The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffausen

Published December 5,2017

Hardcover, 274 pages


(Thanks to Netgalley & Minotaur Books, I received an eARC)


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.


I love that it takes place where I live and I knew the landmarks they were talking about. Books that contain serial killers always seem to catch my attention, and this book was no exception. I would definitely consider this a good, solid read.

Ellery was a great character, she was so determined to help and fix everything she possibly could. It took me a bit but I did end up really loving Reed. He was a very complex character, as was everyone in this story. They had all been through so much and it still wasn’t over. Found myself second guessing all of the characters.

Definitely didn’t see the end twist coming, caught me completely off guard. Ending was very intense and I had to finish in one sitting. I needed to know what was going to happen. I really enjoyed the story, but wished the pacing was a little different during the middle, or maybe just more even throughout. Overall I enjoyed this read and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a good, solid thriller.

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