The Vanishing Season
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 Details

TitleThe Vanishing Season
Author
ReleaseDec 5th, 2017
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139781250126047
Rating
GenreMystery, Fiction, Thriller, Psychological Thriller, Adult, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Contemporary, Crime, Murder Mystery

The Vanishing Season Review

  • Kendall
    January 1, 1970
    Let's just pause for a moment to acknowledge that BEAUTIFUL cover. Not to mention how perfect it fits this cozy little mystery! Thank you to St. Martin's Press for granting my wish! What a wish this was :). The Vanishing Season is an addicting and unique thriller that will grab you from the first page. I am pretty impressed that this was a debut novel by Joanna Schaffhausen! Ellery Hathaway is a sole survivor of the famous serial killer Francis Michael Coben. Years later, Ellery Hathaway is livi Let's just pause for a moment to acknowledge that BEAUTIFUL cover. Not to mention how perfect it fits this cozy little mystery! Thank you to St. Martin's Press for granting my wish! What a wish this was :). The Vanishing Season is an addicting and unique thriller that will grab you from the first page. I am pretty impressed that this was a debut novel by Joanna Schaffhausen! Ellery Hathaway is a sole survivor of the famous serial killer Francis Michael Coben. Years later, Ellery Hathaway is living in Woodbury Massachusetts as a police officer. Let me tell you, ahem she is one strong and independent female character! Over the last three years, three missing persons have disappeared each year around Ellery's birthday and ironically the day she was kidnapped all those years ago. Ellery just has this haunting feeling that someone is watching her and knows her secret. Ellery decides to contact FBI agent Reed Markham who saved her all those years ago from serial killer Frances Coben for help. Loved agent Markham!!! Are these missing person's somehow connected to Ellery and this serial killer Coben? Or, is there someone else out there that has a deep and sinister obsession? Can, I just say I loved Ellery's partner in crime aka watchdog Bump! This little guy was adorable and in my opinion made the story that much better! Characterization was very strong and overall had me on the edge of my toes!! I give you props Joanna... you fooled me and didn't see the final ending coming ;). I would definitely recommend this to my fellow mystery/suspense lovers. This was a fun mystery to watch unravel! I was staying up wayyy past my bed time to finish this one! Overall, 4 solid stars! PUT THIS book on your radar my friends <3. A huge thank you to St. Martins Press, Minotaur Books, and Netgalley for granting my wish! Expected publication date is 12/5/17.
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    3.5*At the age of 14, Ellie was taken by an infamous serial killer. Close to death, she was rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham. Years later, Ellie is now a police officer in the small town of Woodbury, Massachusetts. Once again she turns to Agent Reed for help. People are suddenly vanishing in her small town. Is it even conceivable this could be tied to the monster from her past? Why is this happening again? More importantly how is this happening again?It all boils down to trust…and trust is in s 3.5*At the age of 14, Ellie was taken by an infamous serial killer. Close to death, she was rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham. Years later, Ellie is now a police officer in the small town of Woodbury, Massachusetts. Once again she turns to Agent Reed for help. People are suddenly vanishing in her small town. Is it even conceivable this could be tied to the monster from her past? Why is this happening again? More importantly how is this happening again?It all boils down to trust…and trust is in short supply in this small town. No one seems to have any for anyone. Ellie’s carefully crafted world is crumbling around her. Now it’s a race against time to discover who’s behind the disappearances, before another victim vanishes!I‘ve read several books dealing with serial killers lately. Though they all seem to morph from a similar theme, but this one did have an original flavor to it. Just right on the creepiness scale, and tastefully spread to make a delicious and frightening thriller. Even though I guessed the ending early on it was still an enjoyable read!A great debut for Joanna Schaffhausen, I will be watching for her next release. A traveling sister read with Brenda!Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin's Press and Joanna schaffhausen For this review and our full traveling sister review please visit Brenda and Norma's Fantastic Traveling Sister Book Blog http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThe Vanishing Season was another Traveling Sisters read that I squeezed in with Kaceey between our Sister reads. The Vanishing Season is a haunting, enjoyable, fast-paced and suspenseful crime mystery thriller with a little creep added to it that had us intrigued but was a bit of a slow start for us. However, once we got to know our main characters Ellery and Agent Reed we loved the dynamics between them and we wanted to know more about them. Joanna Schaffhausen does a good job creating 3.5 starsThe Vanishing Season was another Traveling Sisters read that I squeezed in with Kaceey between our Sister reads. The Vanishing Season is a haunting, enjoyable, fast-paced and suspenseful crime mystery thriller with a little creep added to it that had us intrigued but was a bit of a slow start for us. However, once we got to know our main characters Ellery and Agent Reed we loved the dynamics between them and we wanted to know more about them. Joanna Schaffhausen does a good job creating a strong and interesting yet flawed character here with Ellery and we liked her right from the start. We were intrigued by her tragic past and how her past tied to her present life. The suspense builds as clues and hidden secrets are revealed and the tension rises between Ellery and Reed leaving us questioning who to trust and not to trust. We loved discussing this between us and Kaceey figured a few things out that I, of course, didn’t. We thought Joanna Schaffhausen weaved the past with the present well for a satisfying ending. We can’t leave this review without mentioning one of our favorite characters Ellery’s dog Speed Bump and we loved the humor, love, and devotion he brought to the story. We hope to see more of this furry character in the future. We recommend. Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press and Joanna Schaffhausen for a copy to read and review.All of our Traveling Sisters Reviews can be found on our sister blog:https://twogirlslostinacouleereading....
