The Vanishing Year: A Novel

by Kate Moretti

Paperback, 2016




Atria Books (2016), 304 pages


""The Vanishing Year is a stunner. A perfectly compulsive read that's impossible to put down." -Mary Kubica. "A chilling, powerful tale of nerve-shattering suspense." -Heather Gudenkauf. Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan's social elite. She is on the board of one of the city's most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips. What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe's life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn't Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her. As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she--whoever she is--vanishes completely. A "dark, twisty, edge-of-your-seat suspense" (Karen Robards), The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre"--… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member brangwinn
What started out as a Cinderella story began turning into a thriller quickly. A young woman flees her past in New York. Leaving drugs, and abuse behind her, she ends up by chance meeting a wealthy stockbroker. Only it’s not by chance she met him. She married a sociopath determined to turn her into his former wife who was killed in a hit and run. Halfway through the book, it becomes impossible to put the book down until the reader can find out if things turn out okay for Zoe.… (more)
LibraryThing member SonjaYoerg
What a treat to get to read this one early!
Framed by an intricate plot and loaded with real, breathing characters, The Vanishing Year keeps you guessing, and caring. Moretti delivers the best of psychological suspense: urgent, modern and smart. I'm addicted to Moretti's books, which just keep getting better.… (more)
LibraryThing member gpangel
Ingenious! The cunning and well laid out plot sucked me into a web of intense suspicion and edgy suspense.

For Zoe, a woman with a deeply troubling past, falling in love with Henry, a very wealthy man, who practically sweeps her off her feet, it’s a dream come true, almost like a fairy tale. Even after a year of wedded bliss, she still keeps pinching herself, unable to believe how fortunate she is.

But, Henry is not fully aware of Zoe’s past, so when she becomes the victim of a few break-ins and several other unsettling incidents, she begins to worry that her past has caught up to her, and becomes desperate to keep to preserve her secrets and possibly her life.

This story falls into the domestic thriller genre, which has suddenly risen in popularity, which is fine by me because for some reason it make the stakes seem higher, and the underlying uneasiness feels more sinister.

This book is well written, with impeccable timing and pacing, and has everything a good psychological thriller should, plus it totally screwed with my head! Good stuff! I loved it!
4.5 stars
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LibraryThing member Mishker
Zoe Whittaker seems to have a charmed life. She is the chair of a foundation for orphaned children, CARE, an issue that has deep meaning to her since she was adopted; and is married to Henry Whittaker, a Wall Street guru. Her marriage to Henry has taken her off the streets and into a fancy high-rise, she is able to travel the world and focus on what she really cares about. However, after a successful charity benefit for CARE, Zoe’s past come racing back for her. Five years prior, Zoe wasn’t even Zoe. She was Hilary Lawlor and she was running away from a mess in California. Now, she is afraid that she has been recognized at the benefit; especially when she is almost run over by a car and her apartment is broken into. Zoe wants nothing more than to feel secure and tied down, so she tries to look into her birth mother’s whereabouts. However, Henry seems unsupportive and has been becoming controlling, questioning her actions and who she is with. Now that Zoe thinks about it, Henry has many secrets in his past too; a dead wife that Zoe has never seen pictures of, dead parents and a very dedicated maid that will not say a word to Zoe. All at once, Zoe tries to find out who is trying to kill her, uncover her own past and dig deeper into the man her husband seems to be.
Several mysteries wrapped into one, The Vanishing Year kept me up late into the night with its many twists and turns. Zoe is a very real character, with a lot of trauma in her background. She has used her newfound wealth in order to do good; however she is constantly on the lookout for anyone from her past. Some of her naivety seemed overdone, and I had some parts of her mystery figured out early on. Zoe did grow on me though, as soon as she started coming into her own and getting out of her apartment, she began to question things. While Zoe was so focused on hiding her own past, she didn’t seem to push Henry into revealing any of his. Henry seemed to be the one hiding more than Zoe, and his past is locked up tighter. The suspense rose in the second half of the book as Zoe concentrates on finding her birth mother. Slowly, inklings of something more disturbing than what Zoe can imagine are being teased out and while I had an idea of who might be behind it all, I had no idea of why or to what extent until the very end where I was speed reading along to see what would happen! Overall, a slow building psychological thriller and mystery with a whirlwind ending.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member Whisper1
When Zoe Whitaker marries very rich and connected Henry Whitaker, she becomes part of the elite New York City echelon of fund raisers and a lifestyle of lavish jewels, clothing and a Tribecka large apartment. Feeling as though she is never quite accepted, Henry assures her of how very beautiful and accomplished she is.

Making all decisions, including what she should wear and where she should go, eventually Zoe finds it over bearing. Avoiding a past where drugs and a rough life were her reality, life with Henry is far different.

When Henry looses the control he demands, the relationship quickly sours. There are twists and turns in the story and, while not my usual reading matter, I've read a lot of mystery books this summer. This one is worth the read.
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LibraryThing member veeshee
Even though this novel has a similar premise to other novels from this genre, I was still excited to see how the author would make this story unique. This story had a slower build up than I had expected, which was sometimes a positive and other times a negative. I also don't think the slower pace really helped in making the story filled with more tension or horror, which I would have liked to seen; it would have made me take the story more seriously if there was a steady increase in tension or fear, and while events were definitely happening, I never felt that urgency from them. The story, told completely from Zoe's perspective, is told mostly in the present but also has excerpts from her past so that the reader gets a better idea of who she was and how she got to this point in her life. To be frank, I liked old Zoe a lot better than the new one; old Zoe actually had a personality unlike present Zoe. There were a lot of clues and red herrings thrown into the story such that I was suspicious of every character. I quite liked that because I can usually hone in to the main suspects and have the plot figured out in the first few chapters of a thriller. However, with that being said, there is such a thing as too many clues. When there are too many angles to consider, it muddles the plot, and this was something that happened here. The writing style was fine, nothing spectacular to mention but nothing terrible either. Overall, this was an interesting thriller, but nothing genre-bending. I would give this a 2.5 stars rounded to 3 and recommend to anyone who loves thrillers.… (more)
LibraryThing member LMJenkins
This thriller has a few twists, two of them major. One I saw coming and one I did not. In a time of many, many books competing to be the next "Gone Girl," this one was enjoyable but not special. I felt that Zoe Whittaker needed to be a stronger woman to be a truly compelling character. I didn't feel drawn to her back story and the moment when she meets her birth mother was very anti-climactic.… (more)
LibraryThing member bookofsecrets
Enthralling and emotional domestic suspense! THE VANISHING YEAR is the story of Zoe, a woman on the run from her dark past. Her new husband, Henry, has pulled her into his opulent world of wealth and power. Zoe will never want for anything again, as long as she can keep her secrets buried deep. Then one day, her seemingly perfect world begins to unravel.

I thought that this was a well-written psychological thriller. Gave me a feeling of unease from the beginning. I wasn’t sure which characters to trust, and what twist was waiting around the next corner. There were three *big* jaw-dropping moments, which I loved. I dislike spoilers, so I’m not going to say anymore about the plot. Enjoy the sweet (and disturbing!) surprises on your own. The epilogue was emotional and bittersweet, made me teary-eyed.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member bostonterrio
I only gave this four stars because some of the plot was a bit predictable. I listened to the audible edition and found it captivating. Interesting story line. Found the characters to be very believable.


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