I picked up The Vanishing Season to read along with the Black Hearts Reads book club. This mystery follows Ellery, a small town police officer, on the hunt for a supposed serial killer. Three people have gone missing in her town in three years, all around the same time: fourth of July weekend. She thinks there is a connection to the missing people, but without any bodies or evidence of foul play, no one else on the force agrees with her suspicions. But for Ellery, there is more to it: Every time someone has gone missing, it has been around Ellery’s birthday and a card arrives at her home. These cards are causing her more and more dread as they call to mind her fourteenth birthday when she herself was abducted by a serial killer. An FBI agent, Reed, found her three days later, just before her abductor was going to cut off her hands, his trademark trophy. Ellery is sure that her jailed abductor is somehow behind the recent disappearances in her town and she calls upon her old savior Reed to help her solve the case.
I feel like this novel is a solid debut mystery. There are a lot of dynamics going on that I really liked. The past and the present twining together add a lot of depth to the plot and the characters had good development. I did feel like there was perhaps a little too much inner dialogue happening, I was hoping for a little more action and suspense but it came in spurts. Overall I did like this book, but I have a feeling it is not the type to stay with me long after I’ve read it. I rate it 3/5 stars.