Review: The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

Title: The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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.


The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti is a suspense-laden psychological mystery.

Beautiful socialite Zoe Whittaker leads an enviable life with her wealthy husband, Henry.  Her gorgeous husband lavishes her with extravagant gifts, pampers her with lavish vacations and refuses to allow her to lift a finger around their beautiful apartment. However, her storybook life begins to fall apart after someone from her distant past recognizes her at a charity event she organized. Zoe has been keeping a dark secret about the events that led to her precipitous move and name change several years earlier and she is deathly afraid of anyone learning the truth about her. 

Feeling a bit unmoored as memories begin to haunt her, Zoe decides to renew her search for her biological mother. At the same time, she meets with local reporter Cash Murray to dissuade him from using any pictures of her in his accompanying article for his feature on her charity event. A little preoccupied by thoughts of her past, Zoe is stunned when Henry throws harsh accusations her way and his attention begins to feel more controlling than loving. Following a couple of unsettling incidents, Zoe is certain her past is catching up with her but is the truth more frightening than she can possibly imagine?

Little by little, Zoe has given up bits and pieces of her identity since meeting Henry.  Transformed from the purple-haired, multiple pierced apprentice floral designer into a sleek, polished millionaire’s wife, she is content to let Henry make all the decisions in their marriage.  Filling her days with charity work and shopping, she is a little bored, but overall she is satisfied with their life.  However, with no living relatives (excerpt Henry), Zoe cannot help but feel the need to renew her search for her biological mother.  Dismayed but undeterred by Henry’s vehement objections, she takes Cash up on his offer to help with her search.

Having never witnessed anything but loving attention from Henry, Zoe is astonished by his sudden and inexplicable mood swings.  Her once charming and adoring husband is sometimes frightening as he places unreasonable demands on who she can see and what she can do.  Even more disconcerting are his unfounded and abrupt allegations that her relationship with Cash might go beyond friendship.  Suddenly unsure of how Henry’s reactions, Zoe carefully guards what she tells him as she renews old friendships and continues looking for information about her ongoing search for her mother.

With a series of puzzling incidents, a scandalous past and a marriage that is perhaps a little too good be true, The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti is a riveting mystery that is full of spectacular twists, turns and astonishing revelations.  Although initially a bit slow-paced, the novel quickly gathers steam as it hurtles to a stunning conclusion.  All in all, an outstanding mystery that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.

1 Comment

Filed under Atria Books, Contemporary, Kate Moretti, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Suspense, The Vanishing Year

One Response to Review: The Vanishing Year by Kate Moretti

  1. Timitra

    Sounds good…Thanks for sharing your thoughts Kathy