Sunday, February 17, 2019

Review: The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Author: Joanna Schaffhausen 
Publisher: Minatour Books
Date of publication: December 2017

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.

The Vanishing Season is the first book featuring police officer Ellery Hathaway.  She is also a final girl.  She is the only girl to escape a serial killer who used to kidnap young girls. kill them and then chop off their hands.  Now, she is a cop in a small town in western Massachusetts under a different name.  She has noticed a pattern of missing people in the town, yet no one believes her.

I really enjoyed the mystery.  I guessed part of the solution, meaning the who, but not the why.  The book gets bonus points for that.  It was well written and well planned out and had me engaged from the opening scene.  The characters were engaging.  I really liked Ellery.  She came across as a genuine survivor who is just trying to make it through the day.  She has no real attachments to anyone or anything, except her dog Bump. The situation with her closet was really sad. Reed was a  great character as well.  He is the FBI agent who found Ellery years before.  Their relationship was a unique one and one I would love to read more about.  I highly recommend this one.  I will have a review fore the second book, No Mercy, coming out soon.

1 comment:

Ethan said...

I love a good mystery, so count me in!