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  • Carol
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars. Enticing prologue! Entertaining debut! WHO saw it happen 14 years ago and kept it a secret? Ellery Hathaway is a police officer with a scarred past working in the small town of Woodbury, Massachusetts, and she'll do just about anything (and has) to convince Police Chief Sam Parker that their missing person's cases may indeed be connected and the work of a serial killer....but he's not biting....so she calls in a trusted FBI agent who knows the horrific secrets of her past to give a fr 3.5 Stars. Enticing prologue! Entertaining debut! WHO saw it happen 14 years ago and kept it a secret? Ellery Hathaway is a police officer with a scarred past working in the small town of Woodbury, Massachusetts, and she'll do just about anything (and has) to convince Police Chief Sam Parker that their missing person's cases may indeed be connected and the work of a serial killer....but he's not biting....so she calls in a trusted FBI agent who knows the horrific secrets of her past to give a fresh perspective. And then....the package arrives.THE VANISHING SEASON is a fine crime-mystery with just enough suspense and scattered clues to keep the reader guessing while keeping the gore at bay....despite a killer with a weird fixation. As for Speed-Bump the dog....NICE addition to the cast of characters.Joanna Schaffhausen....another new author to keep an eye on.Many thanks to St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for granting my wish to read THE VANISHING SEASON in exchange for an honest review. Enjoyed it!
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  • Carrie
    January 1, 1970
    Years ago Ellery Hathaway became victim number seventeen of serial killer Francis Michael Coben when she was abducted and held captive. Ellery was lucky enough that FBI Agent Reed Markham saw something other investigators hadn't and followed clues to Coben's home where he managed to rescue Ellery and put Coben behind bars making Ellery the one that survived. Now Ellery is in law enforcement herself and finds that she may just have another serial killer on her hands but no one wants to believe he Years ago Ellery Hathaway became victim number seventeen of serial killer Francis Michael Coben when she was abducted and held captive. Ellery was lucky enough that FBI Agent Reed Markham saw something other investigators hadn't and followed clues to Coben's home where he managed to rescue Ellery and put Coben behind bars making Ellery the one that survived. Now Ellery is in law enforcement herself and finds that she may just have another serial killer on her hands but no one wants to believe her. What the other officers in the sleepy little town of Woodbury, MA don't know is that the disappearances in town are happening at the time Ellery was taken all those years ago and she's been receiving cards every year at the time but she's hesitant to tell of her past. Looking for another angle to open a case into the missing persons Ellery makes a call to the man who saved her all those years ago. The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen is a mystery/thriller read that takes a reader on a journey to catch a serial killer. The book is written with a small town vibe and a flawed main character that pulled me in immediately and kept my interest until the very end. Surviving a serial killer herself gave Ellery a strength behind her that she needed to survive but now puts toward helping others. While the story had plenty of twists and turns to make this one a solid mystery I did kind of question some of the actions of the police in this small town. Perhaps not the most realistic of investigating and actions at times so I just couldn't quite bring myself to go a full five stars but the story and characters do make this worth the read. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.wordpress....
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  • Maureen Carden
    January 1, 1970
    Ellery Hathaway is the only survivor of the notorious serial killer, Frances Michael Coben. She was to be victim 17, but FBI agent Reed Markham swept in to rescue her from the fetid, locked closet where she had been kept, the closet where the unlucky 16 who didn’t survive had tried to claw their way out. No wonder she keeps the closets in her house nailed shut. Savor that image for a minute. Fourteen years later and she nails shut her closet doors.But now, Ellery is damned sure an almost- copy-c Ellery Hathaway is the only survivor of the notorious serial killer, Frances Michael Coben. She was to be victim 17, but FBI agent Reed Markham swept in to rescue her from the fetid, locked closet where she had been kept, the closet where the unlucky 16 who didn’t survive had tried to claw their way out. No wonder she keeps the closets in her house nailed shut. Savor that image for a minute. Fourteen years later and she nails shut her closet doors.But now, Ellery is damned sure an almost- copy-cat killer is at work. For the past three years someone has disappeared around her birthday. She knows another serial killer is at work but no one at her job will believe her since no bodies have been found and they all have reasons why they could be missing. This is extremely frustrating because Ellie is a police officer in the small town of Woodbury, MA. And she knows from serial killers. Not even her lover, the police chief takes her seriously.Ellery is sure she could convince the police chief, but that would mean giving up a few of her secrets, such as her real name and the fact that she was the seventeenth victim. She is also holding back real evidence.Instead she calls FBI S/A Reed Markham in to help her. He’s at a new low, even though for years he found fame and fortune on the back of his rescue of Ellery. Ellery does not resent this, as she herself has managed to make some good money from her ordeal.I found Ellery to be fascinating. She was fourteen when she was taken, but has managed to find and lead an almost normal life. She is really not one to completely admire, a welcome change with female protagonists.She is rabid about keeping her past hidden from everyone, even when it might help in establishing her case. She has turned into a bit of a user, not above using her sexual charms to advance her cause. She is also a loner with few friends. No man has ever been inside her house.S/A Markham is a mess, struggling to reach the surface and begin again in both his professional and personal life. He is aghast at one point to realize he may not have really rescued Ellery and must try to work through his mistrust of her.The academy award for best supporting actor goes to Bump, Ellery’s basset hound. Oh wait, I’m mixing my media. Oops doing it again. Anyway the dog is an award winner.The Vanishing Season is deftly plotted. It begins with a chilling prologue that stays with the reader and continues the thrills with a cold logic. The serial killer who took Ellery was one of the most chilling I’ve come across. I think by this time it must be hard for authors to be original in mining the serial killer plot. Joanna Schaffhausen has succeeded admirably with both of her killers and her story. This is Schaffhausen’s first book as she was the award winner for the Minotaur/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition. I hope she continues to find success as she is off to a fine start. I wonder though, if this is the beginning of a series, and if so, whose series, Ellery or S/A Markham?Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsI'm not sure I would call this a thriller, but more of a crime, police-procedural mystery. This is a debut author and I did enjoy her writing for the most part. It started off very compelling as a kidnapping occurs, but ultimately does not keep up with the pace of the initial chapters.Abby (the kidnapped and serial killer survivor) becomes a police officer and becomes involved in cases of three people who have disappeared/vanished at or around the same time every year. She suspects it m 3.5 StarsI'm not sure I would call this a thriller, but more of a crime, police-procedural mystery. This is a debut author and I did enjoy her writing for the most part. It started off very compelling as a kidnapping occurs, but ultimately does not keep up with the pace of the initial chapters.Abby (the kidnapped and serial killer survivor) becomes a police officer and becomes involved in cases of three people who have disappeared/vanished at or around the same time every year. She suspects it may be some how connected to her own kidnapping case. There are some grisly details and uncomfortable descriptions, but it is a "serial killer" plot so be prepared for it if you read this one.I didn't feel the story evolved into the suspenseful story it could have been. It ventures off into a lot of side stories that bogged down the story line and had me distracted. I would still be interested in this author and what she comes up with next.If you enjoy serial killer plots with some twisted themes, you may enjoy this one very much! Thanks for my wish granted- St. Martin's Press and NetgalleyPublication expected December 5,2017
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  • Sandy
    January 1, 1970
    For the past 3 years, Ellery Hathaway has received the same card on her birthday. From a relative? Perhaps a friend. Uh, no. The cards may be unsigned but she knows exactly what their arrival means. Ellie is a cop in the rural town of Woodbury. It’s a sleepy place where crimes range from petty to domestic. The cop shop is small & the only outstanding mysteries are 3 missing persons. One each July when Ellie turns another year older. She’s desperate to reopen the cases but until she comes up For the past 3 years, Ellery Hathaway has received the same card on her birthday. From a relative? Perhaps a friend. Uh, no. The cards may be unsigned but she knows exactly what their arrival means. Ellie is a cop in the rural town of Woodbury. It’s a sleepy place where crimes range from petty to domestic. The cop shop is small & the only outstanding mysteries are 3 missing persons. One each July when Ellie turns another year older. She’s desperate to reopen the cases but until she comes up with some new info, her boss doesn’t want to hear it. As far as he’s concerned there’s nothing to connect the 3 & he’s satisfied with what they found. But Ellie has more insight than most & with good reason. Turns out she has a secret & it’s a whopper. When she was 14, she became famous as the final victim of a prolific & sadistic kidnapper. She only survived because of a brilliant FBI agent named Reed Markham. But survival can take many forms. The time she spent with a mad man & ensuing media crush left Ellie with obvious & hidden scars. In an effort to escape her past, she changed her name & broke all ties. No one in Woodbury knows who she is or at least that’s what she thought. As another July approaches, Ellie fears someone else will disappear & there’s only one person who can help. Because she just got another card.Got your attention? I hope so because this taut, atmospheric read deserves a space on your TBR pile. It succeeds on several levels but I’ll just speak to a few. First, the setting. A small town is the perfect backdrop for setting the tone. Everyone knows everyone…or thinks they do. There is a closed culture that desperately wants to believe in “stranger danger” because horrific crimes couldn’t possibly be committed by someone they know, right? The sense of security borne of familiar faces & routines can be the first casualty when a killer strikes. But that familiarity also means that someone must know something. Then we have the 2 MC’s. Their personalities are very different but both are dealing with fallout from the case that brought them together all those years ago. There’s a plethora of crime protagonists out there that come saddled with PTSD/tortured/hidden pasts & how much I enjoy their story often depends on how they’re portrayed. When it comes to Ellie, this author struck a perfect balance (IMHO). Her public persona is cool & collected, designed to discourage anyone from getting too close. But we are privy to private moments where her thoughts & habits reveal how she copes with the permanent psychological damage from her ordeal. Especially effective are the descriptions of her home which provide a telling mirror reflection of its owner. Reed is also well developed, a likeable flawed man whose career peaked when he rescued teenage Ellie. A subsequent screw-up erased his status as golden boy of the FBI’s Behavioural Unit. When Ellie calls it’s a chance to revisit his greatest success & perhaps find a little personal redemption in the process.There’s a subtle underlying unease that gradually builds as we, like Ellie & Reed, wait for the killer to make their next move. Questionable behaviour from several characters means you may change your mind more than once as you try to identify the bad guy. And just so you know, details from Ellie’s past are sparing & kept to a minimum. The author chose to reveal a few choice tidbits instead of full on graphic descriptions which allows your imagination to run amok & fill in the blanks. It all adds up to deliver a creepy, satisfying read & I sincerely hope a book #2 is in the works.
