Review: Every Waking Hour – Ellery Hathaway #4 (Joanna Schaffhausen)

Every Waking Hour is the fourth book in the Ellery Hathaway series. While it is possible to get through it as a standalone, I’d recommend reading the previous books – something I have not done – because of the sheer trauma of the lead character, who was abducted by a serial killer and survived until she was rescued by Reed Markham, an FBI agent. Hathaway is now a detective with the Boston PD, and winds up being the lead on the disappearance of Chloe Lockhart, who vanishes at a fair at which the pair happens to be at with Markham’s young daughter.

I don’t mind characters who have some Bad Thing in their past that winds up shaping them. It’s a bit harder to imagine them in various stressful professions (like a detective) when they clearly exhibit PTSD symptoms as much as Hathaway does. While it strikes me that she’s obviously very strong to have survived a hellish near death experience, it would give me pause to set her out on the street where the very possibility of the same thing happening to someone else – like the missing Chloe – could potentially derail their ability to perform her duties. I’m also not a fan of Markham and Hathaway’s relationship, but I understand why it’s there for fictional purposes.

That aside: it’s a good story, with many excellent suspects, following clues that often lead nowhere (as is often, unfortunately, the case), some nice red herrings thrown in, and while not an entirely unexpected ending (if you remove all the potentials when you read it, you’ll understand), a satisfying one. There’s also a fascinating subplot involving another Lockhart child, along with a bit of discussion about protecting kids versus basically jailing them.

Overall, I’d recommend it unless children in danger is not your bag. A solid four out of five stars.

Thanks to Minotaur/St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the review copy.