The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen

Three people in three years have gone missing from a small Massachusetts town where officer Ellery Hathaway works. Ellery can’t help but think there is a connection between these recent disappearances. Maybe it is because she is haunted by her past. Being the lone survivor of a serial killer’s ravaging, Ellery is plagued to see the workings of something more sinister than the mere coincidence of horrible circumstances. Without the support from her fellow officers, Ellery must take matters into her own hands. She contacts the FBI agent, Reed Markham, that once rescued her, putting her faith into his expertise. Ellery’s persistence in her theories make everyone start to question whether there is truly a connection they are missing or if Ellery is struggling to move on from her troubling past.

Everyone has their skeletons. We all have things we hide from the world, and when those secret surface- especially at a time of skepticism - all faults can lead to presumed guilt. This is what I loved about this book. Each character had their flaws or secrets that lead a reader to question their innocence. Page by page I found myself going back and forth between who I thought did what, and how they were involved.

It has been awhile since I have come across a thriller that I feel is a true psychological thriller. Fast paced with twists and turns, and questionable characters that make a reader think they are losing their minds trying to determine the truth. It is books such as The Vanishing Season that brought me to love this genre. If you are looking for something to jump start your new year, this is the title to start with.

***Thank you to Netgalley and Minotaur Books for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.


Schaffhausen, J. (2017). The vanishing season. NY: Minotaur Books.