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Suspenseful police procedural!Full review to follow shortly.
  • Wendy'sThoughts
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Winning Debut Stars* * * *1/2 Spoiler FreeThis had all the elements to cause continual reading...I took longer breaks at work... stayed up too late and got up early because I could not read this fast enough. I have a history of being a Mystery reader so my mind was working from the start and had narrowed down what I thought all of the catches were...But then this new author would throw a few things out there to make me doubt myself and instincts...so good on her... because even though I was 4.5 Winning Debut Stars* * * *1/2 Spoiler FreeThis had all the elements to cause continual reading...I took longer breaks at work... stayed up too late and got up early because I could not read this fast enough. I have a history of being a Mystery reader so my mind was working from the start and had narrowed down what I thought all of the catches were...But then this new author would throw a few things out there to make me doubt myself and instincts...so good on her... because even though I was correct in the end...She had me going many times during the reading. This was a gritty and intricate story and I think it showed off Joanna Schaffhausen talent well. ~~~~~ Before Reading ~~~~~ Yes, this Major Romance reader is cleansing the palate...No Cowboys or AlphasNo Swooning or Gahs...This time a little Hard Core Mayhem...●•●•●•●•●•●•●•It seems All to Many Times Now...Things are Happening Again...To the One who Knows how Horrific these Things can be...No One Is Listening To Her...No One is Paying Attention like they Should...Because these Things keep Happening...And She Knows it is only a Matter of Time...For It will Come Again... The Vanishing Season-December 5, 2017 A gifted copy was provided by St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for an honest review. For more Reviews, Free E-books and Giveaways
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  • Kristy K
    January 1, 1970
    Reminiscent of Mary Higgins Clark, The Vanishing Season is just dark enough and with the right amount of small twists to keep you guessing. A serial killer may be on the lose the small town where Ellery is a cop, but no one else believes her. Worse yet, the crimes may be linked to her past. And the killer is taunting Ellery with that knowledge. She calls in the FBI agent that saved her all those years ago, and together they try to bring a killer to justice. With so many people hiding secrets or Reminiscent of Mary Higgins Clark, The Vanishing Season is just dark enough and with the right amount of small twists to keep you guessing. A serial killer may be on the lose the small town where Ellery is a cop, but no one else believes her. Worse yet, the crimes may be linked to her past. And the killer is taunting Ellery with that knowledge. She calls in the FBI agent that saved her all those years ago, and together they try to bring a killer to justice. With so many people hiding secrets or acting strangely it was hard to pinpoint who may be behind the taunts to Ellery and the missing people. I felt I was constantly questioning everyone we met through Ellery and Reed and I loved that.There were a few issues (for instance: DNA testing takes more than a day and in a place like Boston there would be no special favors that didn't stem from an already huge case; also, even though Ellery's name was kept out of the press (from when she was a child), in order to become a police officer one must pass multiple background tests and psychological testing. Her boss, Chief Parker, would have been aware of her past), but on the whole an enjoyable novel.
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  • Nicole (Read Eat Sleep Repeat)
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanishing Season is not only Joanna Schaffhausen’s debut novel, it is also the 2016 winner of the Mystery Writers of America/St. Martin’s Minotaur First Crime Novel Award. And with good reason.From the very short prologue, this novel captured my attention and wouldn’t let me put it down. I had picked this from my list of advance copies to read on my kindle app at the same time as my current paperback. (This allows me to always have a book on hand even if I don’t have the space or hands for a The Vanishing Season is not only Joanna Schaffhausen’s debut novel, it is also the 2016 winner of the Mystery Writers of America/St. Martin’s Minotaur First Crime Novel Award. And with good reason.From the very short prologue, this novel captured my attention and wouldn’t let me put it down. I had picked this from my list of advance copies to read on my kindle app at the same time as my current paperback. (This allows me to always have a book on hand even if I don’t have the space or hands for a physical copy.) But after reading the prologue, I found myself picking this book up over my other current read several times, finally caving and reading the entire second half in one sitting.This certainly didn’t read like a debut novel. It was so well written, engaging all of my senses and absorbing me thoroughly in the story. The characters were all interesting and complex (which I suppose stems from Schaffhausen’s background in psychology), with emotion that poured off the page and making for intriguing relationship dynamics. I can’t not mention Bump, the main character’s adorable basset hound, who helped bring some light humor to the dark themes and was my favorite character of the bunch! I also had two completely different guesses as to who the killer was, and while one of them wound up being correct, I kept flipping back and forth between the two right up until the very end.Overall, The Vanishing Season was an extremely solid serial killer crime/mystery thriller. I, for one, can’t wait to see what Schaffhausen does next! Definitely recommended.*Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Shari
    January 1, 1970
    This award-winning debut novel is everything I want from a mystery thriller, which is my favorite sort of book. It hooked me from the get-go and kept me nearly running ahead of myself through each page because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. The characters, from protagonist cop Ellery Hathaway to the members of her small town, were easy to fix in my head as I read, and right away she is a flesh and blood person who I wanted to know. The mystery was clever and intriguing, no This award-winning debut novel is everything I want from a mystery thriller, which is my favorite sort of book. It hooked me from the get-go and kept me nearly running ahead of myself through each page because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. The characters, from protagonist cop Ellery Hathaway to the members of her small town, were easy to fix in my head as I read, and right away she is a flesh and blood person who I wanted to know. The mystery was clever and intriguing, not too easy to figure out, but full of enough plausible possibilities to keep me guessing and sure I was on the right track, only to discover a new turn in the road. The surest sign I love a book is that the closer I get to the end, the sadder I am that I'm almost finished. So, by the last page of The Vanishing Season, I was both satisfied to have read a great book and really disappointed there wasn't more. Here's hoping this is just the first of several novels from this author. Can't wait for the official publication in December of 2017! (review written based on an ARC, but my views are honest and my own)
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  • Laura Rash
    January 1, 1970
    Quite the mystery! A few twists that had me questioning whether I actually had it figured out or not. Kind of reminded me of a Lisa Jackson novel. Great characters & plot. Thanks to Minotaur for this early copy for review!
