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The Vanishing Season: A Mystery Hardcover – December 5, 2017
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The Amazon Book Review
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"[A] stunning debut. Schaffhausen devises a clever storyline, complete with an ingenious pattern, a skillful piece of misdirection and a conclusion that simultaneously troubles and satisfies." ―The Richmond-Times Dispatch
"A gripping and powerful read. It is what we call edge-of-your-seat, rollercoaster of a thriller. You will not be able to put it down before you finish it."―The Washington Book Review
"Poignant and gripping...Schaffhausen keeps the fresh plot of The Vanishing Season churning without resorting to cliches. Believable and flawed characters enhance the realistic twists, down to the denouement. Ellery should be able to support a long-running series.―The Philadelphia Inquirer
“The Vanishing Season won the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Novel Competition. Given the precise prose, the suspenseful plot and the emotionally tortured characters, to say nothing of an irresistible basset hound named Bump, it’s easy to see why.”―Associated Press
“Crime fanatics and mystery lovers will love this story. Schaffhausen really nails the genre and the character development beautifully.”―Huffington Post
"Powerful...the complex plot and affecting characters―especially gritty survivor Ellie and her basset hound, Bump―make for some nail-bitingly tense thrills." ―Publishers Weekly
"Schaffhausen’s debut is a fantastic, convoluted thriller that will have her audience on the edge of their seats, taking notes to catch every crumb of a clue. Ellery and Reed, her protagonists, are complex yet brilliantly believable, competent yet very imperfectly human.The villain is both evil and cunning. The storytelling is exceptional and the dialogue is powerful. This chilling tale will have readers guessing till the end! This one is sure to end upon the bestseller list." ―RT Book Reviews
“Joanna Schaffhausen’s The Vanishing Season is a gripping debut with a plot twist readers won’t see coming. The main character, Ellery Hathaway, is a survivor whose grace, intelligence, and grit reminded me of Clarice Starling.”―HALLIE EPHRON, author of Night Night, Sleep Tight
"Dark, disturbing, and relentlessly sinister―this intense thriller plumbs the darkest corners of terror, survival and psychological damage. Be warned: leave on the light! But start reading right now."―HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN
"The Vanishing Season introduces small-town police detective Ellery Hathaway, a former child victim of an infamous sadistic psychopath. While attempting to hide the scars of past trauma, Ellery must hunt a terrifying serial killer whose methods eerily echo her former abuser’s. Is she next on his list? Schaffhausen does equal justice to Ellery’s inner and outer struggles as she keeps the plot twists coming in this gripping, compulsively readable debut. Be prepared to lose sleep."―ELISABETH ELO, author of North of Boston
"A twisted story with an unforgettable protagonist and a drop-book-in-lap, sneaky twist that will make you say WOW!"―SHANNON KIRK, author of Method 15/33
About the Author
Joanna Schaffhausen wields a mean scalpel, skills developed in her years studying neuroscience. She has a doctorate in psychology, which reflects her long-standing interest in the brain―how it develops and the many ways it can go wrong. Previously, she worked for ABC News, writing 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.
Top customer reviews
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The character development was on point! I love seeing two conflicting sides to the main character. On one hand, there's the scared 14-year-old girl, who had been abducted, but on the other is a tough and determined officer, who keeps moving forward and displaying courage.
This book was well written and kept me invested enough to read it in one sitting. It's appropriate for young adults, as there are only a few mentions of mildly graphic content. I thought the plot was creative, and despite similar ideas in other books, this one had a very fresh feel!
There were two things that bothered me. The first was the author's overuse of a particular plot device. She likes to bring up some big secret, but then not provide any detail about what it is until much later on. Normally, this would be an outstanding form of suspense, as I love gathering up questions and feeling desperate to read on and see how they're answered. However, in this case, almost every single character had some dark past secret, that went unanswered for a while. Furthermore, if she's not going to share what the secret is until later, then I don't want to be thoroughly and consistently reminded in almost every chapter that there's some big thing I still know nothing about.
The other issue that I had was with the ending. Don't get me wrong, the villain reveal was superb! Very shocking and unpredictable! In fact, you can tell the author put a lot of time and thought into the twists and turns as far as creativity is concerned. My issue was with the actual series of events. I won't spoil it, but it had a James Bond feel. Supervillian is discovered and decides to invite Bond over for some dinner, and then elaborately explains how he will kill Bond by some exotic poison, or by ever-so-slowly lowering him into a shark tank, or by strapping him to a table while a laser beam slowly advances. My point is that the events in the ending of this book just seemed a little clunky and pointless.
That all sounded very negative, however, I still think it's absolutely worth 4 stars and nothing less, because these two issues were very trivial and inconsequential in comparison to the other amazing aspects of the story. I do recommend this to someone who loves this genre!
the reader wonder if anyone they know is a sick, evil person masquerading as normal.