The Summer Children

The Summer Children

by Dot Hutchison


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542049887
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 05/22/2018
Series: Dot Hutchison's Collectors Series , #3
Pages: 302
Sales rank: 104,348
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dot Hutchison is the author of The Butterfly Garden and The Roses of May, the first two books in The Collector Trilogy; as well as A Wounded Name, a young adult novel based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Hutchison loves thunderstorms, mythology, history, and movies that can and should be watched on repeat. She has a background in theater, Renaissance Festival living chessboards, and freefalls. She likes to think that St. George regretted killing that dragon for the rest of his days. For more information on her current projects, visit or connect with her on Tumblr (, Twitter (@DotHutchison), or Facebook (

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The Summer Children 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Mackey St More than 1 year ago
The Summer Children is the third in The Collector’s Series by Hutchison, the most popular, of course, being the first one: The Butterfly Garden. This is one of those rare books for me that crossed genres of horror, thriller, police procedural and simply great fiction primarily due to the incredible writing skills of Hutchison. Admittedly, I have not read either of the two other books in the series so I have nothing against which to compare this book as others have done and are doing. This book, alone, is stellar – excellent mystery, fabulous character development and unspeakable scenes of horror as each poor child is brought to agent Mercedes Ramirez’ porch. Having not read the previous books in the series let me add that if you have read the other books, this is a must read. It continues the saga of the garden girls as well as the agents involved in their rescue. The ending of this book had me in tears and, as I’ve said, I don’t know the butterfly girls’ story. However, the ending is perfection. If you haven’t read the first two books, have no worries, there is enough detail within that you never once will feel lost or confused. There were details that made me want to read more but never did I feel that I needed to know more in order to understand the context of the story. There are few writers that can pull off a well written, intense thriller and it is very obvious that Hutchison is one of those writers. I cannot begin to recommend this book highly enough to you. Thank you #Netgalley, Dot Hutchison and Thomas Mercer Publishing for allowing me to read this copy for free
Squirrelikins More than 1 year ago
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. Plot: 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. Romance: 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. Characters: 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
4840318 More than 1 year ago
4 - 4.5 stars Dot Hutchinson has fully redeemed herself in the final book of the Collector Series, The Summer Children. I was fully captivated by The Butterfly Garden (review can be here: and I couldn’t get enough. So when Roses of May came out, I was beyond excited. While RoM was enjoyable, it just didn’t have the same “grip” factor. Review here: With all of that being said, The Summer Children had me hook, line and sinker. I was addicted. One of the most notable differences between this book and the other two is that it is being told in the POV of Mercedes and not the victim. This book was all police procedural, told from the side of CAC. Not that that is a bad thing, it is just different from the other books and weird to me to stray from the formula of the other books in the trilogy. However, this book is engaging and past paced and I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s not dark and creepy like Butterfly Garden, but it is a well told story and I was very into it. I highly recommend reading this entire series, although you could read any of the books as a stand alone.
FrostAtMidnite More than 1 year ago
There is a good plot in this book. While abuse is a thread running strong throughout the book, certain sections of the book have a much horrific version than the rest. Stomach turningly horrific. There is evil in this world and sometimes we choose to ignore it willfully. This is something that a few characters do with aplomb in The Summer Children. But the CAC team tries hard to stop further damage. So, if you are someone who can not read about bad things being done to children, then skip this book. What I loved about this book was the team in which Mercedes works. A unit that works together in sync and a team that's more family than friends. Office politics and other distractions do not hinder their investigations or stop them from pursuing criminals. Each of them, be it the head of the unit or the newest member, is involved in their job hoping to save one more child. A noble cause, for which they all have their own reasons to contribute to. The book starts off sluggishly. But never does it get boring. There is a nice pace that begins once the children start arriving. The Summer Children is perhaps not filled with a rash of unnecessary crimes. It is a book that has blood, sweat and tears and makes us question rules and regulations, between right and wrong.
CrazyCat_Alex More than 1 year ago
The Summer Children is the final book in The Collector Trilogy, and I'm a little sad because I would love to read more about the CAC team. Not only are the cases very interesting to follow, but their personal lives as well. It's a shame that Mercedes couldn't find a real partner in Shioban and now I never will know if/when she settles down. This story made me think a lot about the after. What happens after the kids are rescued. How do they cope with the trauma. Some become an FBI agent (like Mercedes) and others try to help kids with taken matters in their own hands (like the killer). Great ending to an amazing trilogy.