  • Mackenzie
    January 1, 1970
    First line: "It's too dark to go out but too hot to sleep."Let me start off by saying "WOW". This was an incredible read that had me hooked from the first line. I was up late into the night reading, fighting to keep my eyes open after a long day, but wanting to keep on reading nonetheless. The Vanishing Season was a magnificent read - probably one of the best I've read all year. The main character, Ellery, is a strong female coming from a tragic and troubled past who has fought for her life and First line: "It's too dark to go out but too hot to sleep."Let me start off by saying "WOW". This was an incredible read that had me hooked from the first line. I was up late into the night reading, fighting to keep my eyes open after a long day, but wanting to keep on reading nonetheless. The Vanishing Season was a magnificent read - probably one of the best I've read all year. The main character, Ellery, is a strong female coming from a tragic and troubled past who has fought for her life and come out swinging, and is now trying to make the world a better place by being a law enforcement officer in a small town in Massachusetts. She was a poignant and interesting character that held her own throughout the story. I felt a strong connection to FBI Agent Reed Markham who was a key player throughout the mystery. I also really loved the inclusion of Ellery's watchdog, Bump, whose character added a life to the story that made it feel more real. Bump is also a key to the story that may not be expected. Other secondary characters such as Chief Parker, Brady Archer, as well as a few others are well-developed, and their individual parts are all pertinent to the story.This definitely a novel that I would recommend to my friends and family, because it's just so good. I've just finished it and been sitting practically motionless thinking over the events of the story. I definitely never saw the big reveal coming until it was too late, and I was shocked. It was perfect.A big thank you to St. Martin's Press for granting my wish to read this novel, and as always thanks to Netgalley for allowing this opportunity. I am left without words and in awe of the mystery that Joanna Schaffhausen was able to string up and slowly unravel, keeping you on your toes and frantically searching for the bit of evidence that would lead you to the killer's doorstep.
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  • Dana Blazsek
    January 1, 1970
    3.5⭐- Thank you to Netgalley and Minotaur Books for an Advanced Copy of The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhauser. Ellery Hathaway is a police officer in a small town. A small town whose crimes are mostly petty theft and domestic violence. But every year, for the last three years, someone has gone missing on or around Ellery’s birthday.•As a former victim and the lone survivor of a serial killer, Ellery believes all of these cases are related. No one in her office believes her, so she calls in 3.5⭐️- Thank you to Netgalley and Minotaur Books for an Advanced Copy of The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhauser. Ellery Hathaway is a police officer in a small town. A small town whose crimes are mostly petty theft and domestic violence. But every year, for the last three years, someone has gone missing on or around Ellery’s birthday.•As a former victim and the lone survivor of a serial killer, Ellery believes all of these cases are related. No one in her office believes her, so she calls in a favor to Reed Markham— the FBI agent who saved her life 14 years ago. Together, Markham and Ellery try to make the connection between the victims before the next one is taken or the new threat in Ellery’s life gets to her. •I liked the premise of the book, but knew very quickly who the kidnapper/killer was. For a book like this, a plot twist is nice because it keeps you guessing and I feel that’s what this was missing. Again, I enjoyed the plot of the book and the author’s writing. So I would read another book by the author in the future.
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  • Anne
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this novel a great deal as it has a lot of suspense. Ellery escaped serial killer Coben years ago when she was rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham, but the emotional scars still weigh heavily on her and now that she is in law enforcement, she is determined to prevent any more deaths--even as three townspeople have gone missing. As her birthday approaches, she becomes rabid with the desire to make sure no one else goes missing--as they have once a year close to this time--so she reaches o I enjoyed this novel a great deal as it has a lot of suspense. Ellery escaped serial killer Coben years ago when she was rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham, but the emotional scars still weigh heavily on her and now that she is in law enforcement, she is determined to prevent any more deaths--even as three townspeople have gone missing. As her birthday approaches, she becomes rabid with the desire to make sure no one else goes missing--as they have once a year close to this time--so she reaches out to Reed to help. And so begins the search for answers. Who is the killer and what are the motives? And why does she receive an anonymous birthday card each year? Is it personal or coincidence? Taut and tightly written, the novel moves along at a fast pace with well-drawn characters that you are invested in; this is a solid read!
