Latest Reads: The Vanishing Season Joanna Schaffhausen

Publication Date: Available Now from Titan Books

Source: Review Copy

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.

Beautifully done and tense thriller about a victim turned cop who believes another killer is on the loose but nobody will believe her. Turning to the man who saved her for help, together they uncover the secrets of the small town she now lives in. Compelling stuff.

I was very fond of Ellery, determined to keep her secret but also so very sure that a killer is stalking her locale, one who may know more about her than even she believes. The author captures the sense of community extraordinarily well, weaving a twisty web of interpersonal relationships around a genuinely fascinating and intriguing mystery, one that takes a few unexpected turns and keeps you involved throughout. The character drama is front and centre, this is dark and often disturbing with a finale that really rings true and has some honest edge of the seat moments.

The writing is so beautifully immersive, descriptively speaking this is brilliant, involving you in these people’s lives and making you care what happens to them. I loved the relationship between Ellory and her dog and how the author tackled the aftermath of trauma within Ellory’s personality.

Overall this was a really really good read and if you are a fan of the psychological thriller genre you will love this – clever, alluring and very addictive, one of my favourite reads of the year so far.


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