MonnieR More than 1 year ago
So much did I love the first two books in this series - "The Butterfly Garden" and "The Roses of May" - that I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. And I thoroughly enjoyed it as well, although for a somewhat different reason. It doesn't have the emotionally charged, edge-of-your-seat thrills like the others, but the writing is superb and I loved the character development and their interactions with one another. And to that end, I'll offer a word of advice: Read the series from the beginning. The books can stand alone, yes, but the full understanding and impact from each, IMHO, will only come to those who've read them all in order. This one begins as Mercedes Ramirez, an agent with the Crimes Against Children unit and survivor of horrific abuse as a child, comes home after a romantic evening with her lover, Siobhan, to find a bloodied child in her porch swing. An "angel," the youngster haltingly explains, forced him to watch while she murdered his parents. Then, she gave him a white teddy bear and dropped him off at Mercedes' house, telling him Mercedes would make sure he's taken care of. I shall digress for a moment to say it's refreshing to see an openly gay woman (Mercedes) portrayed with such, well, normalcy. She's a competent agent who is both admired and totally accepted by her co-workers for who she is (that she gets hugs from her straight female team members unaccompanied by an "OMG, if I touch her it's gonna rub off on me" attitude is truly amazing considering the way gay females all too often are portrayed). The killer may be reprehensible, but she's right; Mercedes is the perfect person to make sure the young boy gets the right kind of attention and care. Immediately, she gets down to the business of identifying the killer, with help from her partner Brandon Eddison and boss, Victor Hanoverian - the two who, years ago, rescued Mercedes from her hellish life and are the reason she's making a career out of protecting abused children. The trail leads nowhere, and then three more blood-covered kids show up on Mercedes' porch telling the same story. And then come even more, prompting Mercedes to wonder why she's been chosen to be the children's savior. Could it be because of something, or someone, from her storied past? Whatever the reason, it's clear that the murders aren't going to stop anytime soon; if anything, they're escalating. In the end, it's a race to save lives - and the killer from herself. Honestly, I'm a bit confused as to whether this is the last in the series - some places I've read that it is while others call it the third of four books. This one wraps things up in fine fettle; but that said, almost any of the characters are strong and intriguing enough to have starring roles in future editions, including Mercedes and her quirky but very capable team. In any event, many thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this one.
Rhonda-Runner1 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This is the third book in the Collector Trilogy but I think it would be fine as a standalone. I did read The Butterfly Garden but not the second book and anything mentioned from The Butterfly Garden was briefly explained. This book focuses on FBI Agent Mercedes Ramirez who was an abused child and who was rescued. She went on to go to college and become an FBI Agent. Someone is murdering the parents of abused children and then leaving the children on Mercedes' porch. This was basically a good read but it dragged on in places and I did not care for all the Spanish phrases that were peppered throughout the book (without translation) since my Spanish is very limited.
MusicInPrint More than 1 year ago
Reviews take into consideration the characters, plot, and the skill that both are told. Dot Hutchison excels with the development of in depth character personalities and fast moving story. I did read "The Butterfly Garden" the first in this Collector series. It was a telling that stays with the reader after the last page is turned. The Summer Children is the third in this series but could be picked up as a stand-alone. Presentation of a team of FBI agents focused on Crimes Against Children are a close nit group with the job being their number one priority. Agent Mercedes Ramirez feels especially close to these abused youngsters because her past mirrors theirs in many ways. But.. when ANGEL starts leaving children on Mercedes' porch; research into this gruesome crime spree must be solved before more murders are committed. Suspenseful, "Who is Angel" and why is Mercedes the one that will keep these kids SAFE? "A copy of this book was provided by Thomas & Mercer via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments above are my honest opinions."
Monnie777 More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading this book I couldn't put it down. I have read all 3 books in this series and each book sucks you in. You could read this book as a stand alone but I wouldn't recommend it. You would miss somethings by not reading the first two books. This is a new case with the same characters from the first two books. This time we are focused on Agent Mercedes Ramirez but everyone else is not far away. Children keep showing up at her door covered in blood and saying an Angel saved them. Mercedes has to confront her past in this book with the help of friends. I bawled my eye out when I read the end with Priya gives her album. It is great catching up with old cases/friends. I hope there are more books in this series, it's a hard series to let go. *Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this for my honest review*