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  • Nancy McFarlane
    January 1, 1970
    Police officer Ellery Hathaway is the penultimate damaged character. She was kidnapped at age 14 and severely tortured by a serial killer before being rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham. No one where she lives now knows of her past and she fiercely protects her privacy because she doesn’t want pity or to have to relive the events publicly that she still lives with privately every day. When 3 people disappear the same time every year (on her birthday) and no one, including the sheriff, believes t Police officer Ellery Hathaway is the penultimate damaged character. She was kidnapped at age 14 and severely tortured by a serial killer before being rescued by FBI agent Reed Markham. No one where she lives now knows of her past and she fiercely protects her privacy because she doesn’t want pity or to have to relive the events publicly that she still lives with privately every day. When 3 people disappear the same time every year (on her birthday) and no one, including the sheriff, believes they are connected she reaches out to Reed Markham to help her. Markham is himself having a rough time and is on stress leave but he can’t refuse the request of the girl he saved and the victim who made him famous. The Vanishing Season is a thriller, a police procedural, a psychological study of PTSD and work force burnout. It is a look at serial killers and the impossibility of knowing who will become one and why. It develops strong and likeable characters that you will hope to see again. But, most of all, The Vanishing Season is a terrific read that you won’t be able to put down once you start.
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  • Cathy Thompson
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanishing Season was an absolutely wonderful , amazing thriller with a great plot and storyline. I just loved how the book started out !! That was it for me. I never put the book down, read through the night. Ellery is a law enforcement officer who has a tragic past that she has kept secret from her coworkers. I loved her watchdog Bump which was a big part of the storyline in my opinion. Great characters that fit perfectly with the plot . Tense , thrilling mystery with a shocking ending. Jus The Vanishing Season was an absolutely wonderful , amazing thriller with a great plot and storyline. I just loved how the book started out !! That was it for me. I never put the book down, read through the night. Ellery is a law enforcement officer who has a tragic past that she has kept secret from her coworkers. I loved her watchdog Bump which was a big part of the storyline in my opinion. Great characters that fit perfectly with the plot . Tense , thrilling mystery with a shocking ending. Just a great book! I would highly recommend this book if you like a good thriller! Thank you to Minotaur Books, St. Martins Press and Netgalley for the chance to review this digital copy. Also thanks to Author Joanna Schaffhansen !
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  • Kyle Robertson
    January 1, 1970
    This is an excellent debut novel from Joanna Schaffhausen. The prologue is haunting, and it will remain with you throughout the book. Fast forward fourteen years later and we find Ellery Hathaway investigating a ghost from her past. There have been three disappearances in the past three years, all right around Ellery's birthday. Her police chief doesn't buy Ellery's theory, and therefore does not support the investigation. He and others write it off as a crazy conspiracy theory, but Ellery knows This is an excellent debut novel from Joanna Schaffhausen. The prologue is haunting, and it will remain with you throughout the book. Fast forward fourteen years later and we find Ellery Hathaway investigating a ghost from her past. There have been three disappearances in the past three years, all right around Ellery's birthday. Her police chief doesn't buy Ellery's theory, and therefore does not support the investigation. He and others write it off as a crazy conspiracy theory, but Ellery knows deep down in her soul that she is right. The problem is, no one else in this sleepy little town knows about Ellery's past and the demons she has faced. The only person she can turn to is FBI Agent Reed Markham, the man that saved Ellery from a serial killer fourteen years before. As they begin their investigation they both start to wonder if they can trust each other and find this killer before it's too late during this year's"vanishing season".The characters are well developed, and their checkered pasts are detailed in depth. The three active cases have odd interconnections that Ellery and Reed struggle to make sense of. There are many pieces to the puzzle that just don't seem to fit as they should. The suspense slowly builds throughout the book as the list of possible suspects grows, and Ellery and Reed soon find themselves casting suspicion on each other as new evidence comes to light. This is one of those books where each character immediately comes under suspicion when they are introduced into the story. You will think you have it figured out early on, but then the series of twists and turns will make you second guess it. The author keeps you guessing right up to the shocking conclusion. I would recommend this book to fans of mysteries and thrillers. I received this as a free ARC from St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Elaine Tomasso
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank Netgalley and Minotaur Books for an advance copy of The Vanishing Season, a stand alone set in Foxbury, Massachusetts.Ellery Hathaway is a police officer in small town Foxbury. Ellie used to be Abigail but she doesn't talk about it and moved to Foxbury to hide because Abigail was the last girl kidnapped by a serial killer and the only one to survive. FBI agent Reed Markham was the man who saved her and promised he would help her when she needed him. Now she does because eve I would like to thank Netgalley and Minotaur Books for an advance copy of The Vanishing Season, a stand alone set in Foxbury, Massachusetts.Ellery Hathaway is a police officer in small town Foxbury. Ellie used to be Abigail but she doesn't talk about it and moved to Foxbury to hide because Abigail was the last girl kidnapped by a serial killer and the only one to survive. FBI agent Reed Markham was the man who saved her and promised he would help her when she needed him. Now she does because every year for the past 3 someone from Foxbury has disappeared in early July round about the time of her birthday. It's July again and the Chief still won't take her suspicions seriously so Reed is her last hope. With troubles of his own is he the man to help her?I thoroughly enjoyed The Vanishing Season. It is a good old fashioned mixture of mystery, investigation and thrills and has a good, readable flow and pace which kept me glued to the pages from start to finish. Ms Schaffhausen does an excellent job of hiding the perpetrator and the motive with plenty of false trails and red herrings. I wasn't totally convinced by the motive but as it isn't revealed until the end it doesn't mar an otherwise good read.The characterisation is interesting. Reed Markham comes over as a thoroughly nice guy but obviously burned out as he doesn't appear to have much insight for a behavioural analyst. Ellie Hathaway, on the other hand, is smart and resourceful but suspicious, almost friendless and solitary. Their dynamic is fraught.The Vanishing Season is a solid debut which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    To be reviewed!
