The vanishing season

Joanna Schaffhausen

Book - 2019

"Ellery Hathaway knows 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--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.&qu...ot; --

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1st Floor MYSTERY/Schaffha Joanna Due Aug 9, 2024
Detective and mystery stories
Suspense fiction
Mystery fiction
Thrillers (Fiction)
Detective and mystery fiction
New York : Minotaur Books 2019.
Main Author
Joanna Schaffhausen (author)
First Minotaur Books paperback edition
Item Description
Originally published: London: Titan Books, 2018.
Physical Description
viii, 289 pages ; 21 cm
St Martin's Minotaur Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Her boss can't figure out why police officer Ellery Hathaway insists there's a pattern in the disappearances of two residents of Woodbury, Massachusetts, over the past few years. What Ellery's not saying is that she is a violent-crime survivor herself and has received an unsigned birthday card on the anniversary of her own abduction whenever a townsperson goes missing. Fearing another neighbor is about to be taken, she asks the FBI agent who found her 14 years ago to help her unlock the mystery. When he arrives, however, he finds a woman who is not dealing with her dark past as effectively as she thinks she is. Agent Reed Markham hasn't weathered the last decade and a half unscathed, either, despite his well-publicized rescue of Ellery and subsequent publishing of a best-selling book about the case. Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America award for First Crime Novel Competition, this gripping thriller will be sure to please fans of Karin Slaughter. Schaffhausen is a science editor who has worked as an editorial producer for ABC News.--Keefe, Karen Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

In Schaffhausen's powerful if implausible first novel, Ellery "Ellie" Hathaway is the only cop in Woodbury, Mass., convinced that the baffling disappearances from the small town-one every July for the past three years-are connected to each other, and to sadistic imprisoned serial killer Francis Michael Coben. She's also the only one of Coben's victims to survive. Fearing the worst as the July window once again looms, Ellie reluctantly reaches out to the one person she thinks might be willing to help: FBI profiler Reed Markham, who cracked the Coben case 14 years earlier and rescued her. The other members of the Woodbury force are less than pleased by Markham's arrival, especially when it's followed within days by a grisly present on Ellie's porch-a severed hand, Coben's signature. Although the book's eventual big reveal feels contrived, until then the complex plot and affecting characters-especially gritty survivor Ellie and her basset hound, Bump-make for some nail-bitingly tense thrills. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

DEBUT On her 14th birthday, Abigail -Hathaway became the 17th young woman abducted by notorious serial killer Frances Coben and the only one to survive. Fourteen years later, Hathaway-using her middle name, Ellery, to hide her past-is a cop in a small Connecticut town who's concerned about the disappearances of three people over the past three summers. At the same time, she's been receiving anonymous cards on her birthday. Unable to arouse her police chief's concern without revealing her past, Hathaway calls FBI agent Reed Markham, who rescued her from Coben. Markham is currently on leave after botching a case, as well as having troubles at home, but he responds to her request for assistance. Together, they dig into the missing-persons cases that seem to center on her, wondering if a copycat serial killer is at work. VERDICT Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, this debut thriller occasionally strains credulity, notably in Hathaway's keeping her past hidden, and seasoned mystery readers are likely to spot the perpetrator before she and Markham do. Still, it's a nice diversion for readers with a taste for serial killers. [See Prepub Alert, 6/12/17.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

The survivor of a childhood kidnapping investigates a series of missing persons who may be tied to her own history.Inspired by her traumatic past as the victim of a kidnapping, Abby Hathaway, who now goes by her middle name, Ellery, serves as a member of Massachusetts' Woodbury Police Department in an effort to protect others. But a string of missing persons incidents in her jurisdiction has Ellery worried that she's not as able to protect her fellow citizens as much she would like. Bea Nesbit, Mark Roy, and Shannon Blessing could just be a string of runaways, but to Ellery it seems obvious that their disappearances are signs of something much worse. Ellery's insight into the riddle may be tied to the cards she gets in the mail from someone who appears to know secrets of her past she's tried very hard to hide. Not sure what to do, Ellery contacts Reed Markham, the FBI agent who cracked the case Ellery was once at the heart of and rescued her from sadistic Francis Coben, who was almost certainly going to kill her. Reed has been more fixated on his work than his family, causing no good for either, so he welcomes Ellery's help on an informal basis. He shares her fear that the disappearances may be following Coben's original pattern and her conviction that they need to act soon before someone else vanishes. The biggest obstacle in their investigation is Markham's suspicion that Ellery may be not just an investigator, but a suspect, but this idea isn't given enough weight to intensify the suspense. Though it reads more like a dabbling in the genre than a fully realized thriller, Schaffhausen's debut gives evidence that she may develop into an author more in control of readers' emotional attention in future work. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.