Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two about serial killers, but not through her police training. She’s an officer in sleepy Woodbury, MA, where a bicycle theft still makes the newspapers. No one there knows she was once victim number seventeen in the grisly story of serial killer Francis Michael Coben. The only victim who lived.
When three people disappear from her town in three years, all around her birthday—the day she was kidnapped so long ago—Ellery fears someone knows her secret. Someone very dangerous. Her superiors dismiss her concerns, but Ellery knows the vanishing season is coming and anyone could be next. She contacts the one man she knows will believe her: the FBI agent who saved her from a killer’s closet all those years ago.
Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned. His marriage is in shambles, his bosses think he’s washed up, and worst of all, he blew a major investigation. When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved? His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them…with a killer who can’t let go.
Book Rating: 8.5/10
Clever, disturbing, and highly suspenseful!
In this debut novel by Schaffhausen, The Vanishing Season, we are introduced to the tenacious, scarred Officer Hathaway and the once heroic now spiritless Agent Reed as they hunt for a serial killer with an all-consuming obsession and a penchant for violence.
The writing is taut and precise. The characters are flawed, complex and intriguing. And the plot is an intense, intricate police procedural full of twists, turns, surprises, cunning brutality, manipulation, and murder.
The Vanishing Season is truly a gripping, sinister page-turner that had me on the edge of my seat from the very first page and left me hoping this isn’t the last but only the first case for Hathaway and Reed.
About the Author:
JOANNA SCHAFFHAUSEN is a scientific editor who spends her days immersed in research on potential new therapies for cancer, addiction, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, she worked as an editorial producer for ABC News, where she advised and wrote for programs such as World News Tonight, Good Morning America and 20/20. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. The Vanishing Season is her first novel.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press – Minotaur Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
This book is available now.
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For more information on Joanna Schaffhausen, visit her website at: joannaschaffhausen.com
or follow her on Twitter at: @slipperywhisper