  • Tina Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    For all of my reviews: www.readingbetweenthepagesblog.wordpr...This is a terrific debut novel by Joanna Schaffhausen. Its suspenseful, creative storyline will keep you on your toes throughout.Ellery Hathaway is a police officer in the small town of Woodbury, Massachusetts. This sleepy little town is extremely quiet and nothing ever happens, that is unless you include the three disappearances in the last three years, all during the first two weeks of July. Ellery is extremely concerned that any d For all of my reviews: www.readingbetweenthepagesblog.wordpr...This is a terrific debut novel by Joanna Schaffhausen. Its suspenseful, creative storyline will keep you on your toes throughout.Ellery Hathaway is a police officer in the small town of Woodbury, Massachusetts. This sleepy little town is extremely quiet and nothing ever happens, that is unless you include the three disappearances in the last three years, all during the first two weeks of July. Ellery is extremely concerned that any day now a fourth person will disappear, but no one will listen to her. Out of concern she decides to take matters into her own hands and calls upon an old acquaintance, Reed Markham.There are actually two mysteries in this book. The first is the current day disappearances of three local residents. They are all unsolved and no bodies have ever been found. The second mystery is Ellery’s past that she is desperately trying to keep hidden. She loves her quiet life, in a place where she feels safe and no one knows who she really is.This book is a fun and engaging read. I’m fond of books that reveal clues or hidden secrets every now and then that take the reader by surprise. I did have a hunch as to who I thought the “bad guy” was, but I’m pleased to say that it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.I have to take a moment and give a shout out to Speed Bump, Ellery’s dog, who lightened the moment many times with a bit of humor. What a fantastic, unexpected character!I think this book would make a fantastic series! I found Ellery, Reed, and of course Speed Bump to be extremely likeable. If given the chance I would love to see where she would take these characters next.*Thank you Minotaur/St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review this book via NetGalley for my honest opinion.
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  • Debbie hosie
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited about being excepted to receive an advance copy of this book to review, from the description it sounded like my kind of book. If i had seen this in a book shop and read the description i would have defiantly purchased the book on the spot!And i am so pleased to say i was not disappointed in this book in the slightest.The characters are memorable and it takes a different twist from other serial killer books which is always good to get something a little different and to see the c I was so excited about being excepted to receive an advance copy of this book to review, from the description it sounded like my kind of book. If i had seen this in a book shop and read the description i would have defiantly purchased the book on the spot!And i am so pleased to say i was not disappointed in this book in the slightest.The characters are memorable and it takes a different twist from other serial killer books which is always good to get something a little different and to see the characters in a different light.The story is set in a small community where the most crime the local police have to deal with are someones bike being stolen and that making the headlines.The only female on the small police force, Ellery, is hiding a secret and wants it to stay that way. She has managed to keep it hidden form everyone for years but that all starts to change when part of her past starts to come back and haunt her.Police detective Ellery Hathaway is a former child victim of an infamous serial killer Francis Michael Coben. She was the only survivor out of the 17 victims, rescued by FBI Agent Reed Markham. She is a survivor, she has managed to make a new life for herself and even though the scars on the outside have faded, the inner ones still haunt her.When 3 people disappear without a trace and with little or no motive, all around the time of Ellery's birthday for the past 3 years she fears that history is starting to repeat itself. She has been trying to convince her boss Police Chief Sam Parker that the disappearances are linked but without explaining her past she struggles to get any luck convincing anyone else of her theory.With her birthday looming she fears it won't be long before someone else goes missing so she phones the only person she can think of that might just believe her. The man that rescued her and saved her life, Agent Reed Markham.As the pair along with Ellery's dog Bump start digging into the cases of the missing persons, trying to find a link between the 3 cases things start to take on a menacing personal twist.Is this the work of a serial killer? And what is the link between past and present?This book is really well written and it really does draw you in and immerses you into their world. It deals with the physiological effects that still impact both Ellery and Reed and the impact that it has had on both their lives.I would love this book will become a series and what the author will sweep us away with next.This is definitely a book to recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre of books. I think we can expect good things from this author Joanna Schaffhausen and i have high hopes for her career after this book gets published on the 5th December. I would put her the same class as more well known authors such as Karin Slaughter and Mo Hayder so very high praise indeed.Congratulations Joanna on such an astounding debut and i can't wait to see what you come up with next :-)
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    She changed her name, but she could not change what happened to her in the past. Fourteen years ago, Ellery was saved by FBI agent Markman. She has tried to move on and is now a police officer in a small town. Three residents of this small town gone missing over the three years since she has been a resident. One abduction per year. Always the same time of year, around her birthday. After each abduction Ellery receives a birthday card. Who knows her real identity other than the killer, who is no She changed her name, but she could not change what happened to her in the past. Fourteen years ago, Ellery was saved by FBI agent Markman. She has tried to move on and is now a police officer in a small town. Three residents of this small town gone missing over the three years since she has been a resident. One abduction per year. Always the same time of year, around her birthday. After each abduction Ellery receives a birthday card. Who knows her real identity other than the killer, who is now in jail, and the man who wrote her story all those years ago? Now she is reaching out to that man, Reed Markman is an FBI agent with some issues. These issues have led him to not be on active duty with the FBI. So when Ellery calls, she is able to go to her assistance. This is a definite fast-paced thriller that this reader read in a 24 hour period. This is a 3.5 star read rounded to 4.
