• Wendy Wanner

Book Review: The Vanishing Season by Dot Hutchinson


Highly Recommended

A masterful blend of fear, compassion, and love; a child abductor tears lives asunder while a team of FBI agents works to find answers and rebuild shattered families.


The Vanishing Season is an un-put-downable finale to Dot Hutchinson’s The Collector Series. The kidnapping of blonde-haired, blue-eyed eight-year-old Brooklyn Mercer throws FBI agent Eliza Sterling and co-worker/boyfriend Agent Brandon Eddison into the limelight.


Battling memories of the abduction of his own eight-year-old sister decades earlier, Brandon and other retired agents never able to move past seventeen other cold cases, come together to stop a string of kidnappings spanning the United States and lasting decades.


This story is masterfully told from the perspective of Eliza, who physically resembles the victims to a T. Her likeness forces her both into the shadows to avoid raising painful memories with the families as well as into the forefront of the investigation when the Crimes Against Children team needs to force their hand.


I enjoy novels that offer more than a singular storyline, and this book has many — from Eliza’s struggle to overcome an abusive past, Bran’s unbridled rage and pain at losing his sister, and the Butterfly girls moving past the trauma of being held captive by the Gardener, to Priya’s acceptance of her sister’s murder. This fourth book in the series ties up all running plot lines.


My only criticism was the final chapter, which dumped a lot of information on the reader with a jarring shift in point of view. That aside, The Vanishing Season was an engrossing novel full of fear, compassion, and love. I’ll miss this flawed and scarred cast.

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