The Vanishing Season Review

Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:

Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, Joanna Schaffhausen’s accomplished debut The Vanishing Season will grip readers from the opening page to the stunning conclusion.

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 one who lived.

When three people disappear from her town in three years—all around her birthday—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 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.

About: The Vanishing Season is a mystery thriller written by Joanna Schaffhausen. It was recently published on 12/5/17 by Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, hardcover, 288 pages. The genres are mystery, thriller, suspense, and fiction. This book is the author’s debut. There are three books to this series: book 1 is The Vanishing Season, book 2 is No Mercy, book 3 is All the Best Lies, and book 4 is Every Waking Hour. According to Macmillan’s website, “Minotaur Established in 1999, Minotaur is a premier publisher in the bestselling category of crime fiction. St. Martin’s Press has a long and respected history of publishing a solid and varied list. We are dedicated to publishing emerging new authors, and offering a fresh perspective on classic genres, while maintaining a diverse and interesting range of books.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading The Vanishing Season on 1/2/18 and finished it on 1/8/18. This book is an excellent read! I love following Ellery and Reed’s thought processes and their detective work. I like seeing them connecting the dots to little clues available to what seems like dead end cases. I like how the evidence points to many people and each of them could be the suspect. My brain is so busy trying to solve the case and I couldn’t read fast enough to find out what will happen. It was tough to put down after each read.

This book is told in the third person point of view following Ellery (Ellie) Hathaway, a patrol officer in a small town of Woodbury, MA and Reed Markham, an on-leave FBI Agent who is famous for his rescue of #17 victim to the Coben serial killer. Ellery harbor a big secret and has been living life under the radar. She deals with domestic disturbances on her job but what she really wanted was to solve the three missing person cases before another person becomes a victim. It has been three years and the victims have remained missing, Ellery decided to recruit Reed Markham to help solve the cases. As soon as Reed arrived into town, a severed hand of one of the missing victims arrived at Ellery’s doorstep gift wrapped. The news connected the dots and discovered Ellery’s darkest secret. Time is running out before another person goes missing and whether there is a copycat out there or if the serial killer from 14 years ago is acting out from death row.

This book is very well written and carefully organized. I love the mystery and suspense. I like the chilling postcard and its mysterious background. I like Ellery and how she cared to make a difference as a police officer when she couldn’t protect Rosalie. I like Ellery’s name because it’s the first time I have come across. It’s unique, original, and easy to pronounce. I like the reminder about Reed’s life. His struggles to maintain his time for work and family is a good reminder to us all that we shouldn’t take family time for granted. I was able to guess the name of the killer but the reason behind it is surprising. It’s definitely interesting how people actually want to go down in history as killers instead of hero or inventor. Too bad there isn’t much romance, but that’s alright because the read is still fantastic and I highly recommend everyone to read it!

My YouTube Review: The Vanishing Season

Pro: mystery, suspense, page turner, fast paced, serial killer, abduction, connecting the dots,

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or St. Martin’s Press

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 holds a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain—how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. The Vanishing Season is her first novel. (Photo and info obtained from the author’s website).

More Information about Minotaur Books

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Minotaur Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


14 thoughts on “The Vanishing Season Review

  1. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    This sounds like a really amazing book 🙂 It’s interesting what you say about wanting to be part of history, be it in a positive or negative way – that’s actually quite true! People want their name to be remembered and revered, no matter in which light.
    I’m actually glad there’s not a lot of romance, otherwise it might have spoiled it a little bit. Although I do enjoy partners in crime stories, I do prefer when the relationships take time to build and the love aspect comes much later.
    Awesome review, Jasmine!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jasmine says:

      Thanks Sophie. I’m truly surprised by the aspect that people actually want to go down in history as serial killer instead of a hero of some kind. But it’s also understandable. A hero is harder to achieve than a serial killer.. well, for certain people haha.. a serial killer is definitely harder for me to achieve and thank goodness I don’t want that title haha..

      Liked by 1 person

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