Title: The Summer Children (The Collector #3)
Author: Dot Hutchison
Genres: HorrorMystery
Release Day: May 22nd 2018
ARC was kindly provided from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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.

4 stars! 

“Those who turn to violence don’t usually have solutions to offer. Or they tried, and lost, and think this is their only way forward.”

The Summer Children is the third (and final) book in the Collector trilogy. The three books even though they are part of a trilogy can easily be read as standalones, they mention previous characters but not enough for the reader to get lost. This one features Agent Ramirez who works at CAC (Crimes against Children), she returns home one night to find a young boy in front of her house, covered in blood and clutching a teddy bear. The boy tells her that the angel killed his parents and then drove him to her house because she would keep him safe.

The pattern continues with even more children showing up at her door over the course of the investigation, both girls and boys and even siblings. While her team is trying to investigate who the killer is, we get flashback chapters of a child narrating their own abuse story and in the middle of the investigation, Agent Ramirez is dealing with her own traumatic past and family fallout as well as her relationship with her girlfriend who is admittedly shaken up to have all these kids showing up in the middle of the night.

“Children don’t get hurt in your little  world.”

Dot Hutchison once more delivers a thrilling horror book I couldn’t put down, or get any sleep afterwards. It deals with a lot of abuse against children and I won’t lie, I skipped a few paragraphs here and there even though the book doesn’t go into explicit details. But it is so beautifully written, and Mercedes is a character who is always truthful with the young kids – as they too, have dealt with painful situations – that made her character so likeable and sympathetic.

The Summer Children is not my favorite book in the trilogy, The Butterfly Garden is a hard one to top – in general for its genre, I absolutely loved it – but it’s not as mild as The Roses of May but each book offers something different. The Butterfly Garden gives us an inside of a killer’s mind and MO, the whys and the hows, The Roses of May a bit more mother-daughter dynamic in the midst of a horrific situation and The Summer Children dives into the detective work. Each book has interconnected characters, Inara and Bliss from the Garden are back and I love them. Mercedes with Eddison, Sterling, and Vic are a tight group and their friendly banter brings a levity to the dark genre with a few jokes thrown in as well. Definitely a powerful ending to a haunting trilogy.

other books in the series


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2 thoughts on “The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison”

  1. I don’t usually go for thrillers – just not my thing – but OMG do I like the sound of this one. I mean, the image of a little boy holding the teddy bear is doing me in. (Which is saying a lot considering that I was born with no maternal instincts. LOL) And it’s so creepy that the kids aren’t just left behind, but dropped at her door. Ack. Not sure I’d read the whole trilogy but this one definitely sounds like one I’d consider.
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…WWW Wednesday #5 | May 9, 2018My Profile

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