The Vanishing Point

by Val McDermid

Monday, September 17, 2012

Featured image for The Vanishing Point

Way back in the twentieth century I loved McDermid’s earlier series about Lindsay Gordon and Kate Brannigan. And then I ran out of steam with her as she got more successful and I found the stories a bit too much (not quite sure what sort of ‘much’ to be honest, she manipulates your emotions and feelings for the characters, but I generally think that is a good thing!). I keep going back for her standalone books in the hope of finding one as good as I thought A Place Of Execution was when I first read it (though I wonder whether I would find it as fabulous now).

This book starts with the kidnap of a young English boy at O’Hare airport in Chicago, and it’s a good page turner, mostly told in flashbacks showing how he came to be there. I enjoyed it, the plot is pretty twisty and fanciful, it’s a definite thriller rather than crime novel or mystery. McDermid pulls off the dead ends and the wild leaps well, I had guessed there would be a mad twist in the tail of the story and whilst I was substantially right I certainly didn’t get all the details and didn’t feel cheated.

The story revolves around a reality TV star, Scarlet, and her story seemed to me, who has never actually watched any reality TV, to be a little too close to the real life story of Jade Goody who I’ve only met in headlines - perhaps if I knew more about her then Scarlet wouldn’t appear to have such a similar story.

All in all, a quick and entertaining read. I would still love to know what Lindsay and Kate are up to these days though!