Finished on 12/02/13
2013 Reading Challenge Book Number: 12
Rating: 5 stars
The Vanishing Point follows ghost writer Stephanie Harker, guardian of Jimmy Higgins age 5. Steph has screws in her leg which always sets off the metal detectors at airports, and their trip to America is no exception. But as Jimmy waits for her to be searched, a figure whisks a compliant Jimmy away. As Steph and the FBI try to piece together what happened, you find yourself transported into how Steph became Jimmy’s guardian and close friends with his mother Scarlett.
McDermid as usual has hit the spot for me once more. The characters are convincing as well as conniving, and you question everyone’s motives until the very end. My personal favourite character is Scarlett, who outside of Steph is a central character to the novel. I began to feel very sorry for her as the story progressed for going through so much and coming out on top. The storyline is also very intriguing, the narrative being told by Steph retrospectively for most of the story, a story of her becoming part of Jimmy and Scarlett’s life. The story then shifts dramatically to Steph and DS Nick Nicolaides in the present tense as they try to piece the story of Jimmy’s kidnap together.
The ending had me completely speechless! Not for one moment had I considered that particular motive that McDermid reveals. Now I’m not one to give away spoilers, but wow. It’s taking every ounce of my self control to not let slip the dramatic ending. It’s so ruthless it seems almost inconsiderable, then you realise you had the completely wrong impression of a particular character all the way through the book.