Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Summer Children Review


Date Published: May 22, 2018

Author: Dot Hutchison

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Number of Pages: 300 Pages

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

First Thoughts:

I've always been fascinated with this series. From the first moment I finished "The Butterfly Garden" I was hooked on this series.If you haven't read the first two books in the series "The Butterfly Garden" and "The Roses of May" I caution you to read those two first. Though it isn't all that necessary to understand this story. Also this may have triggers for those that have been through abuse as a child! So stay steady! Other than that I really enjoyed this book and it didn't let me down.

Goodreads Summary: 

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 and 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.


This book started out slow, it took me a little bit to get into it. But once I was able to immerse myself in their world again it picked right up. It dealt with a lot of sensitive issues with both sexual and physical abuse. Not really graphic so it was okay in that sense. But it was definitely hard to read at times because of the content. These kids ranging in ages had to witness their parents killed in front of them...just the psychology of it was mind blowing. Definitely a book for psychology majors and fans. The ending was satisfying in one way but not in another. Not going to go into too much detail but the ending wasn't surprising and left me a little frustrated. The twists were good, it always popped up when you least expected it. It definitely tied in the first two books some but it was subtle. Anyways it was pretty good overall and definitely left the reader yearning for more. Though I do think there will be another book, definitely left an opening for one.


There wasn't really much romance in this book. I mean the main character Mercedes's did have a relationship but it wasn't the main focus of the book. I think it was a wise choice not to make it a big deal because it would've made the book more chaotic. But her relationship and perhaps another one near the end gave the reader a comic relief. It let the reader take a break from the main conflict of the story and focus on something less serious.


I thought Mercedes was a great and likable character. She was strong and weak at times making her a more reliable and realistic character. The other characters from the first two books were brought in at the right times and added and even more enjoyable experience. Some of the characters were really enjoyable to read along with while others were an added dread. Mercedes girlfriend especially was hard to enjoy, she just couldn't deal with what Mercedes had to do for her job even though she also worked for the FBI. But she did work in a desk job so their two worlds were totally different. And the children were hard to read about, they had such a horrific life and yet was made worse by being an orphan. Anyways definitely relateable characters that were put into the story when needed.

Transformation of Character:

Mercedes did some transforming in this book, though she stayed the same some too. It was like she had to overcome her past but at the same time had to keep some of her old self. Anyways it was fun to see her overcome her obstacles and see her become who she was meant to be but I think she still has some transforming to do. Whether she does, we might never know.


Like I mentioned above the scenes weren't all that gruesome, but the situation and how it was described made it seem so terrible. It made you feel and become a part of the story. I thought the author did a great job on describing the scenes and allowing the reader to understand the severity of what was happening. Also the way the world was described and built allowed the reader to really picture each scene. 


This book was written in first person and in multiple POV'S. I think it could've perhaps been better if it was in third person because it would've given a wider expanse on seeing all that was happening but then we wouldn't have been able to connect with Mercedes and understand her view of the situation. So I'll just leave it at that. And the two pov's just left the author yearning for more view of the story. The writing itself is easy to read and get attached to. Very inspirational and fun to read.

Quote of the Book:

"There's an outer limit to how much you can heal. There comes a point where time just isn't a factor anymore: it's done as much as it can do."

Last Thoughts:

Loved this author's stories and writing and look forward to see what else she has in store for her readers! She definitely has a keen knack for writing and has an eye to detail and getting the reader to engage in the book. Whether it be sitting on the edge of my seat or sitting as cool as a cucumber. I definitely recommend this series to anyone who loves good writing and FBI inspired writing. 

My Rating:

4 Blooms!