Book Review for THE VANISHING SEASON by Joanna Schaffhausen

THE VANISHING SEASON by Joanna Schaffhausen
Minotaur Books
☕ ☕ ☕ ☕

My Highly Caffeinated Thought: A gritty crime novel with tormented characters, a hidden past, and a few twists.

THE VANISHING SEASON is a sensational debut novel from Joanna Schaffhausen. I will admit that the creepy clown card that the publisher sent with the book freaked me out a bit, but I still managed to get past my coulrophobia and dive in.


Even though the story of a woman being confronted with her horrific past is not unheard of in a thriller, the thing that set this book apart, for me at least, was the writing. Schaffhausen managed to get to the core of her characters and develop them in a way that heightened the mystery and suspense. Both Ellery Hathaway and Agent Reed Markham are such honest and flawed people, that you can't help but get drawn into the drama surrounding the murders in this book.

This smart, complex, and completely addictive thriller has me anxiously waiting for Schaffhausen's next book.

Reviewer Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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.

Find the book on Amazon.

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 lives in the Boston area with her husband and daughter. The Vanishing Season is her first novel.

Book Details:

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (December 5, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250126045
ISBN-13: 978-1250126047

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