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  • Anna
    January 1, 1970
    EXCELLENT thriller. It reminded me a bit of Tana French's works, and that's one of the highest compliments I can give for this genre. It checked almost all the boxes for me: creepy disturbing murders by Coben, jaded yet lovable agent Reed, and strong female protagonist Ellery. I liked seeing all of the interwoven relationships in the small town of Woodbury, and the series of murders around Ellery's birthday kept me on the edge of my seat. I read this book all in one day because I found it that i EXCELLENT thriller. It reminded me a bit of Tana French's works, and that's one of the highest compliments I can give for this genre. It checked almost all the boxes for me: creepy disturbing murders by Coben, jaded yet lovable agent Reed, and strong female protagonist Ellery. I liked seeing all of the interwoven relationships in the small town of Woodbury, and the series of murders around Ellery's birthday kept me on the edge of my seat. I read this book all in one day because I found it that interesting and entertaining. The reason I am not giving it five stars is because my only complaint is that I predicted the twist quite early. I think the author would have benefited from a few more developed secondary characters to spread the "whodunnit" potential out. Me enjoying the book so much despite anticipating the twist is a testament to the author's strong writing and characters. I hope she writes more thrillers because I would definitely love to read them.Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC!
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  • Sue Plant
    January 1, 1970
    Would like to thank net galley and the publishers for allowing me to read and review this amazing bookWhat a ride this book gives you from the abduction of a little girl right to the end and then the story continues at an unbelievable pace... The how and the whys are all covered with a twist i never saw coming and the ending .... Just wowAn amazing story and another author to keep an eye out for
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  • Kat
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and Minotaur for the ARC copy of this novel.The Vanishing Season is a must read. I don't say this too often, but it is gripping from beginning to end. Ellery is a character that you have empathy for and is the main reason you will continue to read this book without putting it down. The mystery/thriller is set in a small town which is a character in itself. I have to say that if you like guessing who did it... then this one is definatly for you!
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  • Milena
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 StarsThe Vanishing Season is an addicting page-turner and a well written mystery about a serial killer operating in a small town in New England. Our main heroine Ellery was a victim and a lone survivor of a notorious serial killer who abducted her when she was only fourteen. She was rescued by an FBI agent Reed Markham. Fourteen years later Ellery is a police officer in Woodbury, MA where people start to disappear every year around the same time. Although nobody in town knows about her grues 4.5 StarsThe Vanishing Season is an addicting page-turner and a well written mystery about a serial killer operating in a small town in New England. Our main heroine Ellery was a victim and a lone survivor of a notorious serial killer who abducted her when she was only fourteen. She was rescued by an FBI agent Reed Markham. Fourteen years later Ellery is a police officer in Woodbury, MA where people start to disappear every year around the same time. Although nobody in town knows about her gruesome past, Ellery believes that someone knows her secret and these disappearances are connected to her abduction. Because the local police department isn't investigating these disappearances she asks Reed for help.The book sucked me in from the first page. From the sinister prologue to the very satisfying epilogue I couldn't put it down. Although I guessed early on who the killer was, there were enough interesting twists and turns to kept me glued to the pages. I did question myself and changed my mind about the suspect a couple of times but in the end my first hunch was correct. In addition to the satisfying mystery, I loved Ellery and Reed's relationship. They are bound by a traumatic event that changed both their lives forever and would always have a powerful connection. They work extremely well together to solve the murders. I also loved Bump, he was such a great furry character. I would highly recommend The Vanishing Season to all the mystery and suspense lovers. And I cannot wait to read another book by this author. *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley
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  • Leith Devine
    January 1, 1970
    The Vanishing Season is an impressive and well-written book that kept me up all night reading! The plot is compelling and the characters are fascinating. This was the first book from Joanna Schaffhausen, and I'll be looking forward to more books from her.Abigail Ellery Hathaway is the only survivor of a serial killer who stole his victims, locked them away in the closet and mutilated them. Her case was all over the media at the time. The FBI agent who rescued her, Reed Markham, wrote a book abou The Vanishing Season is an impressive and well-written book that kept me up all night reading! The plot is compelling and the characters are fascinating. This was the first book from Joanna Schaffhausen, and I'll be looking forward to more books from her.Abigail Ellery Hathaway is the only survivor of a serial killer who stole his victims, locked them away in the closet and mutilated them. Her case was all over the media at the time. The FBI agent who rescued her, Reed Markham, wrote a book about her case that became a TV movie. Ellie grew up, used her middle name so no one would recognize it and became a policeman in a small town in Massachusetts. For the last three years in early July, there have been three disappearances that Ellie is sure are murders. She's received a creepy card on her birthday (the day she was kidnaped) every year, but she can't convince her department that a killer is on the loose and she doesn't want anyone to know about her past as a survivor.As July approaches, Ellie fears another murder is coming, so she calls Agent Markham and asks for his help. Together, they start unofficially investigating until the case takes a very dark turn and Ellie's life is on the line again.This was a page turner, and I can't say enough about it. I highly recommend this book.Thanks to Minotaur Books and St. Martin's Press for granting my wish, and NetGalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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