hathaway was kidnapped by a serial killer, Francis Coben. She was the only survivor among his other victims; and the credit went to Reed Markham, an FBI agent who managed to save her from the killer's closet all those years ago. Once a shocking news and a face recognised by all, in present day Ellery has grown up and ditched her old self, name and all, to become a police officer in sleepy Woodbury, Massachusetts. Woodbury is a small, quiet neighbourhood with a low crime rate until three people disappeared in three years - all around Ellery's birthday when she was kidnapped those years ago. 

When Ellery mentioned this information (aside from her true identity) to her superior and colleagues, no one thinks the cases are connected. Ellery and her superior somewhat has a complicated secret relationship and without his support, she has no choice but to contact agent Reed Markham. Now Reed may have made his name and fame from the Coben case, but a wrong judgement of an assignment put him on a temporary leave. With his career stalled and his marriage in shambles, Reed agrees to help with Ellery's investigation of the missing persons. When Ellery receives a severed hand around her birthday, she couldn't help wondering if someone knew her true identity. Is this someone connected to the missing persons cases? Once again, Ellery and Reed find themselves get sucked into a case which reminds them of Coben and a killer who can't seem to let go of the past. 

This first novel by Joanna Schaffhausen was a riveting read with a cast of intriguing characters. Ellery was a strong character and I admired her determination in finding the truth of the cases, although sometimes I find her judgement are clouded by her emotions. The dynamics between she and Reed was an interesting read and from Ellery's perspective I think it was nice to have someone on your side, especially one who is your savior and understand the things you've been through. Overall this was a good read and although it wasn't hard to guess the perpetrator, it didn't lessen my reading experience and I'll definitely check out the next book of this series.  

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8 Responses
  1. jenclair Says:

    An interesting first novel, and as you mention, the villain isn't hard to guess. I'm curious about how the next book will carry on, but I liked the Ellery/Reed relationship. Still think the cover is weird, though. :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - I liked the Ellery/Reed relationship, too. I'm not a fan of the cover, and I thought the fogging part is a bit irrelevant to the story. Well, just my two cents. :p

  3. Lark Says:

    I'm glad you liked this one. I thought the second book was even better. :)

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - I'm glad to hear the second book is even better. :)

  5. What an awful birthday present! Although I imagine it was meant to scare. I have this one on my wish list and am so glad to read you liked it, Melody.

  6. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you'll enjoy this book when you get to it, Wendy.

  7. Iliana Says:

    What an interesting set up with the main character! I like the sound of this one and it's on my list for TBR!

  8. Melody Says:

    Iliana - I hope you'll like it when you get to it, Iliana.

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