The Summer Children by Dot Hutchison
Publication: May 22, 2018 by Thomas & Mercer
Find it on Goodreads: The Summer Children
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.
The Summer Children is the third book in The Collector series. I listened to this book on audio and it felt pretty short to me. I think the book is just shy of 300 pages and it was around 10 hours long. It could have been a little longer for me. It didn’t feel very suspenseful—I wasn’t at the edge of my seat like I was with the first two books. Outside of the first three books in this series and one or two Stephen King books, I haven’t read any other thrillers. With that being said, I gave this book 3/5 stars. This book definitely covers tough topics.
Trigger Warnings: abuse, sexual assault, and drug overdose all having to do with children. Let me know if I’ve missed anything else.
This is the first book I’ve read that covers topics like these; I have no idea whether or not these events were depicted accurately.
The sad truth is that the kind of abuse and brainwashing occurring in this story happens every day to children and adults alike. One of the young girls in this story genuinely thought it was okay that her parents did what they did. Some parts of this book were very hard to listen to. My husband walked into the room while it was on, and he even felt uncomfortable listening to it.
The “avenging angel” in this story was definitely dealt a rough hand in life. Her brain and thought process were beyond unhinged, especially towards the end. I can understand why someone would justify her actions in the beginning, especially when we find out why she is the way she is. But along the way, she became more deranged. She obviously didn’t realize her actions caused more trauma for the kids involved.
This book touches on the FBI agents’ personal relationships as well and how the cases affect their home life. I wish we saw more of the other characters and their personal experiences with these cases.
The way Mercedes dealt with her past and her family was justified to me. After being abused by her father, she did not give in to the constant harassment from her family. I know families can have a tendency to make an estranged member feel guilty for cutting off contact. When this happens, some people forgive and end up being hurt all over again. Mercedes stuck to her guns and refused to put herself back into such a toxic environment and I admire her strength in that regard.
Overall, it was a decent book. The audiobook narrator was good and it was a quick read. The topic and lack of suspense made it a three star read for me.
Next, I’ll be reviewing An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson and Make Me Bad by R.S. Grey when it releases in two days.