The Vanishing Season; a Thomas & Mercer Book Review

The Vanishing Season
A recent abduction becomes an unexpected link to a decades-long spree of unspeakable crimes. Eight-year-old Brooklyn Mercer has gone missing. And as accustomed as FBI agents Eliza Sterling and Brandon Eddison are to such harrowing cases, this one has struck a nerve. It marks the anniversary of the disappearance of Eddison’s own little sister. Disturbing, too, is the girl’s resemblance to Eliza—so uncanny they could be mother and daughter. With Eddison’s unsettled past rising again…

Book 4 in The Collector series is The Vanishing Season written by Dot Hutchison. Sadly this is the last book in the series. It does a great job of wrapping up a big mystery for the team of the Crimes Against Children division. The anniversary of Eddison's sister is here, it's been 25 years since Faith Eddison disappeared while walking home from school. She has never been seen again and his family still fights to find her. Now, 8 year old Brooklyn Mercer has gone missing. She is also a blonde hair, blue eyed girl just like his sister, AND just like his team member Eliza Sterling. Eliza and Bran Eddison are in a relationship in addition to working on the same task force.

The Vanishing Season brings the whole series together

If you have been reading the whole series of The Collector, you will be glad to know that there are a lot of flashbacks that answer a lot of questions that we all had about Faith. One scene in particular is about Faith's last Halloween before her abduction. You see the sweet caring connection that Brandon has with his sister. You realize how close Faith was with 3 other girlfriends. Those girlfriends play a part in this book as well as they are all now adults.

There is also a return of Ian Matson, a retired Tampa Police Department Detective who was the lead detective on Faith's disappearance. Ian took a special place in Bran's life when he helped him channel his anger as he grew up. They have always remained in touch. So when Ian arrives to meet with Bran in person after he hears about the Brooklyn Mercer case, the team is shocked to hear his theories. When his theory starts making valid connections, the case starts moving at lightening speed.

Eliza has to take the lead, because Bran is removed from the case due to conflict of interest. She knows how hard it is for him to be on the outside, so she pushes with everything she has got to solve this complex mystery. Other characters come in to the story due to other strange connections and soon the team is coordinating with many states to get everything done before the news story breaks.

The only issue I had with this book, and it's hard for me to stay because I love this story and the whole series so much, is the continuous description of the behavior between Bran and Eliza. At first you read about the subtle intertwining of fingers that they do when they wait for news. At first this is touching, you can tell how much they are in love and how much they draw strength from each other. It tells you that they are conscious of keeping their relationship professional at work. Great. The second time this same description comes up you know that it's a thing for them. Ok. By the tenth time of describing their fingers finding each other I was getting to the point that I was glossing over those paragraphs. Keep reading despite this repetition of their interactions, The Vanishing Season is excellent and the amount of characters coming together to make everything happen is well worth the read.

The Collector series books

  1. The Butterfly Garden (The Collector Book 1)
  2. The Roses of May (The Collector Book 2)
  3. The Summer Children (The Collector Book 3)
  4. The Vanishing Season (The Collector Book 4)

Disclosure:  Thank you to Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a complimentary copy of this e-book for review purposes.  No other compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.

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