A child's abduction is not what it appears to be in this 'highly recommended' thriller from the internationally bestselling author of Broken Ground (The Guardian)
Stephanie Harker is travelling through security at O'Hare airport with five-year-old Jimmy. But in a moment, everything changes. In disbelief, Stephanie watches as a uniformed agent leads her boy away - and she's stuck the other side of the gates, hysterical with worry.
The authorities, unaware of Jimmy's existence, just see a woman behaving erratically; Stephanie is wrestled to the ground and blasted with a taser gun. By the time she can tell them what has happened, Jimmy is long gone.
But as Stephanie tells her story to the FBI, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems. There are many potential suspects for this abduction. With time rapidly running out, how can Stephanie get him back?
A breathtakingly rich and gripping psychological thriller, The Vanishing Point is Val McDermid's most accomplished standalone novel to date, a work of haunting brilliance that demonstrates why she is hailed as 'the queen of crime' (The Independent).
'Masterfully handled, and McDermid's ability to wrong-foot the reader remains second to none: highly recommended' -The Guardian
'[McDermid's] work is taut, psychologically complex and so gripping that it puts your life on hold' -The Times
Putting her series characters Tony Hill and Carol Jordan on the back burner temporarily, McDermid (The Retribution) delivers a solid stand-alone combining the high-stakes hunt for a missing child with the dark underbelly of celebrity culture. Usually content to work behind the scenes, ghostwriter Stephanie Harker's world changes when she signs on to write reality-TV star Scarlett Higgins's autobiography. A brash former contestant from the fictional British show Goldfish Bowl, Scarlett has made a career out of being outspoken. Stephanie and Scarlett develop an unlikely friendship, and Stephanie grows attached to Scarlett's son, Jimmy, whose father is a fame-crazed DJ. When Scarlett discovers she's dying of cancer, the question of Jimmy's future looms large. Since McDermid opens with a chilling scene in which five-year-old son Jimmy, traveling with Stephanie, is snatched from Chicago's O'Hare Airport, it's clear whom Scarlett ultimately chooses to look after her son. Stephanie and Scarlett's often tumultuous relationship is glimpsed in flashbacks, juxtaposed with the present-day search for Jimmy, hampered both by the fact that he's not Stephanie's son and the slickness of a kidnapper who leaves no tracks. Though Stephanie is quickly forgettable, larger-than-life Scarlett is a chance for McDermid to explore a different kind of ugliness than she tackles in her series novels.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Vanishing Point
Easy to read, light mystery. Interestingly put together with some twists and turns and keeps you wondering. It's my first book by Val McDermid and I would consider reading another of hers.
The vanishing point
Quite possibly the most ridiculous book I have ever read. Awful plot which gets more far fetched as it goes. The ending is so daft and contradictory it made me want to weep.
This is poor. If you're a fan of Val's other, excellent work, I suggest you avoid this. I wish I had.