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Atlantic Monthly Press, 10/2012
One of the finest crime writers we have, Val McDermid’s more than two dozen heart-stopping thrillers have won her international renown and a devoted following of readers across the globe. In The Vanishing Point, she kicks off a terrifying thriller with a nightmare scenario.
A young child is brazenly snatched from the security checkpoint at a busy airport while his guardian watches from the glass inspection box, helpless to prevent the abduction. But this is no ordinary kidnapping, as this is no ordinary child—Jimmy’s mother was Scarlett, a reality TV star who died tragically young from cancer. Reluctant to leave the care of her child to her troubled and unreliable family, before her death Scarlett entrusted the boy to the person she believed best able to give him a happy, stable life: her ghost writer, Stephanie Harker.
As Stephanie assists the FBI in their attempt to recover the missing boy, she reveals her history with Scarlett and Jimmy, reaching into the past to uncover the motive for the abduction. Has he been taken by his own relatives? Has he been kidnapped by Stephanie’s obsessive ex-lover to teach her a lesson? Has one of Scarlett’s stalkers come back to haunt them all? Or is it simply a kidnap for ransom? The final resolution confronts Stephanie with a shocking story of murder and conspiracy, and forces her to make the most difficult choice of her life, a choice that will have long-term repercussions for everyone touched by this crime.
A powerful, grippingly plotted thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the last page, The Vanishing Point showcases McDermid at the height of her talent.