The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen: A Visual Guide

GIFnotes: Giving you the basic plot summary of an upcoming book with the help of the Graphics Interchange Format.

Winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Competition, take a visual tour through Joanna Schaffhausen’s accomplished debut, The Vanishing Season!

Ellery Hathaway knows a thing or two 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…

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 all those years ago.

Agent Reed Markham made his name and fame on the back of the Coben case, but his fortunes have since turned.

His marriage is in shambles…

His bosses think he's washed up…

And worst of all, he blew a major investigation.

When Ellery calls him, he can’t help but wonder: sure, he rescued her, but was she ever truly saved?

His greatest triumph is Ellery’s waking nightmare, and now both of them are about to be sucked into the past, back to the case that made them … with a killer who can't let go.

Want more GIFs? Take a visual tour through Con Lehane's second 42nd Street Library Mystery Murder in the Manuscript Room!


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Joanna Schaffhausen is a scientific editor who spends her days immersed in research on potential new therapies for cancer, addiction, and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Previously, she worked as an editorial producer for ABC News, where she advised and wrote 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.