Book Review: The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson

summerchildren
Book Title and Author: The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison
Series: The Collector #3
Publication Date and Publisher: May 22, 2018 by Thomas & Mercer
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Series, Mystery
Pages: 300 pages
Buy on Amazon.com
Date Read: May 04, 2018 (e-arc)
Goodreads

5 Stars

Goodreads Synopsis:

This FBI agent has come to expect almost anything—just not this…
When Agent Mercedes Ramirez finds an abused young boy on her porch, covered in blood and clutching a teddy bear, she has no idea that this is just the beginning. He tells her a chilling tale: an angel killed his parents and then brought him here so Mercedes could keep him safe.
His parents weren’t just murdered. It was a slaughter—a rage kill like no one on the Crimes Against Children team had seen before. But they’re going to see it again. An avenging angel is meting out savage justice, and she’s far from through.
One by one, more children arrive at Mercedes’s door with the same horror story. Each one a traumatized survivor of an abusive home. Each one chafing at Mercedes’s own scars from the past. And each one taking its toll on her life and career.
Now, as the investigation draws her deeper into the dark, Mercedes is beginning to fear that if this case doesn’t destroy her, her memories might.

My Review:

Wow, I did not expect The Summer Children to be such a fabulous conclusion to The Collector Series trilogy! Dot Hutchison is an extremely talented author and she does a phenomenal job writing chilling, horror-filled thrillers that leave you on the edge of your seat. This book was most certainly a page-turner that kept me reading late into the night until the very end.

Just like Hutchison’s 2nd book, The Roses of May, book three is not a direct sequel to either book one or two. It has a completely unrelated and horrifying case for the original FBI team that we met in The Butterfly Garden to solve (now with the addition of Agent Sterling who we met in book two and now has been promoted to lead the team in book three), and the novel’s personal focus this time is on Agent Ramirez where in book one the focus was on Vic when dealing with the victims–the “Butterflies” and in book two, it was on Eddison and his relationship with Priya, the target of an insane serial killer.

This time, the story is much more personal as Agent Mercedes Ramirez comes home one night with her date to find a young boy, covered in blood, waiting for her on her front porch. He says an “angel” killed his parents while making him watch then told him Ramirez would keep him safe. This is just the beginning of abused children showing up at Ramirez’s door after the “angel” slaughters their parents and tells them Ramirez will protect them.

Not only is the new case about looking for a vigilante in the guise of an angel killing abusive parents and delivering those children to Ramirez for protection, but it’s about learning more about Ramirez and her past. Why is the angel so sure that Ramirez will keep the children safe? Is there some connection between the two woman and if so, what? These are questions that need to be answered, and Hutchison does a wonderful job keeping the reader engaged and captivated by her excellent characters and well-written story as the agents search for the answers to these questions and race to stop a killer.

While the book was a very difficult read at times with the topics of child abuse (physical and emotional), child molestation, rape, and child neglect, which of course are triggers for many, including myself, the way Hutchison focuses on the more personal and emotional side of Ramirez and how she relates to the crimes, explores her past (why she became an FBI agent and why saving children is her personal mission), and focuses on her relationship with the rest of the team, the book is not the overwhelmingly difficult read it could be.

This really is my favorite of the three books in The Collector Series, and I thought it was a perfect ending to the trilogy although I’d love to see a book four now that we have Agent Sterling in the team. I really loved her, and I want to see what happens with the storyline that Hutchison was writing for her in book three! Also, as a huge fan of The Butterfly Garden, I was so happy to see how Hutchison entwined some of those characters, along with Priya from book two, into this story. It was wonderful to see where they were today, and the ending scenes of the book with them made me cry since I felt like there was closure there for all of them…finally.

I highly recommend The Summer Children if you enjoy a suspense-filled, fast-paced, twisted, thrill ride with fantastic characters! It more than delivers, and I can’t wait to see what Hutchison writes next!

**Thank you Netgalley, Thomas & Mercer, and Dot Hutchison for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. **

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About the Author: Dot Hutchison

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Twitter: dothutchison
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
I’m a (mostly) YA writer with a background in theatre, Renaissance Festival living chessboards, and freefalls. I can lose hours at a time Wiki-surfing interesting articles that may or may not have anything to do with my research, and I like to think that St. George regretted killing that dragon for all the rest of his days. A WOUNDED NAME came out in 2013 from Carolrhoda Lab; THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN in June 2016 from Thomas & Mercer, and ROSES OF MAY will be following in 2017.
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20 thoughts on “Book Review: The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson

    1. I wasn’t pissed off, but I didn’t like it at all. I think I read it before I started blogging, so I’m not sure I really talked about the ending with anyone. The ending was an unexpected surprise and completely unnecessary…it was stupid really. I think it was in the last 10 pages or so, or it otherwise would have ruined the book. Maybe it did for some people…I will have to read some reviews. I still gave it 5 stars because overall the storyline was excellent and creepy AF. I remember being freaked out by the whole book, and that rarely ever happens.

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    1. I’m not sure! The first book I found because it was a free 1st to read through Amazon Prime for my Kindle and then the last 2 were read now on NetGalley. Book 1 is definitely different than book 2 or 3, which made some people not like book 2, but it didn’t bother me. Book 1 was very dark and chilling (I have reviews for The Butterfly Garden and The Roses of May posted from last summer if you think you might want to read the books) while book 2 started to focus more on the agents. It is a series I thoroughly enjoyed! You’re welcome!

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  1. I know your review is amazing as usual, Stephanie, but I’m starting it this week and will have to read through your whole review later. I really want to go into this one completely blind! I’m so happy to see your 5-stars. I wasn’t pleased with the second and I’m seriously hopeful for the final installment. ❤ Have a great week!

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    1. Aww, thanks Jenn! I understand wanting to go in blind! It was 5 stars for me, but I liked book 2…so…lol. It’s much different than both I will say. A combo of the creepiness from book 1 and the more personal of book 2. I hope you like it, it was my fave of the trilogy. You too!! And I’ll try…I’m going crazy planning my dad’s 70th b-day party in 2 weeks…80 people from church, family, he works with are coming!! Then my son’s graduating June 12th and his party is the following Friday and that Saturday before father’s day is Kayley’s 8th birthday, lol. I’m going to be partied out! And I just had new living room furniture delivered about 30 min ago because I randomly decided to redecorate the room…lol.

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  2. Wow, I definitely like the sound of this one. Interesting to know that the series ends with such a strong book. Most series tend to fizzle out towards the end. I am definitely intrigued by this one. Great review!

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    1. That’s true, they do! And I could be in the minority. I haven’t read but a few reviews but the ones I read agreed with me at least that it was 5 stars. I know a lot of people disliked book 2 because it was so different than book 1, which it was but I think that was on purpose since she wasn’t focusing so much on the crimes but the focus of each book was so we could learn more about each agent and see the crimes through their eyes. This book really intensified that ideal, and shows what she had in mind. Thanks so much!

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    1. It was! Although….a lot of people disliked book 2 since it was quite a departure from book 1, but I didn’t since I realized she was writing through the agent’s POVs with the victims/crimes and not totally focusing on the crimes. If you can read it, and go into each book expecting differences bur at the same time a well written story then they are very enjoyable. Thank you!!

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      1. Oh, you’re welcome! I’d hate you to decide to read it and not know and then get to book 2 and go wth? Lol. I know when I reviewed both book 1 and 2 that I had to address the difference from 1 to 2, and I do like book 1 better for it’s absolute creep factor.

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